MUSC 241: Jazz Improvisation IV

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 240 or Audition.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: No
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 advanced proficiency in linear materials utilized for jazz improvisation; all modes of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales and their arpeggios and various upper structures; diminished, whole tone and augmented scales and patterns; and melodic patterns integrating advanced chord substitutions.
  • demonstrate in written form an advanced understanding of jazz harmonic theory including the 13 most common chord/scale types used in jazz improvisation, their construction, primary arpeggios, upper structures and use in chord progressions; triad pairs, augmented scales and pentatonic scales and their use; and advanced chord substitution concepts.
  • demonstrate on primary instrument correct and effective advanced level improvisation on chord progressions comprised of the 13 most common chord/scale types, including the use of chord substitution techniques, symmetrical scales, pentatonic and blues scales, and triad pairs.
  • demonstrate improvisational fluency on the chord progression of any selection of the jazz repertoire.

Major Course Content

Jazz Melodic and Harmonic Materials

  1. Less common modes of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales

  2. Extended arpeggios and upper structures for chords created by all modes of major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales

  3. Spelling, voicings, arpeggios, extended and compound (triad pairs) 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. Advanced uses for major and minor pentatonic scales

  5. Advanced diatonic and chromatic approach tone structures

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

  7. Introduction to altered pentatonic scales

  8. Advanced lead sheet chord symbols including poly chords

Jazz Improvisation Techniques

  1. Advanced level improvisation on major and minor II-V7, II-V7-I, III-VI-II-V7 chord sequences in all keys including chord substitutions

  2. Advanced level jazz melodic phrasing and articulation

  3. Advanced level jazz melody interpretation and embellishment

  4. Advanced level linear/harmonic approaches to improvisation

    1. Introduction to traid pairs

    2. Advanced chord substitution techniques

      1. Advanced chord substitution patterns

  5. Integration of advanced level rhythmic elements including odd-meter improvisation

Solo Jazz Improvisation

  1. Improvising on advanced-level jazz chord progressions

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

  3. The musical use of extended upper structures

  4. The musical use of advanced chord substitutions

  5. Variants of the 12 bar Blues progression in all keys

  6. Variants of the "I Got Rhythm" chord progression in common keys

Lab Content

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

  1. Practice chord scales, arpeggios, upper structures, triad pairs and melodic patterns on primary instrument
  2. Practice application of improvisation techniques to assigned 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. ISBN 0793561930
3) Werner, Kenny. "Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within", New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, 1996. ISBN 978-1-56224-003-5

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 8. Short essay assignments.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Lab, Online Education Lecture, Online Education Lab