Style and Identity
This chapter raises the issue of how an orchestra achieves its “identity” and how this can be measured. Although the development of a unique repertoire might appear to be an obvious strategy, few bands were willing to risk the abandonment of popular contemporary hits and familiar standards. And although arrangers like Chappie Willet might tailor their music to meet the needs of a specific client, arrangements could also be recycled or adapted. This chapter considers the issue further by exploring some of the specific musical gestures and devices that Chappie Willet drew upon in the construction of his own competitive, identifiable style. It examines some instances where these different tools were effectively applied. Willet's strategy is especially pertinent to the consideration of freelancers' varied work for multiple clients, as arrangers negotiated conceptions of performer identity alongside their own artistic voice.
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