Quintet Arrangement

Jazz Quintet Arrangement Assignment

Assignment: Create a jazz quintet arrangement, carefully following their guidelines below.

Submit: a CONCERT score and TRANSPOSED parts (physical & taped; not digitally)

Due: Monday, Nov. 14th @ 9:05 a.m.

Value: 20% of final grade for the Jazz Arranging 1 class. (5% for draft work – due Nov. 7th, 15% for completed project)

Instrumentation: Two Horns + Rhythm Section

Write for two horns and rhythm section. Choose from alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trumpet, trombone or vocalist. By far, the most common 2 horn quintet frontline is trumpet & tenor sax. The rhythm section will include string bass, drum set and either piano or guitar.

Imagine that you have been hired to write an arrangement for an upcoming recording session for the Blue Mitchell Quintet, in 1964. In other words, you are not being asked to innovate or “recreate the wheel.” This is not a contemporary composition assignment.

Your quintet arrangement must include:

  • an introduction
  • an ending (“Fade out” endings are not permitted.)
  • 2-horn writing, demonstrating a balance between unison and harmonized lines
  • thoughtful writing for the rhythm section. This might involve “hits,” rhythmic punctuations, “stop-time” and/or a written bass line.
  • a rhythmic melody interpretation (not all quarter notes, as you might see in a fake book.)
  • some reharmonization
  • “changes” (chord progression) for improvisation, not written above the melody statement. [A separate section.]
  • solo backgrounds
  • A logical “road map,” requiring no verbal explanation.
  • A soli (minimum duration of 8 measures.)

Refer to the idea generation handouts to spark your creativity.

Guidelines for score and parts:

  1. As stated in the syllabus, use computer notation software for all but one of your assignments.
  2. Rehearsal letters are required.
  3. Measure numbering is encouraged.
  4. Include: title, instrument name, composer and arranger credits.
  5. Use clef, key and time signatures, and other standard notation practices.
  6. Indicate the tempo and feel.
  7. Number pages. Include title and part on subsequent pages.
  8. Don’t forget details such as dynamics and articulation markings.
  9. Format rhythm section parts using 4 measures per line when possible, to easily convey phrases.
  10. Submit a concert score and transposed parts. DO NOT use the octave treble clef under any circumstances. (Writing for trombone is a workaround if you are using MuseScore and it generates the octave treble clef for the tenor sax part.)
  11. Tape together all parts.

In addition, spend some time looking at ensemble parts and scores to develop your personal notation style.

Song Selection Options:

Every student will arrange the same piece, in their own way. For this assignment we will arrange:

“What Is This Thing Called Love”

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