Pat Metheny: Techniques in Improvisation
Thomson, Noel Earsdon
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This thesis illustrates Pat Metheny’s formulaic system within a unique three-tier approach that divides formulaic information into a connected system of categories, species, and components. Using four transcribed improvisations as source material, Metheny’s formulaic system is defined with consideration for both analytical and pedagogical insight, with the aim of demonstrating the practical application of formulaic concepts. This formulaic system is highly nuanced and comprises a large portion of this study. Metheny’s process of forming is covered, and prototypical and contemporary approaches to jazz improvisational analysis are discussed. Metheny’s elements of style are examined, including formulaic, melodic, structural and motivic forms that contribute toward overall musical coherence.