Directed Study in Improvisation
This course is a high-level playing class that explores the various melodic roles of the instruments. Course materials and instruction address how to construct and improvise pattern-organized melody lines on the chord progressions of standard jazz songs using symmetric scales, chord couplings, interval patterns, and melodic cells. Emphasis is placed upon students learning how to practice and perform music that includes the techniques learned in the classroom and from the recommended reading.
Global Jazz Forum
This course is a seminar style assembly for the student body of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. The objective of the Global Jazz Forum is community learning and critical thinking in interdisciplinary aesthetics. The Global Jazz Forum hosts and presents students' special musical projects, BGJI Artists in Residence, and BGJI faculty workshops, as well as special topic presentations from faculty of the Performance Division, Liberal Arts, Music Therapy, and Composition departments. The Global Jazz Forum grade will be reflected in the BGJI Ensemble evaluation.
The Music of Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
This course will engage students in the musical and lyrical analysis in the varied styles of Kenny ""Babyface"" Edmonds. Students will be required to write lead sheets of their analysis identifying characteristics of hit songs such as melody harmonic chord relationships rhythmic motifs and lyrical content. Select student compositions as well as music of the artist will be chosen to be performed each week in class. Some research and compositional writings that relate to the historical documentation of the artist as a singer/songwriter/producer as well as exposure to and knowledge of his vast catalog will be included as part of the required research.
Music Director Production Techniques
This course will study all aspects of professional-level concert production. Classes are held in various formats: lectures, production meetings, music sequencing classes, and live performance rehearsals. This course provides a focused study of development and presentation of a thematic concert. It also addresses the roles of the stage manager, the musical director, and technology in contemporary concert production.
Fundamentals of Improvisation for Bass
Application of scales, modes, arpeggios, and passing tones to improvisation on the bass. Study of repertoire and recordings is utilized to discuss and analyze major bass styles and performers.
Concepts for Jazz Bass Lines
A systematic approach to forming well-defined bass lines. The topics covered include writing bass lines, outlining chord sound and approach techniques, rhythmic effects, broken time-feels, and the use of pedals. Students are required to demonstrate various topics by performing their written bass lines over given chord progressions.
Electric Bass Performance Styles
A performance history of the electric bass from the 1950s to the present. This survey will include a detailed study of selected electric bass masters including Monk Montgomery, James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Will Lee. Students will transcribe and analyze selected bass parts and present their findings.
Jazz Masters of the Bass
Students will transcribe and perform solos and lines of major bass players in jazz. Projects chosen to reflect many different styles found throughout the history of jazz. Emphasis on major innovators including Pops Foster, Walter Page, Slam Stewart, Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers, and Scott LaFaro.
Bass in the Free Improvisation Idiom
Development of a personal approach to improvisation through application of motivic development, harmolodic phrasing, and descriptive imagery through musical expression: dynamics, emotions, colors, shapes, and textures. Study of techniques found in the music of Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Lester Bowie, Charlie Haden, Cecil McBee, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, John Scofield, Dave Holland, and other improvisers.
Advanced Improvisation Techniques for Bass
Application of modern and traditional techniques of improvisation for bass. Creating melodic and harmonic concepts through the tools of scales, arpeggios, modal harmony, reharmonization, and rhythmic interpretation. Analysis and application of the principles of harmonic progression in improvisation.
Latin Jazz Masters
Chronological study of bass performance and styles in Latin America.
Improvisation for Guitar 1
Application of modes and pentatonic scales in performance with prerecorded rhythm section tapes. Comping and melodic embellishment techniques in a variety of settings (Latin/rock, jazz/rock, fusion, bossa nova, and blues). Midterm and final exams: student performance of solo with accompanying comping or rhythm part.