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Human nature: A complete life story for jazz orchestra and symphony orchestra

Jeffrey W Richmond, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This doctoral document is a six-movement composition for full symphony orchestra and full jazz orchestra. It applies what Gunther Schuller calls a "Third-Stream" compositional vocabulary to merge classical music styles and jazz music styles into a single, organic musical work. The program of the six movements can be described as follows: (1) "Nascence" is a musical depiction of birth and entrance into the world, (2) "Foundling" is a musical representation of a lost child, (3) "We Adolesce" focuses on music which captures the spirit of adolescence, vibrant and rebellious, (4) "Unification Dance" is a characterization of two becoming one in marriage, (5) "The Quondam Lover" utilizes music which depicts losing a lover, and finally (6) "Quietus" is a musical depiction of death.^ Musically, the piece draws upon formal, harmonic, and melodic concepts from jazz and contemporary classical music. Utilizing concepts such as modal writing, chordal planing, reharmonization techniques and polychordal composition, the piece attempts to capture the essence of both serious concert repertoire and accessible music in a unified vision. The form of the work gains its unity through the conceptual ramifications of the piece and certain melodic or harmonic elements which are revisited throughout.^

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Richmond, Jeffrey W, "Human nature: A complete life story for jazz orchestra and symphony orchestra" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3352331.