Course Description and Expectations

Marlboro College Jazz Ensemble and Practical Jazz Theory
Instructor: Eugene Uman
Fall Semester, 2011

Course description
An ensemble that learns and performs jazz music. Repertoire explores a wide range of styles; includes classics by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Cotrane, Latin and jazz standards plus originals by ensemble and instructor. Arrangements created by the group. Concurrent study and practical application of jazz styles and the basic language of improvisation. All instrumentalists and vocalists welcome. Prerequisite: Ability to read music, play an instrument and/or sing. 3 credit hours

Course Expectations
We will study jazz by learning its repertoire, its mechanics, its need for heart and the significance of improvisation. We will learn how to listen closely to recorded and live versions of jazz legends in action. We will learn a “set” of music to perform in a concert at the end of the semester. Jazz is a team sport, so we are mutually dependent on each other. That means that in order to work towards our goal of an exciting, well-prepared concert, the engaged participation of each individual is a must.

What it will take to be prepared for this class - factors that will determine your personal success and grade:
1. Proficiency on your instrument (depends greatly on your background and previous study)
Daily practice of the three-legged stool
Scales
Chords
Song forms
2. Understanding of theory involved in improvisation (weekly homework assignments and occasional quizzes)
3. Familiarity with classic and other versions of songs we are studying. Close listening includes awareness of arrangement, instrumentation, interaction, personnel, year recorded, context in regard to style and history.
4. All participants will improvise and perform in final concert

Textbooks
1. The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music by Ben Ratliff;
2. The Real Book, Sixth Edition, volume 1 (in your key)
Marlboro College Jazz Ensemble and Practical Jazz Theory
Instructor: Eugene Uman
Fall Semester, 2011

Typical classes will include:
1. Preparation of class space
(timely arrival is essential and will be a factor in your grade)
2. Theory topic – homework review
3. Discussion on listening and reading
4. Music session –
o We will work on compositions as an entire group and in “combos” (smaller groups).
o Review of chords and scales found in each tune
o Development of an arrangement for each tune that will incorporate:
o Changes in timbre, rhythm and feel
o Backgrounds and Interludes
o Featured soloists
o Other factors to enhance the interest of the tune


Concerts at the Vermont Jazz Center
Thanks to a grant from Marlboro College you can attend concerts held at the Jazz Center free of charge this semester. Attendance at one concert (of your choice) is mandatory. You will write up a short description of the event as well. The college will even provide transportation if 4 or more students sign-up!

Final Concert
We will perform for our friends and family at the end of the semester in a rousing concert at Ragle Hall! You will write-up a short description of your experience (more on that later).


Grading Procedure
Attendance, attention, intention, homework 25%
Familiarity with chords, scales, tunes (evidence of practicing) 25%
Participation in listening discussions 10%
Quizzes (2 ) 20%
VJC concert attendance and write-up 10%
Marlboro final concert attendance and personal evaluation 10%
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM