Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Walczak, Christopher


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF José E. Guzmán Borrero, for the Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition, presented on April 8, 2016, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: ISOCHRONAL: A SUITE FOR JAZZ ORCHESTRA MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Christopher Walczak The suite is a three movement composition for jazz orchestra in which I integrate contemporary compositional methods with the harmonic idioms of the jazz genre. The first movement, “Flight,” takes a minimalist (ca. 1970-1990) approach through the beginning of the piece, then incorporates a development section reminiscent of music from the Classical period with the use of two and three voice counterpoint. Followed by a traditional jazz solo section. The second movement, “'Round Ten” is a ballad featuring the post-tonal compositional method of dodecaphony (ca. 1925-1950) in tandem with melodic and harmonic jazz expressions reminiscent of Thelonious Monk. My compositional use of tone rows is similar to the methods of Benjamin Britten and Alban Berg, who used the row as a compositional guideline or tool. This is unlike the initial use of the row by its founder, Arnold Schoenberg, which restricted the composer by the necessity of using all twelve pitches (with no emphasis on a tonal center) and using it in a predetermined order. The ballad section of the second movement is similar to Thelonious Monk's music in its use of non-harmonic tones and sharp dissonances mixed with a repetitive melodic contour. The third and final movement, “Lights Out!” is an up-tempo piece that uses the dense harmonies reminiscent of Don Menza and Thad Jones’ arrangements. The harmonic structure of the piece is from the modal jazz period of the 1960s in which composers pushed the boundaries of the typical 32-bar song format. The melodic material in this movement includes material from the two previous movements.




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