Reflections on Monk for concert band



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Texas Tech University


As the end of the twentieth century approaches, the generation of musicians who were the pioneers of modem jazz (ca. 1945-the present) has all but died out. Fortunately, there remains an abundance of recordings which bear witness to the wonderfiil creativity of the men and women artists of the idiom. In some cases there exist well produced documentary films that provide in-depth information about the important jazz artists and the times in which they lived. In addition, there are many other films which capture their live performances. There is also a large body of biographical, socio-historical, and critical literature of varying quality that provides testimony about the music and musicians of the era. In the last fifteen years authors have published transcriptions of recorded solos which provide important insight into the nature of the music. Finally, theoretical research in jazz has become an important new area for scholarly activity. Yet, the most important elements that remain in our culture from the first generation of musicians of the jazz era are their ideas, their music, which is still being performed every day by a new generation.

One musician who has left us much interesting music is Thelonious Monk. This dissertation consists principally of a composition written using motives and themes from Monk's music as well as information about his life. But it also contains a description of the musical style of the times in which he rose to prominence, some analysis of his music, a study of his compositional techniques, and a description of how I have employed certain figures, themes, and techniques from the music composed by Monk to create Reflections on Monk, a composition in four movements for concert band written in homage to this important jazz musician.



Monk, Thelonious, Monk, Thelonious -- Criticism and interpretation, Band music, Jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography, Jazz -- Instruction and study, Band music -- Analysis, appreciation, Band music -- Scores