A study of basic blues playing in the jazz idiom. The 8-, 12-, 16-, and 24-bar blues forms; improvisational techniques applied to inner form; solo analysis of leading and legendary blues players; weekly performed and written homework; weekly solo playing. Recommended for the beginning to intermediate improviser interested in this idiom.
Performance and analysis of jazz-rock/fusion music. Improvisational and compositional techniques will be discussed. Some of the major players and groups analyzed will be the Yellowjackets, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, and Chick Corea. This class will perform original compositions in an end-of-the-semester final performance.
Performance and analysis of Latin/jazz music and related song forms. The class will include analysis of source music and its influence on contemporary composers and performers in the idiom. Concentration on samba, calypso, bossa nova, and contemporary Latin grooves. Some of the musicians discussed are Claudio Roditi, Clare Fischer, Chick Corea, and Paquito D'Rivera. The class will include a rhythm section plus varied instrumentation and will perform in a recital at the end of the semester.
An ensemble/class for the performer who also composes. A survey of compositions/concepts will be introduced; weekly composition assignments will be performed by the class and critiqued by the instructor. The purpose of this course is to develop originality through experimentation over a broad stylistic base.
The repertoire of this class includes contemporary displays of funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian styles. The emphasis of this course is twofold. One focus is developing the capacity to mix these styles in a contemporary setting while maintaining the integrity of the stylistic roots. The other is the creation of the original compositions that will serve to explore the joining of different styles as evidenced in the subject material. There will be a requirement of four original compositions from the students and performance and preparation of songs from eight outside composers. The original compositions can be individual or collaborative.
Course work will focus on the performance and development of advanced rhythmic vocabulary within the jazz idiom employing the following genre styles: Afro-Cuban; South American (Brazilian, Argentinian, Venezuelan, Peruvian); Iberian (Spanish) rhythms such as flamenco and its various palos; and Spanish folklore rhythms such as Aragonese Jota, Sevillanas, txalaparta, and its odd time signatures. Performance will include compositions by instructor as well as other composers and students. Students will participate as leaders, performers, and composers/arrangers, and will have a chance to experiment with grooves created from the vocabulary studied.
Historical listening and performance class covering the tributaries of Bill Monroe's music (old-time country music, blues, and swing) and tracing the development of the styles from 1945 to the present day. Extensive transcription projects and in class performance will be emphasized.
In this performance class for music education majors, students prepare for solo and ensemble presentations. Students demonstrate proficiency in voice and on their instruments.
Survey and application of improvisation in both solo and ensemble contexts. Categories of studies include traditional/standard forms, (AABA, blues etc.), soloing over vamps, ostinato, melodic, thematic and textural approaches, use of various rhythmic techniques including polyrhythm, metric modulation, reduction etc. Emphasis is on increasing rhythmic skills, coordination and style/vernacular integration while developing a singular, personal voice. Projects will be divided into two general categories: abstract (imagery pieces, imagination and exploration, free forms) and non-abstract (specific goals and structures, concrete forms, multiple meters, rhythm, and stylistic context).
This is a comprehensive course on studio drumming that allows students to learn and apply pertinent techniques in a studio recording environment. The course covers analysis of today’s top studio recording drummers and producers (Vinnie Colaiuta, Brian Blade, Brice Wassy, Jeff Porcaro, Daniel Lanois, etc.), tuning and miking the drum set, usage of click tracks, performing to prerecorded tracks, drum set reading and interpretation, and auxiliary percussion parts, as well as a variety of grooves and styles, from the generic to odd time signatures to electronic music.
This is a comprehensive course on becoming a self-produced drummer, designed to give students the ability to add his/her drum tracks to projects via the Internet, without ever having to be physically present in the originating studio. The student will acquire the skills to record studio quality audio tracks to sessions that have been downloaded, and then upload the newly recorded tracks to send back for insertion into the original project. The students will learn how to create an inexpensive project studio and get hands-on experience in the use of baffling and miking procedures, in preparing an accurate triggering system, in applying tuning and dampening for acoustic triggering, and creating live environments for electronic drums, midi sequencing, etc.
This course offers a step-by-step approach to improvising contrapuntally in a solo piano context. Emphasis on walking bass lines through a series of rhythmic/melodic motives gives the pianist a basis for gaining the independence required to simultaneously improvise in a linear or chordal manner in the right hand. This eventually leads to multi-voice improvisation. Artists studied and transcribed include Lennie Tristano, Dave McKenna, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Oscar Peterson, and Diana Krall. Weekly class performance includes repertoire of the jazz standard literature.