Jazz Studies

MUS 312: Intermediate Arranging

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

Prerequisites

MUS 310 or permission of instructor

Course Description

This course will emphasize arranging for the big band (5-4-4-4) based on the foundations laid in MUS 310. The students will also explore extended techniques including principles and application of symmetrical scales and chords, pedal points, poly-tonality, triads over foreign bass notes, modes of the melodic minor scale, and planing techniques. Information will be studied from a variety of sources including transcription, analysis, and hands-on application.

Course Goals & Objectives

To introduce the student to new and current techniques in jazz arranging and to give them the abilities to apply these principles in a variety of instrumentations. Emphasis will also be placed on time effective creativity. The students will be expected to arrange music under the guise of a deadline and to learn how to be creative in a limited amount of time. Not only is this a practical skill, but also a valuable and marketable one giving the students the edge in the music industry.

Required Materials

  • Inside the Score, Rayburn Wright,Kendor Music, Inc: Delavan, New York, 1982.
  • Blank staff paper (10 stave)
  • Blank score paper
  • Floppy disks (1.4 mg HD)

Assignments

Weekly assignments will be given as new techniques and principles are discussed in class. Assignments will be due the next class time and discussed in depth. There will be two arranging projects during the course. Both projects are big band arrangements. Transposed scores are required. Projects are to be completed in Finale software.

Examinations

There will be a mid-term and a final examination (comprehensive of the entire semester). The main 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:

Daily assignments 5%
Quizzes: 10%
Project #1 (big band, a la Nestico): 20%
Project #2 (big band, a la Jones, etc.): 25%
Mid-Term Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 20%

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.

Conditional Status and MUS 510 Advanced Arranging

All projects for students that fall under either of these categories are assigned at the discretion of Professor Kozak. All work outlined in this syllabus is to be completed in addition to any work that may be assigned specifically for the individual needs of the student. It is the student’s responsibility to meet the expectations and deadlines that are assigned and agreed upon. Parameters and goals that are to be achieved will be discussed and determined by Professor Kozak and/or Professor Wolfe at the onset of the semester. Goals discussed that are not met to the satisfaction of Professor Kozak and/or Professor Wolfe will be graded accordingly.

UA Severe Weather Guidelines

The guiding principle at The University of Alabama is to promote the personal safety of our students, faculty and staff during severe weather events. It is impossible to develop policies which anticipate every weather-related emergency. These guidelines are intended to provide additional assistance for responding to severe weather on campus.

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar; sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains. (http://uanews.ua.edu/severeweather.htm)

Course Outline

Week 1/2: Introduction to Intermediate Arranging & Syllabus Review, Review of Media Lab.
Week 2/1: Finale: Media Lab Implementation, Score setup, data input, playback, FTP, etc.
Week 2/2: Finale: Media Lab Implementation continued, Assignment: Choose tune for Project 1 and map out the project Quiz #1
Week 3/1: The Big Band: Basie – Straight Ahead, Sammy Nestico, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 6-12, 13-25. Assignment: Harmonize (a la Nestico) assigned melody. Due next class. Submit Project #1 tune choice for approval.
Week 3/2: The Big Band: Basie – Straight Ahead continued, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 13-25, Assignment: Begin Nestico-style chart – first chorus. Due next class.
Week 4/1: The Big Band: Hay Burner, Sammy Nestico, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 30-41, Assignment: Continue arrangement – develop solo section and backgrounds. Due next class.
Week 4/2: The Big Band: Hay Burner continued, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 30-41, Assignment: Continue arrangement – develop sax soli. Due next class.
Week 5/1: Nestico Charts – Score Study, Assignment: Continued arrangement – develop shout section. Due 6/1 class.
Week 5/2: Nestico Charts – Score Study. Quiz #2
Week 6/1: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #1.
Week 6/2: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #1.
Week 7/1: Completion of Project #1. Full class for final review of projects. Project #1 Due: Parts & Score.
Week 7/2: Record Project #1. UA Jazz Rehearsal time: 3:00PM.
Week 8/1: Record Project #1. UA Jazz Rehearsal time: 3:00PM.
Week 8/2: Mid-Term Examination
Week 9/1: The Big Band: 3 and 1, Thad Jones, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 49-57, 58-74, Assignment: Reharmonize assigned melody in the style of Thad Jones. Due next Class.
Week 9/2: The Big Band: 3 and 1 continued, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 58-74, Assignment: Develop formal plan for arrangement and complete first chorus. Due next class. Submit Project #2 tune choice for approval
Week 10/1: The Big Band: Kids Are Pretty People, Thad Jones, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 78-81, 82-92, Assignment: arrangement continued – solo section, sax soli, shout chorus, etc. development. Sketches due next class.
Week 10/2: The Big Band: Us, Thad Jones, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 96-97, 98-106, Assignment: arrangement continued. Quiz #3
Week 11/1: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #2: Progress of arrangement.
Week 11/2: The Big Band – Score Study. Oliver Nelson: Chart TBA.
Week 12/1: The Big Band – Score Study. Oliver Nelson: Chart TBA.
Week 12/2: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #2: Progress of arrangement.
Week 13/1: The Big Band: Hello And Goodbye, Bob Brookmeyer, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 155-123, 124-146.
Week 13/2: The Big Band: First Love Song & ABC Blues, Bob Brookmeyer, Inside the Score, Wright, pp. 148-178.
Week 14/1: The Big Band – Score Study. Bob Mintzer – Chart TBA.
Week 14/2: Individual meetings with Professor to discuss Project #2: Completion of arrangement.
Week 15/1: Completion of Project #2. Full class for final review of arrangements. Project #2 Due: Parts & Score.
Week 16/1: Record Project #2. UA Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal Time: 3:00PM.
Week 16/2: Record Project #2. UA Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal Time: 3:00P