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Interpreting Hard Bop

Title: Interpreting Hard Bop: Topics, Narrative, and Subjectivity.
Name(s): Thompson, Daniel J., author
Jones, Evan Allan, professor directing dissertation
Von Glahn, Denise, 1950-, university representative
Kraus, Joseph Charles, 1955-, committee member
Clendinning, Jane Piper, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Music, degree granting college
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (155 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation engages with scholarship in musical semiotics and hermeneutics to offer insight into the aesthetics of hard bop (c. 1954–65), a jazz genre often characterized as a return to jazz’s roots. By synthesizing the semiotic perspectives of Raymond Monelle, Danuta Mirka, and Stephen Rumph on the notion of musical topics (style references), I posit a generalized model of topical signification that is sound regardless of stylistic context. From this theoretical stance, I infer three categories of topics in hard bop: vernacular topics, nostalgic topics, and exotic topics. This study culminates with a reading of the 1963 Jazz Messengers recording of Wayne Shorter’s “One by One” (Ugetsu: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers at Birdland) that questions the narrative temptations that topics may elicit. This reading draws on Lawrence Kramer’s notion of “narrativity”—a meaningful teleological impulse (e.g., a power struggle)—but does not espouse any master narrative or plot. Instead, my eclectic interpretation draws on the philosophical and psychoanalytic writings of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Slavoj Žižek to establish a network of associative meanings.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Thompson_fsu_0071E_13847 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: May 3, 2017.
Keywords: jazz, narrative, semiotics, topic theory
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Evan A. Jones, Professor Directing Dissertation; Denise Von Glahn, University Representative; Joseph Kraus, Committee Member; Jane Piper Clendinning, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Thompson, D. J. (2017). Interpreting Hard Bop: Topics, Narrative, and Subjectivity. Retrieved from