Jazz Studies

MUS 310: Arranging

Prof. Christopher Kozak
ckozak@ua.edu
3 credit hours

Prerequisites

MUS 117 or permission of instructor

Course Description

This course is founded on the basic fundamentals of jazz arranging. The curriculum will cover 4-part writing, harmonic practices, philosophies of arranging, etc.

Course Goals & Objectives

To introduce, practice and develop basic jazz arranging skills for the small jazz combos (septet).

Required Materials

  • Jazz Arranging & Orchestration: A Concise Introduction, Leslie M. Sabina. Schirmer/Thompson Learning: Belmont California, 2002.
  • Blank staff paper (10 stave)
  • Blank score paper
  • Floppy disks (1.4 mg HD)

Assignments

Weekly assignments and readings will be given as new material is introduced in class. Assignments will be due the next class time and discussed in depth. Students may sign up for time in the Improvisation Lab and the Media Classroom to work on assignments using Finale. Finale will be reviewed during class time. Assignments are to be saved to floppy disk (Enigma Transportable File – ETF) and brought to the next class for review. The student will be responsible for 2 projects for this course.

Project #1

Instrumentation: Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trombone, Piano, Bass, & Drums
Requirements: The student is responsible for completing a ‘head’ arrangement of a jazz standard (swing style) to be chosen from a list provided by the Professor. “Head” arrangement means a completely harmonized melody utilizing 2, 3, & 4-part writing techniques as discussed in class. The form of the arrangement shall be Intro-Melody-Solo Section (improvisation)-Melody-Outro. Objective of this project is to solidify student’s grasp of basic voicing techniques. Parts and score to be transposed.

Project #2

Instrumentation: Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trombone, Piano, Bass, & Drums
Requirements: The student is responsible for completing an entire arrangement of a jazz standard (swing style) to be chosen from a list provided by the Professor. The student has the option of using the tune from Project #1. “Entire” arrangement means a complete arrangement utilizing all materials covered in class. The form of the arrangement shall be Intro-Melody-Solo Section (improvisation) with backgrounds-Shout Section-Melody-Outro. Objective of this assignment is to complete a performable arrangement to be submitted for possible performance on a jazz concert at the School of Music. Parts and score to be transposed.

Examinations

There will be a mid-term and a final examination (comprehensive of the entire semester). The purpose of the examinations is to verify that the students comprehend the techniques and principles taught in class and can readily apply them in a short period of time. There will be quizzes throughout the semester.

Policies & Procedures

Grading System

Assessment of the student’s work is based on the following criteria:

  • Comprehension and command of material covered in the course.
  • Command of terminology.
  • Overall development of ideas (unity and direction) within arrangement.
  • Success of read-down sessions.
  • Punctuality of assignments and projects.
  • For every day past the deadline, the grade will be lowered one letter grade.

The student’s final grade will be drawn from grades received for each component of the course:

Assignments 20%
Quizzes: 10%
Project #1 (septet): 10%
Project #2 (septet): 10%
Mid-Term Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 20%
Class Participation: 10%

95%-100% = A
90%-94% = A-
86%-89% = B+
82%-85% = B
79%-81% = B-
75%-78% = C+
71%-74% = C
68%-70% = C-
64%-67% = D+
60%-63% = D
57%-59% = D-
0%-56% = F

Attendance Policy

Attendance of all classes and recording sessions is expected. Three absences from class will result in lowering the final grade by one letter. Any extenuating circumstances must be immediately discussed with Tom Wolfe. There will not be any make-up quizzes or examinations.

Personal Conduct

It is hoped that students participating in this course will be challenged to achieve their full potential. At the same time, we are committed to providing a non-threatening learning environment. No conduct, which may be regarded as harassing as defined in the University of Alabama’s stated policy will be tolerated.

Disability Accommodations

To request disability accommodations, please contact Disabilities Services (348-4285). After initial arrangements are made with that office, contact the instructor.

Course Outline

This is subject to change. Dependent on the progress of the class, the time-line may be changed.

Week 1/2: Introduction to Arranging & Syllabus Review. The Lead Sheet. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 1-9.
Week 2/1: The Lead Sheet: Jazz Harmony. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 1-9. Pass out list of tunes for Projects 1 & 2.
Week 2/2: The Lead Sheet: Jazz Harmony continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 1-9. Assignment: Exercises 1-8 (pp. 10-13) Due next class. Quiz #1
Week 3/1: The Lead Sheet: Jazz Rhythm. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 1-9.
Week 3/2: The Lead Sheet: Jazz Rhythm continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 1-9. Assignment: Exercises 9 & 10 (pp. 13-15) Due next class.
Week 4/1: Introduction to Finale: Creating a document; note input; chord input.
Week 4/2: Introduction to Finale continued: Creating a document; note input; chord input.  Submit Project #1 tune choice for approval.
Week 5/1: The Jazz Band: Saxophones, Trumpet, & Trombone. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 16-21. Assignment: Exercises 1-3 (pp. 32-33) Due next class.
Week 5/2: The Jazz Band: The Rhythm Section. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 23-29.
Week 6/1: General Voicing Techniques. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 35-45. Quiz #2
Week 6/2: General Voicing Techniques continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 35-45. Assignment: Exercises 1 & 4-6 (pp. 47-48) Due next class
Week 7/1: Approach Techniques. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 104-108. Assignment: Exercise 1 (p. 109) Due next class.
Week 7/2: Approach Techniques continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 104-108. Assignment: Exercise 1 (p. 109) Due next class.
Week 8/1: 4-Part Voicing Techniques continued.
Week 8/2: Mid-Term Examination
Week 9/1: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #1.
Week 9/2: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #1.
Week 10/1: Formal Units. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 111-115. Project #1 Due: Parts & Score.
Week 10/2: Formal Units continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 111-115. Assignment: Exercises 1-3 (p. 116) Due next class
Week 11/1: Formal Planning. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 117-121. Assignment: Exercises 1-3 (p. 122) Due next class.
Week 11/2: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #2: Formal Plan of arrangement.
Week 12/1: Compositional Elements in Arranging. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 123-132.
Week 12/2: Compositional Elements in Arranging continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 123-132. Assignment: Exercises 1-4 (p. 133) Due next class.
Week 13/1: Background Material. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 134-140.
Week 13/2: Background Material continued.
Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 134-140. Assignment: Exercises 1-4 (pp. 141-142) Due next class. Week 14/1: Composing for Formal Units.
Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 143-158. Quiz #3
Week 14/2: Composing for Formal Units continued. Jazz Arranging & Orchestration, Sabina, pp. 143-158. Assignment: Exercise 1 (p. 159) Due next class.
Week 15/1: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #2.
Week 16/1: Record Project #2. Project #2 Due: Parts & Score.
Week 16/2: Record Project #2 continued.

Bibliography

Improvising Jazz by Jerry Coker
Complete Method for Improvisation by Jerry Coker
How to Listen to Jazz by Jerry Coker
Patterns for Jazz by Jerry Coker
The Jazz Language by Dan Haerle
A New Approach to Ear Training for Jazz Musicians by David Baker
A New Approach to Jazz Improvisation by Jamey Aebersold