What is the course about?
Featuring albums such as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue; John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and key recordings by Duke Ellington; Charles Mingus; Charlie Parker; George Russell; Ornette Coleman; Billie Holiday; Lester Young; Fats Waller; Louis Armstrong; George Russell; Cecil Taylor; Jelly Roll Morton and many more. This course will introduce the leading exponents of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical revolutions.
The term ”Jazz” is used to describe many different styles of music but what is it; how is it constructed; how do you know if it’s good or bad; why is it so important?
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?
- The roots and evolution of jazz throughout the 20th century
- Biographies and recommended listening for the Major figures as well as lesser known artists
- The social and historical forces that gave rise to and propelled the music
- Jazz beyond the United States
- The influence of the music upon popular culture then and now
- An introduction to recording and playing techniques
- How to listen
- The jazz vocalist.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Recognise major figures within Jazz.
- Place artists, bands and styles within a historical context
- Be able to seek out other recordings made by the artists discussed and related artists
- Discuss playing and recording techniques using the relevant terminology
- Leave with extensive guided listening lists to explore the music further.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge of music is required but you should have an interest in music and be keen to find out more. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course:
Sessions will be held via video-conference (google meets) and comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend: MD651 A short history of jazz: Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.