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Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MMus)



First Advisor

Bourne, Patricia, 1957-

Second Advisor

Kasper, Angela

Third Advisor

Fitzpatrick, Tim (Musician)


Countless available arrangements exist for jazz bands and traditional choirs, but the field of publicly available vocal jazz ensemble arrangements is still emerging. Educators directing vocal jazz ensembles may be drawn to creating their own arrangements when they want their ensembles to perform songs for which there are no publicly available arrangements, or when published arrangements do not fit the needs of their ensemble. However, educators without a background in arranging may be at a loss for where, or how, to begin. Scholarship on arranging music for jazz choirs is limited, leaving educators wishing to improve their arranging skills scant resources.

The purpose of this thesis is to introduce concepts and considerations for arranging music for vocal jazz ensembles, with specific attention to the process itself and the needs of the ensemble that will perform the chart. Chapters two and three include strategies for arranging, from both print sources and interviews with experts in the field of vocal jazz arranging. This thesis culminates with recommendations for educators new to this field to begin writing their own arrangements, while seeking guidance from experienced arrangers and sources found in this document.




vocal jazz, jazz choir, jazz, arranging, education


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Jazz vocal groups; Arrangement (Music); Jazz vocals--Instruction and study; Jazz--Instruction and study




masters theses




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