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MUSC 1303

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Understanding Jazz
Prerequisite(s) None
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
This course is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge of American Jazz music.  It comprises a study of the evolution of Jazz music as revealed in the compositions and performances of representative musicians of the Jazz idiom.  No prior knowledge of music or Jazz is required.  

Expected Educational Results
As a result of completing this course, the student will be able to:

1.  Identify from an aural example the probable style periods (Blues, Ragtime, New Orleans, Swing Era and Big Bands, Bebop, Hard Bop, Cool Style, Free Jazz, Jazz Fusion), composer, and performance genre of a Jazz composition (Selected examples appear in the Core Listening List in the Course Content below).
2.  Identify from aural examples the instruments used in Jazz music, both individually and in sections (i.e. woodwind, brass, rhythm): Trumpet, clarinet, saxophone,
trombone, piano, tuba, bass, drum-set, vibraphone, voice
3.  Demonstrate knowledge of the following Jazz topics:

a. Elements of Jazz: Improvisation, swing rhythm, walking bass, riff, tag, call and response, collective improvisation, arrangement, scat singing,improvised solo, bombs, trading “fours,” front line, rhythm section
b. Instrumental groups: combo, big band, vocal ensemble
c. Song forms: Twelve-bar blues, thirty-two bar song form, chorus, bridge

General Education Outcomes
After successful completion of this course, the student should have a better understanding of:

1.  The elements of Jazz music and how these affect the sound and style of
popular music.
2.  Sound quality of orchestral instruments used in Jazz music
3.  Jazz styles and their historic context.
4.  Major Jazz composers or musicians and their contributions to Jazz music.
5.  Major Jazz compositions or songs and their stylistic significance.

Course Content
1. This course is a survey of the forms and styles associated with the Jazz idiom.       Instruction will be given through the use of lectures, discussion, recordings, videos,
and attendance at concerts by the students.  Jazz History explores the historical,
cultural, social climates and other influences on American Jazz musicians and their     lives from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century.

2.  The following musical examples shall constitute the Core Listening List for this      course and shall be the source of musical examples called for in the Expected      Educational Results above.  Individual instructors are encouraged to add other      examples to this core.

Manyanga Drum Rhythm; Recorded in Tanganyika.
Leroy Miller and a Group of Prisoners;  “Berta, Berta”
Blind Lemon Jefferson; “Black Snake Moan” (Ledbetter) 1926
Bessie Smith; “St. Louis Blues”  (W.C. Handy) 1925
Scott Joplin; “Maple Leaf Rag”  (Joplin) 1916
Art Tatum; “Tea for Two”  (Ceasar/Youmans) 1933
George Lewis; “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” (traditional) 1953  
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band;  “Dippermouth Blues” (Oliver) 1923
Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers; “Black Bottom Stomp” (Morton) 1926
Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven; “Potato Head Blues” (Armstrong) 1927
Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five:  “West End Blues” (Oliver/Williams) 1928
Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra Featuring Bix Beiderbecke; “Singin’ the Blues” (McHugh/Fields) 1927
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra; “Lunceford Special” (Lunceford; arranged by Eddie Durham) 1939
Duke Ellington Orchestra; “Creole Love Call” (Ellington) 1927
Duke Ellington Orchestra; “Main Stem” (Ellington) 1942
Duke Ellington Orchestra; “Prelude To a Kiss,” (Ellington) 1957
Coleman Hawkins and His Orchestra; “Body and Soul” (Green, Sauer, Heyman, Eyton) 1939
Benny Goodman Sextet; “Good Enough to Keep” (Mundy, Goodman, Christian) 1940
Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven; “Lester Leaps In”  (Young) 1939
Count Basie and His Orchestra; “9:20 Special” (Earl Warren, B. Engvick) 1941
Count Basie Orchestra with Joe Williams; “Every Day I Have the Blues”  
(P. Chatman) 1954
Billie Holiday;  “Georgia on My Mind”  (Gorrell, Carmichael) 1937
Ella Fitzgerald with the Tommy Flanagan Quartet;  “Lemon Drop”  (George Wallington) 1973

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross with the Ike Isaacs Trio; “Cottontail” music: Ellington; lyrics: Jon  Hendricks)  1960
Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie; “Bloomdido” (Parker) 1949
Charlie Parker and the All-Stars;  “Anthropology”  (Parker, Gillespie) 1951
Dizzy Gillespie; “Manteca”  (Gillespie, Chano Pozo) 1947
Thelonious Monk; “Straight No Chaser”  ( Monk)  1962
Gerry Mulligan-Chet Baker Quartet; “Line For Lyons”   (Mulligan) 1953
Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto; “Desafinado” (Jobim) 1963
Miles Davis with Gil Evans Orchestra; “Summertime”  (George Gershwin) 1958
The Jazztet; “Killer Joe”  (Golson)  1960
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers; “Alamode” (Fuller)  1961
Horace Silver; “Senor Blues”  (Silver) 1994
Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet; “What Is This Thing Called Love”  
(Cole Porter) 1956  
Bill Evans Trio; “Gloria’s Step” (LaFaro) 1961
Charles Mingus; “Better Get Hit in Yo’ Soul” (Mingus) 1959
Miles Davis Sextet; “Straight, No Chaser” (Monk) 1958
Ornette Coleman; “Civilization Day” (Coleman) 1971
Miles Davis Sextet; “So What”; (Miles Davis); 1959
John Coltrane Quartet; “The Promise” (John Coltrane); 1963
Miles Davis Quintet; “Masqualero” (Wayne Shorter); 1967
Miles Davis; “Shh/Peaceful” [excerpt] (Miles Davis); 1969
Weather Report; “Birdland” (Zawinul); 1977
Return To Forever; “The Romantic Warrior” (Chick Corea); 1977
Pat Metheny; “Third Wind” (Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays); 1993
Michael Brecker; “Escher Sketch (A Tale of Two Rhythms” (Michael Brecker); 1990
Jane Ira Bloom; “Mighty Lights” (Jane Ira Bloom); 1988
Wynton Marsalis; “Double Rondo On The Fiver (Pedro’s Getaway)” (Wynton Marsalis); 1990

3.  The following Jazz musicians, groups and composers will be examined as to their
respective Jazz style period and principal musical accomplishments.

King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet,
Bix Beiderbecke, Paul Whiteman, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington,
Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie,
Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Lee Morgan, Tadd Dameron, Horace Silver,
Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Wayne Shorter,
Miles Davis, Lennie Tristano, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus,
Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Scott Hamilton,
Nicholas Payton, Wynton Marsalis, Andrew Hill, Greg Osby, Dave Douglas

Assessment of Outcome Objectives

The course grade shall be based on tests, the final examination, and other assignments such as concert reviews and research papers.  All tests including the final examination will include questions based on aural examples.  Each instructor shall require either a series of brief written reviews on concert performances or reports on topics related to the course.  Each instructor shall include in the course syllabus information the grading criteria and weight assigned to grades of tests or reviews.


This course will be assessed during the fall semester every three years.  Every student in this
course shall be required to complete an assessment examination consisting of at least fifty multiple choice and/or matching questions on the content specified above.

The evaluation of this examination shall be the responsibility of the Department Chair with the results for the class given to the instructor  so the final grade for the course may be computed for each student.


After the administration of the course exam, the Department Chair and instructors will review the results and consider modifications in course content, instructional improvement and
curriculum changes.  All recommendations will be documented and used for strengthening
the course.

DATE September 29, 2004

Last Revised: Aug. 17, 2011
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