Music 123

MUSC 123

Catalog Entry

MUSC123. The Art of Jazz
Three hours lecture (3).

Study of the basic elements and history of jazz music through lectures and listening. General Education credit – Fine Arts.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The content of the course provides students with a broad overview of the history of jazz music. Detail focuses on the various style periods in this unique American Art Form from early jazz of the 20's through swing/big-band era of the 30's - mid 40's, bebop of the 40's, cool of the 50's, free - modal - and contemporary jazz of the 60's, fusion of styles in the 70's, to current artists and groups from the 80's to the present. Within each style period, both the historically significant figures and their music are explored in greater detail.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Primarily a lecture class, the class discussions will be augmented by extensive listening and in-class demonstrations of the various instruments and their roles in a jazz setting. The basic text will be supplemented by materials presented in class. Students will be required to attend a minimum of three live jazz performances throughout the semester to experience first‑hand and to help understand/appreciate the performing idiom. Each student will complete two record/tape/CD reviews during the semester, each from a different style period, allowing that student an opportunity for a more in-depth listening experience outside of class. As with any music history class, the printed materials mean very little to the student without listening to the music in question; therefore the emphasis in this class is for the students to develop their listening skills to a point that they can make some intelligent, objective and subjective observations and comments on any jazz recording they may hear.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student will develop an appreciation for all types of jazz music. Further, the student will have had the opportunity to develop working knowledge of styles and players associated with all jazz styles allowing the students to make their own choices of a subjective nature for their future listening enjoyment.


Assessment Measures

Grades are based upon four exams during the semester, one of which is a cumulative or non‑cumulative final exam. In addition students will be graded on attendance at three live jazz performances with a written review of the performance. Students will also be given a grade on each of two written record/tape/cd reviews.


Other Course Information

The use of alcohol or drugs prior to concerts or rehearsals is prohibited. By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Refer to your Student Handbook for details.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

February 2006 Reviewed E. Fellin, Chairman