Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Mr Tom O'Halloran

Abstract

Clare Fischer’s solo piano version of the Jerome Kern composition Yesterdays from his 1975 recorded album ‘Alone Together’, is not extensively known. It proves, however, to be an inherently paramount source for the study of harmony, rhythm, texture and solo jazz piano style. This paper defines the techniques used in this performance. Through a comprehensive transcription analysis, key aspects of Fischer’s solo piano style are discovered. This research extracts the defining aspects of this specific performance‐ then directly applies the musical techniques to show how they may be used to reinterpret and jazz standard. The current Fischer literature focuses primarily on detailing harmonic aspects of his music. This study of Yesterdays also analyses these harmonic aspects at work including chord voicing tendencies, voice leading and reharmonisation. Further, broader concepts relating to a successful jazz solo piano performance are discussed – including the use of varied meter, mood, texture and arrangement. Through using wider parameters in the analysis the study aims to provide a more inclusive overview of Fischer’s improvised solo piano style. Using the findings from the transcription analysis, a solo piano arrangement of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady is then generated. The primary purpose of the re-interpretation of ‘jazz standard’ repertoire is to show that Fischer’s devices can be absorbed yet also directly applied in a measured way.

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