Jazz and Improvisational Music Courses

Music Theory

MUTH 240

Jazz Theory and Aural Training

A comprehensive introduction to jazz scales, modes, chords, harmonic progressions, nomenclature and notation. Emphasis on linking essential jazz theoretic functions to performance practice, composition and arranging. This course serves as a prerequisite for MUCA 220 (Jazz Improvisation I) and MUCA 230 (Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging). Sophomore status or consent of instructor. 3 units.

Improvisation, Composition, and Arranging

MUCA 220

Jazz Improvisation I

An introduction to the fundamentals of jazz improvisation. Exploration of jazz repertoire through scale/chord/mode associations, rhythmic and linear development and solo transcription/ analysis. Recommended for students with previous experience in jazz improvisation. Required for candidates who plan to audition for the Emphasis in Jazz Performance. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUTH 340 Jazz Theory and Aural Training.

MUCA 221

Jazz Improvisation II

Continued exploration of jazz repertoire using more complex forms and progressions, intermediate linear concepts and solo transcription/analysis. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUCA 220

MUCA 230

Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging

Essentials of composing jazz music and writing for the jazz small group. Fundamentals of notation, orchestration, rhythmic embellishment, melodic development, jazz harmony, vertical sonorities, basic forms, 2-5 part densities. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUTH 340 Jazz Theory and Aural Training.

MUCA 330

Large Ensemble Jazz Composition and Arranging 

Scoring techniques for the jazz big band and expanded chamber jazz ensembles. Focus upon melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textual and formal variation in the large jazz ensemble format. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUCA 230

MUCA 530

Advanced Jazz Writing Skills

A continuation of MUCA 230 and MUCA 330 that focuses upon special recital, concert, recording and honors projects in jazz composition and arranging. May be repeated for credit. 3 units. Prerequisites: MUCA 330 and admission to an emphasis in jazz studies or consent of instructor.

Ensemble Performance Study

MUEN 248

Jazz Small Group Studies

Year-long study and performance of jazz small group repertoire for ensembles chosen by audition. A maximum of 6 units of jazz small group (chamber) music, beyond departmental requirements, may apply to degree requirements. 1 unit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

MUEN 293

Jazz Workshop

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

MUEN 293

Jazz Band

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

MUEN 295

Jazz Ensemble

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

Music Education and Pedagogy

MUEP 305

Jazz Pedagogy

Structured to prepare teachers of elementary, middle school and high school students. Jazz education philosophies, teaching improvisation/ aural skills/interaction, fostering composition/ arranging in the school program, small group development, large ensemble rehearsal techniques, repertoire/programming and public presentation. 1 unit. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor

Musicology

MUHI 455

Jazz History

A study of the contributions of select jazz artists through analysis of recordings, historical films, solo transcriptions, scores and readings from texts. 6 units. Enrollment limit 20. Prerequisite: MUHI 202 or consent of instructor

Music Repertoire and Performance Studies

MURP 320

Functional Jazz Piano

An introduction to jazz piano voicings, basic piano comping techniques and the role of the keyboard in the jazz rhythm section. Designed to accommodate upperclass students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Music degree program with an emphasis in jazz studies, sophomore Bachelor of Music students planning to apply for the emphasis in jazz studies and experienced student jazz performers with consent of instructor. 3 units. Enrollment limit: 9. Prerequisite MUCA 222 or consent of the instructor

Applied Music Individual Instruction

Private jazz instruction for credit is available by permission of instructor, based on interview or audition. Studio assignment and placement for Bachelor of Music degree candidates are determined upon matriculation. Students requesting non-required private lessons are accommodated to the extent faculty schedules permit.

Please note: Before admission to the jazz emphasis, Bachelor of Music performance candidates are required to study each term with the respective classical applied instructors but may elect added applied study with the respective jazz applied instructor. After admission to the jazz emphasis, candidates performing on saxophone, piano and guitar are required to study each term with the respective jazz applied instructor in each discipline but may elect to continue applied study with the respective classical instructor. Candidates performing on trombone, trumpet, bass and percussion are required to study each term with the applied instructors in their respective discipline after admission to the jazz emphasis.

Credit

Credit is granted as follows: with the exception of MUIN 102-120, 3 units per term for one 1/2-hour lesson per week; 6 units per term for a one-hour lesson per week; 6 units maximum per term in any one course.

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