This course offers an introduction to jazz improvisation for instrumentalists. Through recordings, transcriptions, daily performance and selected readings, students will actively engage the history of jazz through their instruments and intellect. The idea of improvisation will be explored in an historical context, both as a musical phenomenon with its attendant theory and mechanics, and as a trope of American history and aesthetics. This class is for instrumentalists who wish to deepen their understanding of the theory, history and practice of jazz improvisation. The history of jazz will be used as a prism through which to view approaches to improvisation, from the cadences of the early Blues through the abstractions of Free Jazz and beyond. The student will be exposed to the theory and vocabularies of various jazz idioms, which they will also learn to place in their social and historical contexts.
Jazz Improvisation: Theory, History, Practice