MUS 229: Functional Jazz Piano & Jazz Theory II

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Noffsinger
1 credit hour


The objective of Jazz Piano/Jazz Theory II is to introduce the student to the fundamental grammar, vocabulary and structure of the jazz language through the study of its nomenclature, chords, scales and their application on the piano.

Required Materials

Texts: Jazz Keyboard by Jerry Coker and The Jazz Language by Dan Haerle

Writing materials: music manuscript paper, writing paper, #2 soft lead pencils, two blank 90-minute cassette tapes

Course Policies & Outline

Jazz Piano/Jazz Theory I will meet Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 – 10:50 a.m. in Room 249 of the Moody Music Building. Time in each class will be devoted to lecture and laboratory sessions.


Participation in each class is fundamental to developing an understanding of the material. Two unexcused absences will result in a reduction by one letter grade (from A to B for example). Tardiness will not be tolerated. Excessive tardiness will be treated as an unexcused absence. An excused absence may be defined as a lack of presence at a scheduled class because of: 1) a conflict with another required University function, or, 2) for compelling personal reasons such as a death in the family or a serious illness. When possible every effort should be made by the student to notify the instructor, personally, a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the absence.

Grading Policy and Procedures

Listed below are a series of skills which must be ably demonstrated by each student in a brief examination (identified by the word “perform” in the calendar) at the beginning of any class he/she chooses. Most students should elect to attempt only one of the 5 items at a time.

Grading for these items will be Pass/Fail only, and once the student has passed an item he/she is free to move on to the next skill to be acquired. Most students should also choose to take their exams shortly (1 week) after the item has been introduced in class. No student will be permitted to take the Mid-term Exam until 3 items have been successfully completed or the Final Exam until all 5 items have been successfully completed. In the latter case, the student will receive an “I” if he/she has completed 3 or more items, and an automatic “F” for fewer than 3 items.