Main Subject Accordion Jazz & Pop 0

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
n/a, this module is not part of the Bachelor's curriculum
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 45-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
23 hours
Study load

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Accordion main subject preparatory course.
See Competencies Matrix.
Acquiring the technical and theoretical basics required for the student's musical development. With the supervision and support from band instructors and main subject teachers, students will be able to function in the ensemble settings that are part of the preparatory course (see Content) and, where applicable, to improvise over the pieces played. Students will demonstrate their artistic drive by designing a program of three pieces that is both varied and suits their artistic identity, choosing from the repertoire listed under Content or similar material (including original compositions and other genres). In doing so, they will demonstrate that they have laid a sufficiently solid foundation with respect to musicality, technical ability and musical interaction to play the pieces and apply the acquired theoretical concepts to their playing. Students will demonstrate their ability for self-study and development.
Relation to other modules
The level of instrument proficiency is consistent with the level of the preparatory course band lessons; the ear skills are in line with the preparatory course theory lessons.

Deliberate and healthy posture.

Consistency and control of sound.

Relaxation exercises.

Basic principles of five-finger technique.

Basic principles of horizontal movement.

Scales: major, melodic minor, chromatic, blues scale.

Major and minor triad arpeggios short and long.



Intermediate lead sheets: Solar

Pop and theater song: The Beatles: Yesterday



Left-hand root, right-hand triad.

Three-note drop 2 voicings.

Guide tone voicings (left-hand root, right-hand 3rd and 7th).

Left-hand (combined with melody in right-hand):

Shell voicings, (1) 3 7 and (1) 7 3, as well as three-note rootless voicings.

Two-handed voicings (applied to repertoire from the American Song Book):


Exercises (triads and guide tone voicings): circle of fifths and seconds, chromatically and diatonically, in major and minor, in all twelve keys.

Voicings and improvisation: I - IV - V - I cadence, II - V - I cadence, secondary dominant, secondary dominant of the dominant, basic modal harmony (e.g., dorian, aeolian, mixolydian and melodic minor), blues, sus4.


Chord-tone enclosures.

Essential patterns (Jerry Coker: Patterns for Jazz).


Straight eighths and swing feel.

Quarter notes, eights and triplets.

Ballad, medium slow, medium, medium fast.

4/4, 2/2, 3/4, 12/8.


Jazz: AABA, ABAC, AAB and blues.

Pop and theater: intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus.

Latin: basic forms.


Major and minor up to 3 flats and 2 sharps.

Improvising lines over changes and basic vamps.

Elementary thematic and motivic improvisation.

Elementary call and response.

Elementary pacing.

Elementary rhythmic improvisation.

Build-up, consistency and variation.


Band situations: the preparatory course band.

Gaining awareness of role in band playing for mainstream jazz, pop songs and Latin.

Recognizing and playing hooks and fills.

Devising and playing accompaniment voicings, rhythms and grooves for jazz standards and pop songs.


Jazz: Autumn Leaves, Solar, Take the A Train, Beautiful Love, Georgia, Just Friends, Killer Joe. Pop: Natural Woman, Your Song, These Are The Days.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons as well as student concerts and/or project weeks.
Material & Tools
Teamsite Jazz & Pop Piano, Charles Beale: Jazz Piano Pieces, Mark Levine: The Jazz Piano Book, Noah Bearman: The Big Book of Jazz Piano Improvisation, Tim Richards: Jazz Piano, Mark Harrison: The Pop Piano Book, Antonio Adolfo: Brazilian Music Workshop, Rebeca MauleĆ³n: Salsa guide book for piano and ensemble, listening lists Piano Jazz & Pop ArtEZ and Work Books ArtEZ.
Student activity
Organizing a performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the project weeks of the faculty.

Examination and assessment

Mode(s) of assessment
Assessment by the main subject instructor at the end of each semester.
The student should have mastered the elements described under Aims. Specific criteria are: creativity, expression, improvisation, technique, sound, timing, reading skills, repertoire knowledge, progress, self-reflection, session participation, attitude and lesson preparation.
Pass requirements
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester.
Examination procedure
At the end of both semesters the instructor fills out an assessment form designed specifically for this module. Assessment is comprised of a verbal evaluation and a concluding grade. The instructor reviews this assessment with the student during the first subsequent lesson. Assessment at the end of the autumn semester is formative and expressed in terms of satisfactory/unsatisfactory. It indicates a student's progress in this module. No ECs are awarded and there is no resit. Modules can only be absolved, and ECs awarded, after the end of the spring semester.
Resit options
See the Education and Assessment Plan.

Module summary

This module is intended to learn how to play pieces in various genres and to improvise over them, emphasizing ensemble/band playing, technique and style awareness, the latter with respect to rhythm, harmony and melody. This module is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the practical (audition) part of the entrance exam, in which three of five prepared pieces will be played.