Music, School of


First Advisor

John R. Bailey

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A DOCTORAL DOCUMENT Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Dr. John R. Bailey. Lincoln, Nebraska: July 2020

Copyright 2020 Lindsey Nicole O’Connor


The purpose of this document is to provide an introduction to and analysis of the three jazz-inspired early works of British composer David C. Heath (b. 1956), all arranged for saxophone by the composer—Out of the Cool (1978), Rumania (1979), and Coltrane (1981). By examining Heath’s relatively unexplored repertoire for saxophone, this research aims to encourage further research and performance of his music.

Heath is a freelance composer and flutist currently residing in Edinburgh, Scotland in the United Kingdom. He has written major works for notable performing artists such as The Ascension (1994) for flutist James Galway, African Sunrise/Manhattan Rave (1995) for percussionist Evelyn Glennie, Alone at the Frontier (1993) for violinist Nigel Kennedy, and Gentle Dreams (1983) for cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. However, Heath’s repertoire for saxophone remains relatively unknown. To date, he has written three compositions originally for saxophone, and he has also arranged eight of his own works for saxophone. Collectively, these works employ compositional techniques from his many stylistic influences including avant-garde (such as musique concrète, in which Heath uses recorded sounds from nature), blues, funk, jazz, minimalism, reggae, rock, Celtic, and North Indian.

Divided into five chapters, this study introduces the contemporary saxophonist to these three early works (with one chapter devoted to each work), establishes their compositional merit, and examines aspects of formal structure, harmonic and melodic language, unifying features, and influences from jazz performers/composers and North Indian music. This study also provides brief pedagogical suggestions for both teaching and performance of his works. Scores and interviews with the composer provide the primary source material for this document.

Advisor: John R. Bailey

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