Jazz harmony, ear training and ensembles: intermediate
Time: 10:45 - 15:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Course Code: MG602A
Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
Develop your ability to hear, play and understand melodies and chord progressions (functional harmony) in the jazz idiom: detailed study of jazz standards will be supported with listening, singing activities and playing as a group.
Develop your ability to improvise.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Each of the following topics will be addressed through ear training and playing as well as discussion of theory
(n.b. your progress will depend on regular, systematic practice):
- Review of music fundamentals: modes of major scale, triads, 7th chords and chord symbols
- Diatonic chord functions and Roman numeral analysis
- Relationship of chord and scale; available tensions and avoid notes
- Modal harmony (static and functional)
- Cycle of 5ths root movement ( e.g.VI, II, V, I)
- 'Voice-leading' (guide tones) - simple and extended
- Secondary dominants (back-cycling, tri-tone substitution)
- Diminished chords and scales
- Minor key harmony (Aeolian and harmonic minor)
- Modes of melodic minor
- Playing and learning tunes in swing, funk and Latin feels.
- jazz improvisation
Repertoire will include blues (in several keys), Scrapple from the Apple, Tune up, Footprints, Maiden voyage,
Sometime ago, Blue bossa, Fly me to the moon, Softly as in a morning sunrise, Lady Bird, Cantaloupe island, Black Narcissus, Oleo, How high the moon, Make me a memory.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- recognise and reproduce intervals
- transcribe melody, bass lines, identify chord types & extensions by ear
- play, and improvise on, the study tunes, by ear, memory, and from reading chord symbols
- make functional analysis of any common jazz standard with appropriate chord/scale choices
- play, sing and improvise with confidence
- build a repertoire of tunes to include Afternoon in Paris, Effendi, Frim roots, Favela, Four, The real guitarist, Impressions
- understand how to function in a jazz ensemble
- perform with confidence.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Entry by audition: a harmony and aural test, and submission of a recording of you playing.
You need a good working knowledge of harmony, good music reading skills, proficiency on your instrument. Any experience of playing jazz will be an advantage. Pianists and guitarists are recommended to complete jazz instrumental courses before coming to this level of study.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English and staff notation.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
There will be lecture style teaching, practical group work i.e. ensemble playing, singing (including vocal improvisation), ear training, written music assignments, performance and small ensemble practice. You will be required to record yourself playing assignments. Rhythm section players may be asked to create backing tracks.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Various jazz books or internet research will be mentioned to supplement your studies but no book is mandatory for the course. Learning resources are available in the google classroom.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
At the end of the course you may progress to Jazz harmony, ear training and ensembles: advanced, subject to tutor approval. You will also be ready/ better prepared to join jam sessions and take part in gigs, including City Lit's Jazz woodshedding and Jazz repertoire short courses.
Cerys Hogg is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser. Whilst studying Fine Art, specialising in performance art and installation, she developed her musical skills through performing as a jazz vocalist, drummer and pianist. A scholarship allowed her to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the post-graduate Jazz and Studio Music course. Here she specialised in jazz voice developing a personal approach to improvisation, harmony and arranging. Currently Cerys is combining her work as both multimedia artist and musician. She performs in KOGG, an experimental electronic music duo with fellow City Lit tutor, Selena Kay. Together they create music by sampling vocals, sound objects, and home-made instruments, combining composed and improvised material. They have performed live and are in the process of creating an album. An experienced teacher with a PGCE from the Institute of Education, Cerys has a reputation for delivering entertaining and engaging classes. She has a drive to demystify the elements of music, making it an accessible and enjoyable experience for all.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.