Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
This thesisrecital represents several years of musical and personal growth during my time as a jazz studies and piano student at Western Michigan University. The aim of this thesis was to take popular songs from the singersongwriter movement and infuse them with stylistic elements of jazz, without compromising the integrity of either genre. The entire program features original arrangements and an original composition.
Each piece can distinctly stand alone; each brings elements of two styles that were once widely popular; together they represent characteristics of my own personal style. The research and arranging process for each selection further inspired me to compose music of my own. The world premiere of Bluebird fittingly took place during the presentation of the thesis which inspired the tune.
Thanks to the guidance of my thesis mentors Professor Jeremy Siskind and Professor Greg Jasperse, and the professionalism and dedication of my band, I was able to present a wellprepared and confident recital. I am proud to include the full recital recording, imperfections and all, as it represents my musical growth and room for musical improvement. My method for selecting repertoire and arranging the music is also included alongside a postrecital reflection. This milestone caps several years of my musical development, and the experience gained from my honors thesis will continue to guide my future musical projects.
Harkins, Joseph, "Joseph Harkins' Senior Recital: An Exploration of Jazz and Popular Music" (2015). Honors Theses. 2596.
Honors Thesis-Open Access
Recital Program.pdf (35 kB)
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