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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the content and influence of George Van Eps’s Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar, with particular emphasis on the fields of education and performance practice. Key principles from the volumes are demonstrated through notation, analysis and audio reproduction. Chapter one is a literature review of the available secondary sources that cover aspects of GVE’s teaching and related methodology. Chapter two examines GVE’s early influences to understand the contextual basis for his Harmonic Mechanisms series. Chapter three presents the ten core concepts contained within GVE’s Harmonic Mechanisms series and addresses certain editorial shortcomings which have impacted the accessibility of the volumes. Chapter four assesses GVE’s influence on both jazz guitar pedagogy and performance practice. I have recorded all transcribed examples and etudes contained within the dissertation as a practice-based inquiry of the methodologies contained within Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar and related works. The defining of such concepts along with their recording and use as vehicles for the composition of solo guitar etudes is unprecedented. This project finds that GVE’s Harmonic Mechanisms series has, and continues to have, a substantial impact on contemporary jazz guitar education and performance, much of which has, until the current research, been unacknowledged.
Brennan, J. (2021). George Van Eps’s Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar: Concepts and Influence on Jazz Guitar Education and Performance Practice. Technological University Dublin. DOI: 10.21427/CM8X-XA05