Ensemble Courses

PSIJ-322

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSIJ-321 or overall ensemble rating 6
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

An intermediate-level course introducing approaches to improvisation that require a solid background in harmonic and tonal concepts. Techniques covered include rhythmic activity, chord tone soloing, articulation, upper structure triads, dynamics, and soloing with full and partial rhythmic section accompaniment and also with hi-hat only. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.

PSIJ-325

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

Development of a personal and individual jazz style through emphasis on reading, improvisation, and interpretative techniques. Hearing, analyzing, and playing selected transcribed pieces of well-known jazz artists; individual and group improvisation.

PSIJ-421

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSIJ-322 or overall ensemble rating 6
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

An upper-level course recommended for students with well-developed improvisation skills and concepts who are interested in further developing their own personal style through detailed application. Techniques covered include motive soloing, motive development soloing, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.

PSIJ-422

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSIJ-421 or overall ensemble rating 6
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

An advanced course recommended for students who have already begun to develop their own personal musical styles. Challenging rhythmic topics are featured as aspects of performance of improved solos. Techniques covered include preparation exercises for rhythmic displacement: symmetrical and asymmetrical, pentatonic and tritonic scales applied to conventional chord scales, motive development (augmentation and diminution), soloing rubato on song's chord progression, and soloing with full/partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.

PSIJ-423

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSIJ-422 or overall ensemble rating 7
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

An advanced course offering sophisticated approaches and concepts. Techniques covered include metric modulation, melodic curve, continuous motive development, nonharmonic triads, alternate tempos, extreme tempos with rhythmic syncopation, and soloing with full, partial, and no rhythm section accompaniment. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Classes are leveled and instrumentally balanced; students perform weekly.

PSPR-361

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

A performance-based study of the musical style originated by Motown Records, which, under the leadership of founder/president Berry Gordy, musically bridged racial lines during the highly sensitive period of the Civil Rights Movement. Analysis and performance of music by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. An end-of-semester public performance is normally scheduled.

PSPR-362

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 4
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students to identify, recognize, and study the great creators, performers, and pioneers of rock and popular music. This course will provide student performers and writers a better understanding of the historical, stylistic, and technical subtleties of the various pop and rock genres. Course work will culminate in an end-of-semester concert or recital performance. Assigned library listening, transcribing, and notation of individual parts will be required on a weekly basis. Creating arrangements of selected material will be optional for ensemble members. Instrumentation: male and female vocalists, mixed horns, piano, two guitars, bass, drums, and hand percussion.

PSPR-365

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

Designed for the pop/rock rhythm section player or instrumentalists, this course develops the skill of singing and playing simultaneously. All class members will be expected to sing and will learn to sing lead as well as background vocals while playing. Analysis of influential performers, including Elton John, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen; in-class and end-of-semester performances.

PST-471

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

A performance class for vocalists and instrumentalists interested in developing skills involved in live performance. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. All performances will be in a rock/pop band format; topics to be discussed include microphone and rehearsal techniques, lead sheet preparation, stage presence, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.

PST-472

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Ron Savage
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PST-471
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

Continuation of PST-471. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. Topics to be discussed will include stage dress, MC techniques, stage setups, music and show programming, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.

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