Intro To Improvisation - Course Outline

Introduction To Jazz ImprovisationFall Semester, 2011

Course #: MUSI 1601, section 1.  One credit.
Instructor: Earl MacDonald, Associate Professor
Class meeting time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 – 10:50 a.m.
Room #: MUSB 109
Earl MacDonald’s Office: MUSB 207

Text Book (optional):   “The Jazz Theory Book”
By: Mark Levine.  Sher Music.  ISBN 1-883217-04-0

“A great jazz solo consists of: 1% magic & 99% stuff that is
explainable, analyzable, catergorizeable, doable.”
- Mark Levine, jazz pianist / author

The intent of this course is to focus on the “99% stuff”.  By focusing on elements of jazz theory, ear training, transcription, and playing, students will attain a solid foundation upon which to build as beginning jazz soloists.

Course material will include: chord symbol notation, chord / scale theory, basic chord progressions, song forms, rudimentary reharmonization, transcription & analysis of jazz solos, ear training (aural recognition of intervals, scales, chords and progressions), jazz terminology, the application of “licks”, bebop fundamentals, and other relevant topics.

Grading:
Performance tests:                    50%
Solo transcription(s) / performance project(s):    20%
Written quizzes:                    30%

A:    94 – 100%
A-:    90 – 93%
B+:    86 – 89%
B:    82 – 85%
B-:    78 – 81%
C+:    74 – 77%
C:    70 – 73%
C-:    66 – 69%
D+:    62 – 65%
D:    58 – 61%
D-:    51 – 57%
F:    0 - 50%


*The course content, schedule and grading scheme are subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.


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