Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All

I'm a PHD student at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

I'm looking for any academic writing sources for my topic which is the use of the saxophone in Pop music.

Looking at the following points
'tone of the music (more sophisticated or other) for inclusion of the saxophone as the solo instrument
philosophical changes (conscious or unconsicous) by players in the pop medium who have crossed from jazz (brecker etc)
soloing techniques

I can put up a copy of my proposal should you wish to look at it.

I've found a gap in academic knowledge but now need to review what literature there is out there.

Thanks

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
I doubt there's any academic writing on those topics.
You could try enquiring with the Saxophone Journal or Down Beat - they may have a few articles or interviews pertaining to your subject matter.
Then there's ploughing through the many Sanborn, Brecker et al. articles and interviews out there.

Good luck!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
29,610 Posts
I've found a gap in academic knowledge but now need to review what literature there is out there.
Yes you have and it's a good, if possibly too wide, a topic. I mentioned this to my wife who is a popular music musicologist at University of Southampton.

I'd be keen to see your proposal. There are so many areas:

  • Saxophone players who are part of the actual group
  • Musicians who are mainly jazz musicians who do pop (or any) sessions for the money
  • Session players who specialise in pop and rock

At what point in history did pop sax start? At what point did pop music start?

Hopefully you have narrowed it down a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
You're absolutely right Pete. I was thinking 80s or 90s 'pop' music but 'pop' could mean Chu Berry or Lester Young given the interpretation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Pete!

I can email you the proposal if you like? I had you on my list of possible people to contact re. this subject when I get past the literature review.

I'm studying at UWS by way of marrying an Australian following study at the RNCM with Rob Buckland and Andy Scott whom I'm sure you know.

I'm trying to limit it to between 1970 and 1990 and not including anything other than the saxophone solo looking at all three of those areas. Also not including any pop hits that were really instrumentals. I've found a number of journals on 'rock' sax and there's quite an interesting chapter in David Bracketts book.





Yes you have and it's a good, if possibly too wide, a topic. I mentioned this to my wife who is a popular music musicologist at University of Southampton.

I'd be keen to see your proposal. There are so many areas:

  • Saxophone players who are part of the actual group
  • Musicians who are mainly jazz musicians who do pop (or any) sessions for the money
  • Session players who specialise in pop and rock

At what point in history did pop sax start? At what point did pop music start?

Hopefully you have narrowed it down a bit.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
Joined
·
7,150 Posts
Academic writing on pop music, historically, has been limited to a kind of ethnomusicology. If it's socially relevant in a way scholars can easily understand, it gets written about; if it isn't, it doesn't. I applaud your idea but haven't the slightest where you could find more writing on it. You may be pioneering.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
29,610 Posts
Academic writing on pop music, historically, has been limited to a kind of ethnomusicology.
My wife researches pop music (girl groups) very much as a musicologist, but she was saying that a lot of the work in contemporary pop music is also done by sociologists rather than musicologists. Maybe the ethnomusicology side of it is more of a US thing.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
Joined
·
7,150 Posts
One way or the other, one doesn't approach it first and foremost as music. It's not a privileged form as are classical, atonal, some jazz, or the musics of preliterate cultures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Hi Pete,
If you're keeping this between 1970 and 1990, just read about a guy named Tom Scott. For approximately that 20 year period of time, he owned the whole pop sax scene, even crossing over to writing the "pop" TV themes of the times. If you were a pop star, doing a record in those times, and wanted a great melodic, sassy, signature sound - you had Tom.
 

·
SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
Sent you a reply on the thread you had posted in the Rock n Roll section. I didn't see this thread until I had posted my response and hence didn't see your criteria.

The following is probably too late, however from the practical perspective of doing a thesis with the potential to be later used as a platform for papers if not a book, personally, I'd prefer the 50's-60's for a period of study only because there could be much more material available and these decades arguably had more of an impact on music, in terms of the saxophone, than the 70's. If you get into jazz, then you may be expected to know or at least acknowledge significant papers and books and if any are absent in your research this could count against you. Also, from a practical perspective, focusing on rock and pop could be -in many ways- more original in terms of research and analysis which will be a plus for you right from the beginning. Typically Profs and review committees love original research and reference material. John Broven is one example of a researcher/author who has done interesting, and important, work about this era. http://johnbroven.com/jjb/books.html
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top