Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Brass Multiphonics in Jazz

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posted on 2021-11-12, 13:04 authored by van Dijk, Nick

Multiphonics is the production of more than one tone at a time from an instrument that would normally play a single line. The aim of this work is to identify and explore the elements of multiphonics as played by jazz brass players and to examine the production and development of multiphonics with particular reference to Albert Mangelsdorff’s mature technique. The research procedure includes a literature review, transcription and analysis of relevant music, and reflection on personal practice. The findings and discussion are used to draw conclusions in order to derive applicable testable techniques. The research points to where the accretion and extension of Mangelsdorff’s playing style may lead, and demonstrates the acquisition of discovered multiphonic techniques by the performance of transcriptions and new or extended musical applications of multiphonics in two recorded assessed recitals. The body of the paper gives brief biographical information on the main practitioners, with specific focus on how each of them acquired particular technical elements. Reference is made to prior research and specific recordings and players are mentioned in regard to their innovations and stylistic techniques. Elements were discovered and explored in the researcher’s own practice over the previous decade and specifically the duration of the masters study from February 2008 – June 2009, and the effects of various approaches and exercises are discussed. This discussion includes the areas of mental and physical preparation, limitations and parameters of the physical playing, and the method used for developing multiphonic technique. The summary identifies the main findings and makes specific reference to how they might relate to practice. It suggests areas where further research can be developed to support the acquisition and practical application of multiphonic technique and extended techniques in brass performance. The work is presented as a paper and accompanying DVD that demonstrates findings as played by the researcher in live recitals.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Meehan, Norman