Keith Jarrett's up-tempo jazz trio playing: Transcription and analysis of performances of "Just In Time"

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

First Committee Member

Whitney Sidener - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study is to examine specific musical techniques Keith Jarrett employs when playing up-tempo jazz standards in the interactive environment of a jazz trio. The essay contains an investigation of Keith Jarrett's musical philosophy, an analysis of "Just In Time" by Jule Styne, transcription and analyses of two performances of "Just In Time," as performed by the Keith Jarrett Trio, and pedagogical suggestions derived from the results of the analyses.Initial chapters contain a seventy-page examination of Jarrett's goals and ideas compiled from over one hundred sources. Also included in the document are 208 pages of analysis of Jarrett's recordings of "Just In Time," and eighty-seven pages of transcription. In the final chapter, the results of the analyses are summarized, and pedagogical suggestions are offered.The analyses revealed that Jarrett focuses his attention on melody and rhythm in his up-tempo improvising. His solos develop various motivic potentials of Styne's melody. Jarrett's improvisation is organized by melodic voice leading, and improvised motives are elaborated using a wide palette of techniques. Strong and weak-beat rhythms alternate during melody statements, enhancing rhythmic contrast. Overall, Jarrett's melodic and rhythmic language contains a careful balance of compositional elements.



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