Kenny Wheeler: Melody, harmony and structure


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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Supplemental files to the thesis Kenny Wheeler: Melody, harmony and structure : An analysis of the melodic, harmonic and structural techniques in the compositions of Kenny Wheeler, and the implementation of those techniques into the authors own creative process. Available here: https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1333/

Kenny Wheeler is a Canadian born trumpeter and composer who has gained the respect and admiration of musicians and critics alike for his distinct and beautiful compositions. Despite this acclaim, am extensive search of relevant literature has revealed very little academic study of his compositional technique. Through an analysis of the melodic, harmonic and structural techniques evident in selected compositions by Kenny Wheeler, this dissertation offers insight into what gives Wheeler's music its distinct sound. The influence of these techniques on the author's own creative work is discussed through an exegesis. The dissertation consists of three chapters. The first chapter briefly introduces Kenny Wheeler and discusses why he is an important figure in jazz and the contribution he has made to jazz composition. Chapter two analyses selected Kenny Wheeler compositions, focusing on the areas of melody, harmony and structure. This chapter also explains the methods used in analyzing the melodic, harmonic and structural techniques. The third chapter includes a comparative analysis of the compositional techniques of Kenny Wheeler and the author's own creative work.

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