Summer 2011

Survey of Jazz Styles


07/04/2011 - 08/05/2011
Tuesday & Thursday 01:30 PM - 04:30 PM

Music Studios 301

What is the difference between "cool jazz" and "hot jazz" or "bebop" and "hard bop?" What does the bass player do in a jazz group and how has that changed over time? Why is Louis Armstrong so important? If you have ever wondered about questions like these, you are not alone. Here in the 21st Century, jazz has finally started to earn the respect it deserves, but not everyone understands how it works. This course builds this understanding in a manner that is accessible to non-musicians and stimulating for those with more musical knowledge.

We will isolate specific topics and jazz devices such as improvisation, rhythm sections and jazz composition. Students will learn the roles of each member of a jazz ensemble and how these roles have evolved. We will study the distinctions (and similarities) between various sub-categories and chronological periods in jazz. We will learn about great artists including those, like Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Count Basie, who epitomized certain movements in jazz as well as restless, influential, and difficult-to-categorize innovators like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus. One class session will include a performance of Baerman's jazz trio, to demonstrate musical distinctions discussed during the course.

Enrollment is limited to 18 students.

This course is open to auditors.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Wednesday, July 6 at 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for a complete list of registration and withdrawal dates for this session.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
ARTS 615

Noah Baerman (B.Mus., M.M. Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University) is director of the Wesleyan jazz ensemble. He is also a jazz pianist who has recently released his fifth album, "Bliss." His best-known release is "Patch Kit," a trio album with Ben Riley and longtime Miles Davis associate Ron Carter. In March 2005 he was featured as a guest on the public radio program Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Alfred Publishing Company has released nine instructional books by Noah, most recently the Versatile Keyboardist, as well as a DVD, Beginning Jazz Keyboard. He is also a recent recipient of the Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation "New Works" grant. Click here for more information about Noah Baerman.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Moodle and sound recordings will be the primary source material for this course. Students will also read an array of articles available through Wesleyan's Online Reserves.

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