What We Learn From Dameron The Composer
Tadd Dameron was exceptionally skilled at composing melodies. While he is often remembered for his harmonic innovations, these were always at the service of his melodies. This lecture explores in detail, the variety of melodic designs, care in note choice, and subtlety of “poetic rhythm” found in his many compositions.
Dameron’s Long Form Work
Tadd Dameron had an interest in composition that went beyond song form compositions, and arrangements developed from them. HI best known “tone poem” is “Fontainebleau” from 1956. It was preceded in the 1940s by “Nearness,” “Soulphony In Three Hearts,” and possibly some scores written for Stan Kenton’s Innovations In Modern Music Orchestra. There were also at least two works from his last years, that we still hope can be found some day. This lecture explores Dameron’s compositional techniques, which are different from those employed in his song form work.
Harmonic Themes In Dameron’s Body Of Work
Many know the “Dameron Turn-Around” found in the last two measures of “Lady Bird,” but probably not all the variations on this device found in his work, both compositions and arrangements. Then there is his recurring interest in key relationships a third apart, especially the tonic to that a minor third above which he explores in a variety of ways. These and other topics are discussed.