The symbiosis of improvised and rehearsed elements in the creation of contemporary jazz ensemble music

Meagher, Andrea (2010) The symbiosis of improvised and rehearsed elements in the creation of contemporary jazz ensemble music. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This research investigates the symbiotic relationship between composition and improvisation and the notion of improvisation itself. With a specific interest in developing, extending and experimenting with the relationship of improvisation within predetermined structures, the creative work component of this research involved composing six new works with varying approaches for The Andrea Keller Quartet and guest improvisers, for performance on a National Australian tour. This is documented in the CD recording Galumphing Round the Nation - Collaborations Tour 2009. The exegesis component is intended to run alongside the creative work and discusses the central issues surrounding improvisation in an ensemble context and the subject of composing for improvisers. Specifically, it questions the notion that when music emphasises a higher ratio of spontaneous to pre-determined elements, and is exposed to the many variables of a performance context, particularly through its incorporation of visitant improvisers, the resultant music should potentially be measurably altered with each performance. This practice-led research demonstrates the effect of concepts such as individuality, variability within context, and the interactive qualities of contemporary jazz ensemble music. Through the analysis and comparison of the treatment of the six pieces over thirteen performances with varying personnel, this exegesis proposes that, despite the expected potential for spontaneity in contemporary jazz music, the presence of established patterns, the desire for familiarity and the intuitive tendency towards accepted protocols ensure that the music which emerges is not as mutable as initially anticipated.

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ID Code: 45467
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Arthurs, Andy
Keywords: improvisation, jazz, composition, collaboration, interaction, Wayne Shorter, practice-led research, music
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2011 06:48
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 23:41

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