The Jazz Tradition in America
Ralph Russell, Lecturer
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:45 - 2:05
Office: BCA 261
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30, Thursdays 2:30 - 4:30
Jazz is respectively regarded as America's classical music. Its incomparable blend of blues, popular song, Latin rhythms and characteristic use of improvisation has markedly made jazz one of America's most eclectic genres. The purpose of this course is to examine and discuss the major periods of jazz and the role it played in shaping our socio-cultural identity. First we will study the characteristics of such styles as New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz and the compositional and performance styles of major artists for example Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Tito Puente. Finally we will discuss jazz in the context of social and intellectual history (i.e. in regards to race, gender and culture).
- To know the history and development of jazz
- To write and discuss the form, characteristics and other aspects of jazz using basic musical concepts and nomenclature
- To compare and contrast styles and the styles of composers, musicians and vocalists
- To know the socio-cultural contexts that inspired the emergence of particular styles and the creation of significant compositions
- To develop basic listening skills
Martin, Henry and Keith Waters. Essential Jazz. The First 100 Years. (w/ Primer)
Berliner, Paul. Thinking in Jazz
Monson Ingrid. Saying Something
Additional readings will be added
Recordings will also be on reserve.
- Four papers.
- Midterm Paper. Topic: Jazz 1920 - 1950 (3 - 5 pages).
- Due March 17 by 4:30 *
- Final Paper. You may write on any topic that pertains to jazz. (6 - 8 pages).
- Due May 18 *
- Short papers
- First short paper. Assignment. Analyze an early jazz or blues composition.
- You will be assigned a short composition that you will analyze. (1 - 2 pages)
- Due in class Tues Feb. 15 *
- Second short paper. Assignment. Analyze a jazz composition.
- Same as above. Due in class Thursday April 28. *
Late papers will be lowered one letter grade .
- Two exams. Feb 10 and April 12.
- The exams will consist of essays, analyses, definitions and listening.
- Oral Presentations. Your oral presentation may be on any of your papers. 5 - 10 minutes
Final Paper. 27%
Midterm paper 24%
Two Short papers 9% each
Two exams. First exam 9% , Midterm exam 17 %
Oral presentation. 5%