In this hands-on seminar, students enrich their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques (i.e., playing inside the changes). Through analysis and performance exercises, students learn to improvise a free melodic line over structured harmonic continuity. Instruction focuses on the triad—major, minor, augmented, and diminished—as the building block for fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students also learn to transcribe improvisations in an extended tonal context.
In this continuation of PS-633, students advance their musical vocabulary by exploring alternatives to traditional improvisational techniques. Building on their skills with major and minor triads, students move on to augmented and diminished triads to create fluid, nonrepetitive chromatic lines. Students combine all forms of triads to practice increasingly advanced methods of improvisation as well as advanced transcription skills.
PS-640 continues the learning that began in PS-540 Masters Performance Forum: Global Jazz. In this performance workshop, students continue to learn interdisciplinary approaches to music-making. They explore various concepts of aesthetics, with a focus on developing their own aesthetic philosophy as they critique each other. The course provides a platform for students in the contemporary performance master’s program to launch the execution phase of their culminating experience project. The course also provides a framework for project management, including planned milestones, visiting artists, and material strategies to incorporate students’ projects into tangible career opportunities. Additionally, students complete weekly directed studies with artists-in-residence, focusing especially on their own artistic projects.
Working in close consultation with their advisor, students develop a music performance, production, and marketing plan for a recording of their own music. They also complete a promotional package, to consist of a recording of their recording and supporting materials. Those supporting materials may take a variety of forms: a student might build a website to promote a recording, for example, or draft a grant proposal for a public performance of his/her music, using a recording project to supplement the grant proposal application. Students are expected to meet with their advisors on a weekly basis to assess their progress. The final package must be defended before a faculty committee chaired by the student's advisor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.