Curriculum Guideline

Contemporary Instrumental Improvisation I

Effective Date:
Course
Discontinued
No
Course Code
MUSC 1114
Descriptive
Contemporary Instrumental Improvisation I
Department
Music
Faculty
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits
1.50
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
PLAR
No
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
15
Contact Hours
2 hrs per week
Method Of Instruction
Lecture
Tutorial
Methods Of Instruction

Lecture/demonstration

Course Description
This course deals with the study and application of the rhythmic and harmonic language of jazz and related contemporary music, with a focus on solo improvisation.

Through class participation, students will develop technical and aural ability through the study of the blues, modes and selected II-V-I progressions.

Students may participate on either their primary or secondary instrument. Drummers will play either a mallet instrument (vibraphone) or percussion in addition to drums.

As this course is designed for the beginner or novice jazz soloist, no previous experience in jazz improvisation is required.
Course Content

Improvisation:

  • The blues, II-V-I and modes
  • Using lead sheets
  • Playing a melody
  • Applying knowledge of the harmony
  • Assimilating jazz rhythms
  • Playing by ear
  • Improvising using limited resources
  • Developing a rhythmic flow
  • Phrasing in jazz
  • Understanding the importance of a musical vocabulary - "licks" and patterns
  • Organizing an improvised solo
  • Practicing techniques
  • Studying the masters
  • Transcribing a solo
  • Interacting in the group setting
  • Comping (improvised accompaniment for guitarists and pianists)
Learning Outcomes

The successful student will be able to:

  1. Perform a basic solo in the blues style
  2. Read basic chord changes as found in the blues using either the blues scales or proper chord/scale combinations
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the basic blues forms (12-bar, 16-bar, minor, modal)
  4. Demonstrate understanding of selected blues melodies as studied in class

 

 

Means of Assessment

Class participation up to the mid-term: 15%

Class participation from the mid-term to the end of the course: 15%

Solo improvisation - tested at the end of the course: 30%

Written Exams (mid-term and final): 20%

Transcription projects (2 minimum): 20%

Total: 100%

Textbook Materials

The instructor may assign a text book such as: Creative Jazz Improvisation by Scott Reeves (Prentice Hall), or A Guide to Jazz Improvisation by John la Porta (Berklee Press) – students will purchase the version that applies to their instrument.

Prerequisites

None

Corequisites

Registration in one of the following MUSC courses: 1150, 1250, 2350, 2450, 1152, 1252, 2352, 2452, 1153, 1253, 2353, 2453

Equivalencies

None

Which Prerequisite