MUS 331: Jazz Symposium

Prof. Christopher Kozak
3 credit hours


MUS 231 or permission of instructor

Course Description

This course is a detailed study of performance practices expected of and industry issues facing the upcoming jazz musician. Emphasis will be placed on stylistic concepts, improvisation, group interaction and analysis of performance practices. Items for discussion will include: copyright, grant writing, contracts, recording and releasing a CD, American Federation of Musicians Union, positions in academia, etc.

Course Goals & Objectives

This is a performance class. All students are expected to bring their instruments to class. This course is designed to prepare for and facilitate the student with the necessary skills to succeed in the highly competitive music industry.

Required Materials

  • The Legal Real Book, Chuck Sher
  • Jamey Aebersold Play-Along Collection (The complete set is kept in the Improvisation Lab.)
  • Music Paper

Assignments & Projects

Weekly assignments will be given as new characteristics and principles are discussed in class. Assignments will be due the next class time (unless otherwise noted) and discussed in depth. The primary focus of the assignments will be transcription, analysis, and performance in the appropriate styles. All transcriptions are to be written out in musical notation, by hand or notation software. Students of the class will be expected to perform on the Monday Night Jazz Jams as assigned. The dates are February 11, March 11 and April 22.


There will be a final examination in the course. It is in two parts: performance and written (take home).

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.
  • Completion of assignments by the deadlines.
  • The student will also be expected to perform the transcriptions for the class and to coherently discuss and explain the analyses.

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

Daily assignments 55%
Performance: 25%
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 expected. Three absences from class will result in lowering the final grade by one letter. Any extenuating curcumstances must be immediately discussed with Thomas Wolfe.

Course Outline

Week 1 & 2: The Jazz Standard
Week 3: Jazz Standards: “All the Things You Are” & “Satin Doll,” Topic: Copyright
Week 4: Jazz Standards: “There is No Greater Love” & “Doxy”
Week 5: Jazz Standards: “Green Dolphin Street” & “I Love You,” Topic: Grant Writing
Week 6: Jazz Standards: “Stella by Starlight” & “My Funny Valentine”
Week 7: Jazz Standards: “All of You” & “There Will Never Be Another You,” Topic: Contracts & A.F.M.
Week 8: Jazz Standards: “Sweet and Lovely” & “Bernie’s Tune”
Week 9: Jazz Standards: “Bye, Bye Blackbird” & “Triste,” Topic: Positions in Academia
Week 10: Jazz Standards: “Jeannine” & “‘Round Midnight”
Week 11: Jazz Standards: “In A Sentimental Mood” & “Emily,” Topic: Recording and Marketing a CD
Week 12: Jazz Standards: “Cherokee” & “Bluesette”
Week 13: Jazz Standards: “Donna Lee” & “Blues For Alice,” Topic: Music Industry Basics
Week 14: Jazz Standards: “Lover” & “Samba De Orfeo”
Week 15: Jazz Standards: “Nardis” & “Poor Butterfly,” Topic: TBA