DH Seminar: "Charlie Parker, Composer: Highlights and Controversies"


Event details

Date 26.04.2023
Hour 16:3017:30
Speaker Henry Martin, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University-Newark, composer and music theorist
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
“Charlie Parker, Composer: Highlights and Controversies” is a presentation developed from my book on Parker’s compositions, published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Parker was one of the great jazz artists of the mid-twentieth century. The presentation begins with a discussion of the general problem of just what is a jazz composition, and includes such topics as recordings vs. manuscripts, plagiarism, copyrighting an improvisation, the function of the Library of Congress, extending a “composition” without the composer's consent, and improvisation vs. composing. As part of the presentation, I show how Parker worked in the gray area between written and improvised material, “borrowed” the work of others, had his own work “borrowed,” and left a legacy of well-known jazz compositions that continue to inspire jazz musicians and listeners.

Henry Martin, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University-Newark, is well known as both a composer and a music theorist. His music has been described by Paul Griffiths of The New York Times as “that of someone who knows and loves jazz to its bones.” A frequent recipient of commissions, he has composed for solo piano and organ, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. His Preludes and Fugues for piano, a widely performed work, won the 1992 National Composers Competition and the 1998 Barlow Foundation International Composition Competition. He is currently working on a series of works based on Dante’s Purgatorio.

Among Professor Martin’s books are Charlie Parker, Composer (2020), Charlie Parker and Thematic Improvisation (1996), Counterpoint: A Species Approach (2005) and Jazz: The First 100 Years, co-authored with Keith Waters (3rd ed., 2010). His numerous articles have appeared in distinguished journals, among them Journal of Music TheoryPerspectives of New MusicMusic Theory SpectrumAnnual Review of Jazz Studies, and Jazzforschung/Jazz Research. He founded the Jazz Theory Interest Group of the Society of Music Theory (SMT) and has been co-editor of the Annual Review of Jazz Studies since 1995. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Prominent among his teachers have been David Del Tredici and Milton Babbitt.