Music 219

MUSC 219


Catalog Entry            

MUSC 219.  Jazz Improvisation II (1).

Two hours laboratory.

Prerequisites:  Completion of MUSC 162 and MUSC 119 with grades of "C" or higher.

Advanced study of Jazz improvisation and performance practices for instrumentalists through directed listening, theoretical analysis, transcription, and performance.


Detailed Description of Content of Course        

Historical Context of Jazz Music and Improvisation:

I.    Directed Listening: Dixieland, Blues, Swing, Bop, Free Jazz, Fusion, Smooth Jazz, Post-Bop, Avante Guard and Free Jazz

II.    Structure in Jazz Music and Improvisation

        A.    Harmonic: Major/Minor tonality, Modal tonality, Blues tonality, Contemporary and                     Extended Harmonies

            Chord Structures and Voicings:

                *Rhythm Changes, Tri-tone Substitutions, Altered Dominants, Contemporary Voicings

            Chord/Scale Relationships:

                *Consonant, Contrasting, Altered

        B.    Rhythmic: patterns within all jazz styles

                *Swing Ballad, Latin, Rock, Funk, Shuffle, Multi-meter, World Grooves

        C.    Formal:

                *Basic jazz form: Head-Bridge Head (A-B-A)/Blues

                *Free jazz form

        D.    Textural:

                *Instrumentation, ton quality, inflections, voicings

III.    Transcription:

                *Selection, Listening, Transcription process, Analysis

IV.    Performance:

                Improvisatory Techniques:

                    *Chord/Scale relationships


                    *Melodic: angular/linear

                    *Solo Development: contour/form

                    *Contemporary: consonant vs. contrast, free jazz


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course includes listening, jazz theory lectures and assignments, transcription exercises, and composition-development-performance of improvisations based on jazz standards, contemporary jazz and original compositions.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

After successfully completing the course in Jazz Improvisation, students will be able to:

1.    Identify jazz performances indicative of these historic eras:  blues, dixieland, swing, bop, avante garde/free jazz, contemporary/fusion jazz, smooth jazz, post-bop.

2.    Identify, construct, and voice chords using standard chord symbol notation.

3.    Perform basic and contemporary chord voicings at the piano keyboard.

4.    Construct, identify, and perform chord-scale relationships that exist within contemporary progression and extended harmonies.

5.    Transcribe improvised solos as performed by a jazz artist.

6.    Perform and transcribe improvised solos.

Assessment Measures

1. Class attendance and participation

2. Graded assignments:

    a.    Listening identification

    b.    Completed transcription of an improvised solo

    c.    Performance of improvised solos

    d.    Theory worksheets: chords/voicings

    e.    Keyboard performance of chords/voicings


Other Course Information

Levine, Mark. The Jazz Theory Book.  Petaluna, CA: Scher, 1995

Levine, Mark. The Jazz Piano Book.  Petaluna, CA: Scher, 1989

Coker, Jerry. Patterns for Jazz. Lebanon, IN: Studio P/R. 1970

Haerle, Dan. The Jazz Language. Lebanon, IN: Studio P/R. 1981

Haerle, Dan. Jazz Tunes for Improvisation. Lebanon, IN: Studio P/R. 1981

Alfred Basic Adult Jazz/Rock Course (book/CD)

Alfred Mastertracks Jazz series (book/CD)

Berg, Shelly. Essentials of Jazz Theory Book 1-2-3. Alfred. 2004

Aebersold, Jamie. Play-A-Long series

Bergonzi, Jerry.  Contemporary Improvisation series


 Review and Approval


February, 2006