Main Subject Accordion Jazz & Pop 1

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 50-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
25 hours
Study load
339 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Accordion main subject year 1.
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 conservatory's curriculum and, where applicable, to improvise over the pieces played. Students will demonstrate their artistic drive by designing a program of five 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 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.
Relation to other modules
The level of instrument proficiency corresponds to the contents of the band and theory modules.

Deliberate and healthy posture.

Consistency and control of sound.

Relaxation exercises.

Basic principles of five-finger technique.

Basic principles of horizontal movement.

Scales: major, natural minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor, whole tone, chromatic; both in parallel and counter movement.

Major, minor and augmented triads in short arpeggios, both three and four note; in parallel, counter movement and with alternating hands.

In scale and triad playing, deliberate movement and the production of a clear tone are more important than tempo.


In addition to the specific study of scales and triads, they are also combined with ostinati, chords and vamps using the other hand.


Intermediate lead sheets: Here's That Rainy Day. Bebop themes: Cool Blues, Buzzy.

Pop and theater song: You've Got a Friend.



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):

All types of four-note voicings and basics of five-note voicings.

Four-note and five-note stacks of fourths: root voicing and first inversion.


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, plagal cadences, modal interchange, VII minor, IV blues, turnarounds, basic modal harmony (e.g., dorian, aeolian, mixolydian and melodic minor), blues, sus4.

Making and applying functional harmonic analyses and chord/scale analyses.

Harmonizing simple melodies by using primary scale degrees and/or combining with secondary degrees.

Transposing all of the material listed under Repertoire to the key of C.


Basic melodies: 1235, (1)35798, guide tone melodies, scales

Digital patterns with the span of a fifth interval.

Basic principles of sequences, step progression and chromaticism.

Basic principles of forward motion.


Straight eighths and swing feel.

Quarter notes, eights and triplets.

Ballad, medium slow, medium, medium fast.

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

Basic groove patterns for: medium gospel, African 12/8, Latin (Brazil and Afro-Cuban), shuffle, New Orleans and soul jazz.

Basic principles of interlocking.


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.


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

Ensemble playing: various ensembles/bands as listed under Repertoire.

Devising and playing intros and codas for jazz standards and pop songs.

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.


Producing, practicing and playing simple transcriptions of piano and horn solos as well as bass lines. Solos and bass lines are learned primarily by ear, but may also be notated.


In addition to the skills listed above, main subject lessons focus primarily on playing pieces. These are closely related to the band playing situations that are part of the study at ArtEZ.

Students are expected by the end of module 1 to have become very familiar with the materials in the listening list on the teamsite, including the paragraph 'The 5 Giants'. By the end of module 1, students are required to have studied at least 20 pieces, preferably knowing them by heart. At the start of the propaedeutic exam (audition), the student will turn in a list of titles and composers, among which should be at least one piece from 'The 5 Giants' (see listening list on teamsite). Assessment of this list is based mainly on the diversity of repertoire with respect to character, tempo, key and genre.


Au Privave, Afternoon in Paris, I Mean You, Blue in Green, Sometime Ago, There Is No Greater Love, How High The Moon, Maiden Voyage, Effendi, Gentle Rain, Afro Blue, Come Candela, Overjoyed, Roof Garden and Hebben en Houwen.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons & occasional group lessons.
Material & Tools
Teamsite Jazz & Pop Piano, Charles Beale: Jazz Piano Pieces, Hal Crook: How To Improvise, Mark Levine: The Jazz Piano Book, Rob van Bavel: Jazz Essentials, Tim Richards: Jazz Piano, Mark Harrison: The Pop Piano Book, Antonio Adolfo: Brazilian Music Workshop, Rebeca MauleĆ³n: Salsa Guide Book for Piano and Ensemble, Phillip Moehrke: Das Groove Piano Buch, listening lists Piano Jazz & Pop ArtEZ and Work Books ArtEZ.
Student activity
Organizing a short performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the student concerts and/or project weeks of the faculty; independently organizing a performance (five pieces, of which three will be played) as part of the propaedeutic audition.

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 introduce students to various genres, allowing them to play pieces in these genres and to learn to improvise over these pieces, emphasizing the application of various instrument categories, 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.