A study of the musical concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony, and form as applied to the principles and techniques of writing and arranging for the rhythm section (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, basic percussion) and a lead-line for a solo instrument, two horns (trumpet plus alto or tenor saxophone), or voice. Focus on the conceptual process of combining individual components to create a musically satisfying arrangement. Exploration of the use and integration of MIDI technology and sequencing as they relate to rhythm section and lead-line writing. Study of various contemporary musical styles and musical concepts that comprise them, including writing from the bottom up (groove-driven) and top down (working with a melody in a lead instrument or voice). Writing assignments will incorporate combinations of acoustic, electronic, and MIDI instruments.
Study of the properties of the trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trombone, and baritone saxophone, and the writing/arranging processes of standard and spread voicings, approach techniques, melodic embellishment, and guide tone backgrounds. Focus is on applying the writing processes to soli and background writing for two-, three-, four-, and five-part combinations of these instruments. It is recommended that CW-171 be taken by CWPR majors prior to enrolling in AR-112.
Five- and six-part writing for instruments. Application of voicings in seconds, thirds, and fourths. Upper-structure triads, clusters, and other nonmechanical voicings derived from chord scales. Extensive score analysis.
A comprehensive study of the evolution of jazz arranging and composition from the 1920s to the present. Score analysis of representative works by Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Thad Jones, and others. Extensive listening. Written arrangements not required.
Orchestration for wind, string, and percussion groups as used at the secondary school level. Principles of score layout/arranging for concert band and high school orchestra.
Arranging for high school vocal groups. Principles of part-writing for various combinations of voices. Writing piano accompaniments. End-of-semester arranging project required.
Principles of writing for high school jazz ensembles with standard and mixed instrumentation. Range problems, rhythm section parts, special considerations for high school musicians. Examination of published scores.
Development of individual writing creativity. Emphasis on the building of confidence in writing clear, memorable lead lines based on standard song forms. Discussions on the relationship of speech patterns to melody. Individual conferences with the instructor when necessary. Written projects required.
The arranging of original tunes combining both traditional jazz techniques and contemporary compositional concepts. Analysis of taped examples.
Methodology of big band arranging. Analysis of scores by classic and contemporary big band arrangers. Library assignments and class discussion. Written arrangements and score analysis projects required.
Jazz arranging techniques for the rhythm section and various small-group instrumental combinations of up to three horns (melodic voices). Emphasis on developing complete rhythm section sound (with or without winds) and advanced voicing techniques (including interval-based voicings, linear approach techniques, and constant structure).
Extended applications of standard big band scoring techniques. Analysis of devices found in the compositions of major jazz writers.