DISSERTATIONS AND OTHER SCHOLARLY WORKS
Bix Beiderbecke Story: The Jazz Musician in Legend, Fiction, and Fact.
A Study of the Images of Jazz in the National Culture: 1930-the Present.A
Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University
of Minnesota by John Paul Perhonis In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, March 1978.
207 plus vii pages. The thesis consists of three parts.
is an excellent contribution to understanding Bix - the man, the musician
- and what historians and music critics wrote about him. The work is meticulously
researched and documented.
I. Bix Beiderbecke: The Jazz Musician as Romantic Artist.
II. From Romantic Artist to Artist-Craftsman and Tough Artist-Hero: The
Jazz Musician in Popular Writings during the Thirties.
III. From Romantic Legend and Literary Art to Critical Evaluation: The
Jazz Musician in the Critical Establishment.
Analytic Study of Jazz Improvisation with Suggestions for Performance.A
Thesis Submitted by Dennis L. Moorman in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Education, Health,
Nursing, and Arts Professions of New York University, 1984. 175 plus vi
author states "The purpose of the study was to analyze selected jazz
improvisation compositions in order to make specific recommendations for
improvisational performance". The author selects 25 jazz improvisations.
Four are from the 1920's, the remaining 21 span the years from 1939 to
1978. The first selection is Bix's 1924 rendition of Riverboat Shuffle.
author provides an in-depth, technical analysis of Bix's solo utilizing
Gunter Schuller's transcription in his book "Early Jazz", New York:
Oxford University Press, 1968, page 190.
Study of the Exchange of Influences Between the Music of Early Twentieth-Century
Parisian Composers and Ragtime, Blues, and Early Jazz.A
treatise by Geoffrey Jennings Haydon Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate
School of the University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, August 1992. 173
plus vii pages.
In a systematic and convincing manner, the author develops the thesis that
jazz influenced French musical impressionism and vice versa. The
French composers are Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Darius Milhaud.
The American composers are George Gershwin and Bix Beiderbecke. A detailed
analysis of Bix's In A Mist is provided.
l'impressionism dans le jazz: Un etude de l'influence du langage musical
francais du debut du siecle sur les musiciens de jazz americains, de Bix
Beiderbecke a Bill Evans. (Impressionism in Jazz: A Study of the Influence
of the French Musical Idiom at the Beginning of the Century on American
Jazz Musicians, from Bix Beiderbecke to Bill Evans). Maitrise,
Universite de Paris IV (Paris Sorbonne), 1993 by Philippe Fourquet. (Master's
have not been able to obtain a copy of this thesis, but clearly it develops
one of the themes in Haydon's treatise (previous entry), namely the influence
of French impressionist musicians (Debussy, in particular) on Bix's piano
Return to the top Return
to home pageReturn to Detailed
Table of Contents
Beiderbecke: Analisi di un itinerario musicale. (Bix Beiderbecke: Analysis
of a Musical Itinerary).Tesi
di Laurea (M. S. Thesis), Universita Degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza",
1996-1997 by Stefano Cataldi. 158 pages plus complete discography, filmography
and extensive bibliography. The
thesis consists of four chapters.
The first chapter consists of a brief
historical outline of the development of the Afro-American music. The second
chapter provides a treatment of the structural transformation of the American
song, its role in the development of jazz, and how it spread throughout
the United States. In the third chapter, the author presents a biography
of Bix Beiderbecke. The final chapter provides an analysis of Bix's recordings
as examples of his jazz style as well as illustrations of the musical forms
utilized in the 1920's.
Chapter 1. New Orleans: story of the evolution of a language.
Chapter 2. From New Orleans to New York: jazz and the American
Chapter 3. Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931): the man, the musician
and the development of a vocation.
Chapter 4. Bix Beiderbecke's style of execution: analysis
of some recordings. Big Boy (1924), Tiger Rag (1924), At the Jazz Band
Ball (1927), The Piano Compositions.
The thesis is well-organized and provides
interesting insights into Bix's life and his music. In particular, the
analysis of some of Bix's recordings and compositions is fairly detailed.
The bibliography is very extensive and complete.I am grateful to
Lino Patruno and to Professor Marcell Piras for giving me information about
the thesis and to Stefano Cataldi for providing a copy.
and the Classics: A Study of American Crossover Solo Piano Works from 1920
to 1935. Ph.
D. dissertation by Kristen Joan Helgeland, 313 pages, 1999, University
of Cincinnati. I quote from the abstract, "This dissertation examines a
small body of crossover pieces for solo piano written by American composers,
both jazz and classical, between 1000920 and 1935. The composers include
Geeorge Antheil, Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, John Alden Carpenter,
Zez Cobfrey, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Ferde Grofe, Louis Gruenberg,
and James P. Johnson." The crossover genre, given the belief by middle
and upper class Americans that jazz was vulgar, represents a refined version
of jazz. I will get a copy of the dissertation and write some specific
information about the analysis of Bix's compositions.
Beiderbecke: Observing a Genius at Work, by Randy Sandke. 52
pages plus 27 pages of scores. Self-published in 1996. This article is
an excellent technical treatment of Bix's cornet playing and of his compositions.
The article contains biographical information, but the emphasis is on the
analysis of Bix's music. The book covers 83 "Musical Examples". The examples
of Bix's cornet work span Bix's complete career, starting with "Fidgety
Feet", from Bix's first recording session on February 18, 1924, and ending
with "Georgia", Bix's last recording session on September 15, 1930. Bix's
four piano compositions are also discussed.
The following musical trademarks of Bix's playing are illustrated: dynamic
shading; correlated chorus; running triplets; rhythmic delay; bending notes;
use of grace or ghost notes; use of half time, double time and irregular
rhythms; keen and advanced harmonic sense; flutter tonguing or growling;
whole-tone scale; vibrato; half-valve gliss; tonguing; emphatic use of
upper intervals such as the 9th and 13th; use of a half-valve bend on a
cornet Db (C#).
An indication of Randy's insightful treatment, can be seen from the following
quotes. "Every note is spontaneous, yet inevitable." "One moment
he sounds strong and confident, the next questioning and vulnerable"."The
range of emotions that Bix expresses within a solo, or even one phrase
is, I think, unique among jazz musicians.""There is always a poignancy
to Bix's playing as if its beauty is too rare and refined, even to fragile,
for this world."
strongly recommend this article to any serious and technically-oriented
6/19/o2. An article whose content is essentialy identical to that of the
booklet was published by Randy Sandke with the title "Bix Beiderbecke form
a musician's Prespective" in Annual Review of Jazz Studies, 9, 1997-98,
edited by Edward Berger, David Cayer, Henry Martin, Dan Morgenstern, Institute
of Jazz Studies, Rutgers- The State Universituy of New Jersey and The Scarecrow
Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland and London, 2000, pages 165-260.
I am grateful to Randy Sandke for sending me the article. Copies of the
booklet can be purchased from Randy Sandke by writing to him at Randysandke@earthlink.net.
BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS
of Some Recordings: Is It Bix or Not ?
Compilations of Bix's Recordings
Recordings Related to Bix