Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (Honours)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Tom O'Halloran


The aim of this dissertation is to define and analyse several idiosyncratic devices utilised by tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel in order to manipulate elements of sound, rhythm and melody in the construction of an improvised solo. Through transcription and analysis of selected improvisations performed both live and in the recording studio. This paper will also outline and observe Wendel’s use of several articulation techniques as well as examining key methods of manipulating melodic and rhythmic cells unique to Wendel’s improvisational style. Definitions of each device and their application will be taken from transcription analysis of solos taken over "What Was" and "Jean and Renata" as performed by Wendel live at the Jazz Gallery (February 17th and 18th, 2012) and "Blue over Gold", Linda Oh: Sun Pictures (2013)– as notated by the writer. Each transcription analysis will also discuss the compositional framework in which each solo took place, giving clear insight into the parameters of each improvisation.

Through a great deal of listening, research and analysis; Wendel’s personal innovations and manipulation of articulation, melody and rhythm will be presented in sub-categories discussing the use of chromaticism, rhythmic displacement, sequencing, ghost tonguing, interval based line construction, staccato techniques and more. This paper will then define each of these techniques and give examples of application and their effects.

Included in

Musicology Commons