Band music of Morton Gould



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Texas Tech University


Morton Gould (1913-1996) was a significant American composer, conductor and pianist. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of his compositions is his free use of folk melodies, spirituals, jazz and popular styles in the structures of more traditional forms. His prolific output included many original works for secondary school and collegiate bands. Several of his film and orchestral scores have been arranged for band by Gould himself as well as by other arrangers.

This dissertation examines Gould's original compositions and arrangements of his music for the wind band medium. The primary purpose of this study is to add to the body of Gould's music transcribed for the wind band with the author's transcription of Morton Gould's Interplay (also known as American Concertette for Piano and Orchestra). The author also seeks to add to the somewhat limited quantity of available literature for wind band and solo piano with this transcription. The various elements of Interplay are briefly discussed in terms of their suitability to the transcription process. Specific problems of orchestration in the transcription process of Interplay are examined, with comparisons made between the original and the transcribed version.

A portion of the study is devoted to a discussion of distinctions made between arranging and transcribing, and the relationship of the results of these processes to the original work. Historical, educational and musical grounds justifying transcriptions and arrangements are presented, along with some general remarks on the nature of transcriptions.

A large portion of the study consists of an appendix containing the author's transcription of Interplay for wind band. Permission of the publisher was obtained for this transcription, and approval granted for a public performance.

This study will also be useful to anyone examining the characteristics of Gould's compositional materials and orchestration technique. It is hoped that additional performances of the transcription of Interplay will serve the previously mentioned purposes intended by the author.