Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Tom O'Halloran


This dissertation investigates the potential for using double-stops - the sounding of two or more simultaneous notes - as a means for extending the traditional role of the double bass, within compositions for a small jazz ensemble. It is the contention of this dissertation that it is possible to use double-stops to perform a more advanced function within the jazz ensemble, without compromising the double bass’ primary harmonic and rhythmic duties.

A historical overview of the history of the double bass within western classical and jazz music will be provided, as to outline and define what the double bass’ role in jazz is. This shall occur with reference to seminal artists who furthered the development of the double bass conceptually.

Research on double -stop techniques is documented, including specific technical information, conceptual usage, and potential limitations of the techniques, as well as recorded examples of their performance. Through undertaking this research process, three new pieces will be produced for jazz ensemble, which incorporate double-stops into the composed material, as a means for extending the role of the double bass.

The process of producing these pieces will be documented with reference to the specific difficulties associated with double-stop performance, and how these are overcome, as to allow for successful and effective performance of these techniques.

The dissertation will conclude with an evaluation of the success of the compositions in extending the role of the double bass, as determined by an analysis of a performance of the material.