Manhattan by midnight : a suite for jazz orchestra in three movements
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Manhattan by Midnight is a three-movement work for jazz orchestra scored for woodwinds, brass and jazz rhythm section. The intent is to compose a work that reflects and emphasizes two musical elements that set jazz apart from every other genre: the swung eighth note and its distinctive, idiomatic use of extended diatonic and chromatic harmony. Combining these two musical elements with my own ever-evolving composition style will culminate in a work that explores and expands upon the typical conventions of jazz melody, jazz harmony and jazz rhythm to create a piece that is a sum of my influences as well as my experiences. The title Manhattan by Midnight refers to the night I moved into my current residence, which is in a neighborhood called Washington Heights in the northern part of Manhattan in New York City. The drive in and the frantic attempt to move all of my belongings into my apartment, as well as the multitude of emotions a jazz musician experiences when making the move to the jazz capital of the world provided more than enough inspiration for an extended composition. The following analysis of this suite provides an overview of how Manhattan by Midnight works in a technical sense with special attention given to form, harmony, melodic content and orchestration.