Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gary Lindsay

Second Committee Member

Charles Bergeron

Third Committee Member

Lawrence Lapin

Fourth Committee Member

Raul Murciano


This study examines the compositional styles of six jazz orchestra and jazz band writers who wrote for vocalists. Each arranger used techniques in order to create the perfect accompaniment for a specific singer’s voice. Furthermore, the arrangers have captured a mood, enhanced the emotion, and illustrated the message of the lyric in their own unique ways. The six arrangers whose writing has been analyzed in this study are: John Clayton, Marty Paich, Gordon Goodwin, Johnny Mandel, Jorge Calandrelli, and Vince Mendoza. In uncovering each writer’s techniques, the author intended to gain knowledge to further his own skills in writing large jazz ensemble pieces for jazz vocalists. The culmination of these skills were realized in the author’s arrangements, which explore various techniques of successfully framing the vocal line. Additionally, it is the hope of the author that this project may serve as a reference for other jazz composers who write for vocalists.


jazz; composition; arranging; vocal; orchestra; big band