Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Donald Coffman

Second Committee Member

Timothy Conner

Third Committee Member

Dante Luciani

Fourth Committee Member

John Daversa


New Orleans jazz is America’s first original art form. It is a shining example of what can be achieved in a multicultural environment. Since the first jazz album was released in 1917, jazz has steadily evolved and changed into an array of substyles. In the process, New Orleans jazz has become more and more distant and less understood. This essay seeks to counter that trend by analyzing and explaining the main performance aspects of the New Orleans jazz style. The analysis section of this essay will be divided into three chapters. Chapter 1 will focus on improvisation. Chapters 2 and 3 will focus on the roles of the instruments of the standard New Orleans jazz ensemble. In order to gain insight into the characteristics of the style, eight solos by prominent New Orleans jazz musicians will be transcribed and analyzed. In addition, scholarly articles, books, music scores, and videos will be referenced. Music examples will also be composed by the author. The goal is to provide a guide for jazz musicians seeking to better understand the New Orleans jazz style.


New Orleans; New Orleans jazz; Dixieland jazz; Trad jazz; Bix Beiderbecke; louis armstrong