Discord suite for jazz orchestra

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2003

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Abstract

Discord Suite is a three-movement composition for Jazz Orchestra. The first movement was freely composed in an effort to capture spontaneous aspects of jazz music. Movements two and three were composed based on pre-existing harmonies that go beyond tertian constructions through added upper structure tones, and a contrafaction and variations from a pre-existing composition’s melody. Through the use of these three different compositional techniques the creation of this multi-movement composition is both logical and expressive within the jazz genre. Movement I, “Discord” was written using a free compositional technique. In order to ensure the random aspects desired for this composition, a non-pianist sat at the piano blindfolded and placed his hands on the keyboard to create chords and rhythms in no particular order. Movement II, “Resolution” was composed using harmonic inspirations from Thad Jones’ composition Kids Are Pretty People. These elements were altered and rearranged to create the harmonic progression for “Resolution”, which ended up quite different from Thad Jones’ harmonies. Movement III, “Towards The Front” was composed emphasizing melodic variation approach to composition. Melodic material was borrowed from an existing Michael Brecker composition entitled “Outrance”, from his 1999 album Time is of The Essence. While the pitch material, syncopations, and intervals of the melody of “Outrance” were retained, contours and pitches were varied to create the melody for “Towards The Front”.

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