MUSC 240: Jazz Improvisation III

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Winter 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 72
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 18
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: MUSC 141 or Audition.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This is a class for music majors and performing artists. Advanced jazz harmonic theory, techniques, and practices of jazz improvisation in a variety of styles will be introduced and explored. 54 lecture hours, 18 lab hours.

Course Objectives

  • demonstrate on primary instrument intermediate-advanced proficiency in linear materials utilized for jazz improvisation including major and minor pentatonic scales and blues scales, diatonic and chromatic approach tones, and the 13 most common chord/scale types used in jazz improvisation.
  • demonstrate in written form an understanding of intermediate-advanced jazz harmonic theory including select modes of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales and their arpeggios and upper structures; diminished, whole tone and augmented scales and patterns; and melodic patterns integrating introductory chord substitutions.
  • demonstrate on primary instrument correct and effective intermediate-advanced level improvisation on chord progressions comprised of the 13 most common chord/scale types and interpretation of their lead sheet chord symbols, including the use of introductory chord substitution techniques.
  • demonstrate on primary instrument correct and effective improvisation on intermediate-advanced selections of the jazz repertoire.

Major Course Content

Jazz Melodic and Harmonic Materials

  1. Modes of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales

  2. Arpeggios and upper structures of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scale modes

  3. Spelling, voicings, arpeggios, various upper structures and lead sheet chord symbols for the 13 most common chord/scales used for jazz improvisation:

    1. Major 7

    2. Dominant 7

    3. Minor 7

    4. Half-Diminished 7

    5. Altered Dominant 7 (a.k.a. diminished-whole tone, 7th mode melodic minor, or Superlocrian)

    6. Dominant 7 raised 11

    7. Altered Dominant 7 natural 13 (whole-half diminished scale from 3, 5, 7, or lowered 9, or half-whole diminished scale)

    8. Major 7 raised 11

    9. Dominant 7 raised 5 (whole-tone)

    10. Major and minor pentatonic and Blues scales

    11. Dominant 7 suspended 4 (a.k.a. minor pentatonic on 5)

    12. Minor with raised 7

    13. Diminished 7 (whole-half diminished scale)

  4. Intermediate-advanced uses for major and minor pentatonic scales

  5. Diatonic and chromatic approach tones

  6. Harmonic analysis of intermediate-advanced level jazz repertoire- chord progressions, key areas, standard forms and structures, the 12 bar blues progression in common keys, "I Got Rhythm" chord progression in Bb

Jazz Improvisation Techniques

  1. Intermediate-advanced level improvisation on major and minor II-V7 and II-V7-I in all keys

  2. Intermediate-advanced level jazz melodic phrasing and articulation

  3. Intermediate-advanced level jazz melody interpretation and embellishment

  4. Intermediate-advanced level linear/harmonic approaches to improvisation

    1. The use of altered tones

    2. "Guide-Tone" lines

    3. Diminished, whole tone and augmented scale patterns and their use

    4. Introduction to chord substitutions

      1. Introductory chord substitution patterns

  5. Integration of intermediate-advanced level rhythmic elements

Solo Jazz Improvisation

  1. Improvising on intermediate-level jazz chord progressions

  2. Improvising on chord progressions of select intermediate-advanced level standards of the jazz repertoire

  3. The musical use of upper structures

  4. The musical use of chord substitutions

  5. The 12 bar Blues progression in Bb major, F major, C minor, F minor, and G minor

  6. "I Got Rhythm" chord progression in Bb

Lab Content

Each designated class sub-group will meet to rehearse assigned course content topics:

  1. Practice chord scales, arpeggios, upper structures and melodic patterns on primary instrument
  2. Practice application of improvisation techniques to assigned intermediate-advanced level selections of the jazz repertoire and chord progression exercises

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

1) Assigned periodical and webpage articles
2) Ligon, Bert. "Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony." Indiana: Houston Publishing Inc./Hal Leonard Corporation, 1996.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Written evaluation of live and recorded jazz improvisation using standard evaluation (adjudication) forms and short essay.

Examples of Outside Assignments

1. Develop, maintain and improve instrumental tone quality, intonation and loudness control, technique and musical rhythm projection on primary instrument. 2. Practice performance of assigned/approved improvisation skill development exercises. 3. Improvise on assigned chord progressions and selections of the jazz repertoire. 4. Transcribe, analyze and perform assigned recorded improvised jazz solos. 5. Compose and perform original jazz melodic lines utilizing techniques discussed in class as assigned. 6. Apply skills to performances with other jazz performing groups.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Lab, Online Education Lecture, Online Education Lab