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Keywords

Roland Dyens, rhythm, classical guitar, microtiming, jazz, swing, Django Reinhardt

Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of jazz swing in the work of classical guitarist and composer Roland Dyens. Drawing on Dyens’s published and recorded arrangements of jazz standards, I study both his notation and his performance of swing, starting with a preliminary study of his collection Night and Day and proceeding to a detailed analysis of Nuages—his notated arrangement and four recorded performances. To provide context for Dyens’s stylistic referents, I analyze Django Reinhardt’s 1940 ensemble performance of Nuages. Throughout the discussion, I utilize digital audio analysis and models of microtiming to reveal Dyens’s sophisticated understanding and execution of varying swing values and beat durations. The paper ends with pedagogical recommendations for classical guitarists wishing to play Dyens’s jazz arrangements.

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