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

Gary Lindsay

Second Committee Member

John Daversa

Third Committee Member

Brian Lynch

Fourth Committee Member

Lansing McLoskey


Categorizations are very necessary as shortcuts to facilitate teaching, academic discourse, and for publicizing, but they are also very dangerous in the attempt to put absolute values on unquantifiable concepts, such as styles, ideas, or eras. This essay presents dividing lines of musical genres as they are: blurred and open to crossovers. The discussion focuses on both musical and historical elements of jazz and classical music, particularly from the perspective of their mutual influence during the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first century. Departing from the Third Stream concept, the purpose of this research is to discuss the importance of the hybridization processes in music evolution through the examination of the blurred lines that separate styles of music. Three distinct contemporary composers recognized by their hybrid work were used as a case of study–Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza and John Psathas. An original confluent suite–Seven Masks–was created as a result of the research. Three movements of this new composition were analyzed with a focus on the hybridization processes used in its fabric.


third stream; composition; jazz; classical; orchestra; crossover