Richard (Rick) Lawn has been widely published throughout his career. Kendor Music, C.L. Barnhouse, Walrus Music (now eJazzLines), Concept Music, Alfred Music, eJazzLines, Warwick Music, Dorn Publications, Baker’s Jazz and More, LawnWorks Publications, UNC Press, and Cherry Classics among others have published his music. His books, The Jazz Ensemble Director’s Manual (C.L. Barnhouse, in its fourth edition), Jazz Theory and Practice (Alfred Music, in its second edition, which includes interactive ear training software and an additional chapter), Experiencing Jazz (Routledge, now in its second edition), and Jazz Scores and Analysis (Sher Music Co.), are considered staples among jazz educators, professionals and students. Jazz Theory and Practice users have said:

“I would never want to part with this invaluable book. I think this is one of the best books on the subject of jazz theory because the content is appropriately concise, clear, and very well organized. I can’t thank the authors enough for making the contents of the book so readable and enjoyable to learn about. I find myself wanting to run to the piano to test out the concepts in this book.”

“This might be the most useful, and thorough, music theory book on my shelf. It’s not just a useful resource for Jazz, but for music in general.”

“I have gone through a lot of jazz theory books, but this one is my favorite by far.”

Endorsements and reviews of his most recent book Jazz Scores and Analysis are as follows:


I am really impressed with the detail, and how Rick has managed to get so many of the important aspects of the construction of my music.” 
— Vince Mendoza

What a comprehensive review of this piece! Thanks for all the work you've put into this!” 
— Jim McNeely

 What an incredible opportunity to get inside of the writing process of many of the best current jazz composers/arrangers. Thank you Rick Lawn for bringing this all together. It is an honor to be in the company of composition royalty.” 
— Bob Mintzer

The book is absolutely stunning! I knew it would be but this is beyond what I could have imagined. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for for the last several years: scores by some of the great writers of today with clear analysis and insightful interviews. The layout of your book is so nice. It feels 'spacious' and inviting. Best of all your choice of pieces is perfect. Inside the Score has long been the Bible of big band arranging and composition. Rick Lawn’s Jazz Scores and Analysis is the New Testament!
— David Morgan, Professor of Jazz Studies and String Bass, Youngstown State University.

Rick has received several significant composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a member of the Nova Saxophone Quartet he has recorded his music on the Musical Heritage Society, Crystal, and Equilibrium labels. The Sea Breeze record label issued Unknown Soldiers, a CD recorded by the Third Coast Jazz Orchestra that features his compositions and arrangements, including his arrangement of “Donna Lee” recorded by Bobby Sanabria’s New York Latin big band on his 2001 Grammy nominated CD. In the fall of 2011 his Philadelphia based little big band Power of Ten released Earth Tones, which includes his original compositions and arrangements. The CD received coast-to-coast radio play and favorable reviews. Most of the material from this recording is available from eJazzLines or Noteflight.

Performances in addition to his own ensembles include extended engagements earlier in his career with Lionel Hampton, Chuck Mangione, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Austin Symphony. He has also performed in backup orchestras with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Joe Williams, Natalie Cole, Marian McPartland, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Dianne Schuur, Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, and a host of others. Visit his website at

Richard Lawn is the former Dean of the College of Performing Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He continues to teach various subjects, including Jazz History and Jazz Theory online for VanderCook College of Music and the University of the Arts. Formerly, he was affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin, serving as Director of Jazz Studies, Chair of the Department of Music, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He began his collegiate teaching career at the University of Northern Iowa and Hartwick College in New York State.

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