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Title:Radiohead's subterranean jazz structuralism: the music of Louis Armstrong, Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus in ten compositions by Radiohead
Author(s):Carney, Peter
Director of Research:McNeill, Charles
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McNeill, Charles
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Magee, Gayle; Gray, Lawrence; Pugh, James
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):radiohead
rock
jazz
miles davis
louis armstrong
coltrane
alice coltrane
them yorke
jonny greenwood
colin greenwood
ed o'brien
phil seaway
music history
ok computer
kid a
mehldau
music
structuralism
music theory
music history
amnesiac
creep
bloom
subterranean homesick alien
music composition
charles mingus
mingus
satchmo
technology
computer
spiritual
african-american
african
black
everything in its right place
ole
kind of blue
bitches brew
pyramid song
spanish key
wonderful world
beatles
rock history
american music
grunge
rolling stone
king of limbs
pink floyd
swing
blues
afrocentric
black music
teo macro
sampling
musical
fusion
avant garde
big band
national anthem
roots
Jazz
prog rock
70's
millennial
creativity
innovation
band
Abstract:The objective of this dissertation is to define the undocumented jazz lineage of Radiohead's musical evolution that has been overlooked in the current academic discourse. Drawing on ten examples from Radiohead albums OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac and The King of Limbs, I hope to show their jazz structural modeling in three episodes of experimentation, advanced interactions, and synthesis. Across these three phases in its evolution, Radiohead's method remains constant in specific mirroring techniques of melody, harmony, form, texture, and lyrics. Inside the group's structural process, Radiohead composed two-part counterpoint melodies to their jazz models, adopted harmony with modal jazz progressions, designed parallel macro structures, duplicated textures, and responded directly to the lyrics of their jazz models. A side-by-side comparison of Radiohead compositions and their jazz models point to a detailed design guided by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, and Charles Mingus. Above this transition through modeling, critics and journalists responded positively, as their reputation changed from being a "Nirvana-lite" grunge band to "Re-Inventors of rock," as described by Time Magazine in 2000. Starting in 1996, Radiohead confused the industry by modeling Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew in their album OK Computer. After winning a Grammy award, their jazz inspired exodus continued deeper into jazz, and deeper into a new musical value system. This paper constructs a new profile of Radiohead's unidentified jazz emulations since 1996 by connecting comparative transcriptions, jazz references from interviews, and two new interviews conducted for this paper with Radiohead musicians from the albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001). Without quoting jazz clichés or playing jazz fragments, Radiohead used a consistent practice of detailed imitation that I've coined as "jazz structuralism" to break out of their perceived limitations in the rock genre.
Issue Date:2016-04-21
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/90547
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Peter Carney
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05


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