This module focuses on common jazz harmony as used by jazz musicians and improvisers. It also explores harmonic and rhythmic devices used by some jazz musicians to inform their improvisations. The course will focus predominantly on jazz standards (music from The Great American Songbook), and there may also be a chance to look at more contemporary styles.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- Altering chord progressions with substitute and passing chords
- Building chords and scales using upper extensions
- Analysing and labeling a jazz leadsheet using appropriate harmonic devices
- Writing a single-line jazz solo over a standard chord progression
- Making creative choices about chord extensions
- Transcribing and analysing a typical jazz solo
This module introduces students to the theoretical understanding of harmonic and some rhythmic conventions associated with jazz music, much which will be drawn from the classic repertoire of The Great American Songbook. It starts with simple nomenclature (chord symbols & spelling) and progresses through analysing functional harmony, modes, chord extensions and substitutions. It culminates in students having knowledge and understanding of adding their own chord substitutions to a well-known standard, transcribing a typical jazz solo, and writing an exemplar solo line over a given chord progression employing theoretical concepts assimilated from the module.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Individual study and listening
On-line based research
Individual tutorials by arrangement
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||24|
|Wider reading or practice||42|
|Completion of assessment task||60|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Hartley Library reserves.
Hartley Library audio/visual reserves.
Module Blackboard site.
Mark Levine (1995). The Jazz Piano Book. Petaluma: Calif: Sher Music Co.
Barry Kernfield (1995). What to Listen for In Jazz. Yale: Yale.
Mark Levine (1995). The Jazz Theory Book. Petaluma: Calif: Sher Music Co.
Summative assessment description
Referral assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External