The ability to improvise or create spontaneous compositions in many musical styles is of the utmost importance to the modern musician. Awareness and understanding of important musical innovations, styles and paradigm shifts within music during the 20th and 21st centuries, is also of significant value to the modern musician. The purpose of the Jazz/Contemporary music program is to enlighten the student to these aspects. The skills required to improvise, compose and arrange music include chord recognition, rhythmic phrasing, aural pitch recognition (both chordal and single intervals), song forms, scale knowledge and technical facility. Extensive examination, study and in class performance practices of these skills will be implemented. Musical and technical development, knowledge of the repertoire, ensemble playing and historical perspectives will also be emphasized. The goal is to produce musicians who are well equipped to face the challenges of being a performer and educator in the modern world.
Brass and Woodwinds
1. Improvise on a 12 bar blues progression in F Major and Bb Major.
2. Improvise over a ii-V-I vamp in various styles.
(Key areas to be announced at the audition.)
3. Play from memory, the melody to one standard Jazz composition. You must also know the chord progression to the composition you have chosen.
4. Play from memory, the melody to one standard Pop composition. You must also know the chord progression to the composition you have chosen.
See 1. through 4. of the Brass and Woodwinds audition requirements.
5. Comp on these four styles: Swing, Samba, Funk and Son-Montuno, using the following chord progression in F Major: I-vi-ii-V.
MUS 160: History of Jazz
MUS 314: Improvisation
MUS 165: History of Rock and Roll
MUS 285: Music Business
MUS 260: Music of the World’s People (Caribbean and Brazilian emphasis)
Additional Recommended Courses
MUS 351-352: Composition Seminar
MUS 355: Composition Practicum
MUS 310: The Art of Performance
Additionally, at the discretion of the directors of the various departmental ensembles, students are encouraged to participate in choral, orchestral, wind, and chamber ensembles.