Title page for ETD etd-11162007-084227

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Isaacson, Kristin
URN etd-11162007-084227
Title Yardbird Cello: Adapting the Language of Charlie Parker to the Cello through Solo Transcription and Analysis
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dennis Parker Committee Co-Chair
Willis Delony Committee Co-Chair
Alison McFarland Committee Member
Bill Grimes Committee Member
Lynne Baggett Dean's Representative
  • cello
  • improvisation
  • jazz
  • charlie parker
Date of Defense 2008-11-13
Availability unrestricted
This paper examines the musical and technical demands of adapting the bebop melodic language of saxophonist Charlie Parker to the cello. String players have tended to avoid this musical language due to its non-idiomatic nature. A staple of jazz performers' repertory however, bebop tunes remain standard works of study for any student of jazz improvisation. This paper examines the challenges for the cellist's left hand in playing Parker's melodies and improvisations. It also suggests possible bowing solutions that allow the player to emulate his articulation. Further, it examines issues of musical timing and various learning techniques for the application of this style. I approached this material using the process of transcription to internalize aspects of the musical style. The appendix includes my transcriptions of six of Parker's recorded solos edited for the cello in low register, high register, and scordatura editions. The recordings examined in this paper are "Dexterity," "Scrapple from the Apple," "Parker's Mood," "Embraceable You," "Dewey Square," and "My Little Suede Shoes."
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