ProQuest
Abstract/Details

The life, music and improvisational style of Herbert Lawrence “Sonny” Greenwich

Scott, Andrew Jacob. 
 York University (Canada) ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  2006. NR19817.

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation explores the life, career and music of Herbert Lawrence "Sonny" Greenwich (b. Hamilton, Ontario, January 1, 1936). My thesis argument is that Greenwich remains an unfairly marginalized figure in jazz historiography. Although I present numerous reasons to account for his marginalization, I focus primarily on the following three arguments.

First, efforts to "legitimize" jazz as "America's classical music" (Grover Sales 1992) have excluded the contributions of many Canadian musicians.

Second, jazz's hard-fought battle to be recognized as "art" music has privileged bebop (the genre that best reifies jazz's art-music status) and has maligned many non-bebop musics and musicians.

Third, from Gunther Schuller to Andre Hodier to Gary Giddins, a narrative of jazz history has been written that places the importance of discographic output and media attention above community music-making practices. Accordingly, the history of Greenwich and the musical scene in which he developed as a player has escaped notice. All sections of my dissertation can be read with this final point in mind. My thesis accordingly fills a historical gap by constructing an original body of historical, transcriptive and analytic work on the guitarist.

Chapter one is a biography of Greenwich. Chapter two is a "scene" examination of the context in which Greenwich began as a guitarist. Chapter three examines Greenwich's improvisations. Chapter four explores Greenwich's improvisational style more deeply, focussing on how Greenwich uses visual shapes on the guitar in three ways: to systematize the guitar fretboard, to organize his improvisations and as a surrogate music theory. Chapter five examines Greenwich's compositions and his compositional style. Chapter six is my concluding chapter in which I argue that Greenwich's non-bebop playing style, under documented history and career reticence have made him a marginalized and "problematic" figure in Canadian jazz historiography.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Biographies;
Music
Classification
0304: Biographies
0413: Music
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Greenwich, Sonny; Guitar; Improvisational style; Jazz; Music
Title
The life, music and improvisational style of Herbert Lawrence “Sonny” Greenwich
Author
Scott, Andrew Jacob
Number of pages
397
Degree date
2006
School code
0267
Source
DAI-A 67/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
978-0-494-19817-9
University/institution
York University (Canada)
University location
Canada
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
NR19817
ProQuest document ID
304982911
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
https://www.proquest.com/pqdtglobal/docview/304982911/abstract/8DDD3F00589D4E41PQ/5