Wayne Shorter’s Pegasus: A Mythical Jazz Narrative



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This essay explores the application of narrative analysis to the genre of jazz and focuses on the form, the semantic concepts involved in the projection of musical narrative, and the act of transvaluation in Wayne Shorter’s Pegasus. The narrative archetype proposed in my research is based on the work Byron Almén and James Liszka. The application of semiotic and narrative analysis to Pegasus will contribute to an understanding of how Shorter utilizes specific motives, melodies, and compositional techniques in the expression of musical meaning. I believe this analytic methodology will uncover aspects of expression involving melody, improvisation, and harmony in jazz that current methods of jazz analysis do not address. Semiotic and narrative analysis offers interpretive insights into the creative process of the composer or improviser. This approach can potentially inform students and teachers in constructing and developing relationships between melody, improvisation, and harmony. While this essay is focused on the composition and not the improvisation, I intend for my research to help others apply semiotic and narrative analysis to both composition and improvisation in jazz.



Jazz, Narrative Analysis, Shorter, Wayne