Tilt Band Jazz & Pop 1
Practical Theory Classes
Number of course weeks
One 50-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
Form / content / level
Admitted to the propaedeutic year.
Students learn to translate theoretical knowledge into playing skills. They work on building a ready repertoire of rhythmic, harmonic and melodic concepts common in jazz & pop styles, sight-reading arrangements in various styles, and are introduced to specific kinds of sight-reading.
Relation to other modules
This module forms a link between the theory and performance modules.
Students gain proficiency in:
Transposing basic licks (by ear, from notation and scale degrees).
Solo playing and accompaniment over a chord progression transposed on-the-fly.
Transposing instruments only: transposing at sight.
Meter and rhythm:
Swing in 3/4 and 4/4; playing notated rhythmic accents (special chorus), with and without specified top notes.
Incorporating a given rhythmic concept in an improvised solo, both in swing and sixteenth rock feel.
Incorporating basic cross-rhythms in an improvised solo (basic modal or blues progression).
Fitting a lick into a specific section of a chord progression.
Time signature changes: 3/4<>4/4 (q.<>q).
Introduction to unusual time signatures (7/8, 5/8), half time, half-time feel, double time.
Transitioning between rock and jazz grooves.
Harmonic and melodic repertoire:
Playing arpeggiated triads and tetrads over a chord progression.
Scales: major and Greek modes applied (including sequences and pentatonic substitution) to a simple modal context.
Introduction to octatonic scales, applied to dominant 7 chords.
Introduction to melodic minor scale, applied to dominant 7 and half-diminished 7 chords; pentatonics.
Pianists and guitarists: accompaniment using specified top notes. Reproducing a motif by ear; motivic improvisation.
Reading basic jazz arrangements at sight.
Mode(s) of instruction
Material & Tools
Examination and assessment
Mode(s) of assessment
At the end of the first semester, the instructor awards a tentative performance-based grade. At the end of the second semester there is a practical exam based on the exercises listed above and assessed by a panel of two teachers. Exam duration: 60 minutes.
The student is able to:
Fit a basic lick at a specific point in a chord progression in any key.
Play a solo over a standard, transposed on-the-fly, of a complexity level similar to Autumn Leaves, a (Parker) blues, or Afternoon in Paris. Transposing instruments only: at-sight transposition of a theme with a complexity level similar to All of Me, Beautiful Love, or Beneath It All.
Read and play accents: a piece with a complexity level similar to Just for the Love (special).
Play a solo with a rhythmic/melodic concept provided in scale degree numbers.
Repeat a basic cross-rhythm over 8 bars. Difficulty level: 6/8 pattern over 4/4 time.
Switch between 3/4 and 4/4 time: play Footprints (or similar pieces) and signaling time changes through solo playing.
Uncommon time signatures: play Take Five or similar pieces.
Accompany a piece in 4/4 swing with a half time (two-step beat) or double-time feel, as well as switching between these while soloing.
Transition between different grooves. Difficulty level: Green Dolphin Street, A Night In Tunesia (Chaka Kahn version).
Improvise with triads or tetrads. Difficulty level: All The Things You Are, Have You Met Miss Jones.
Scales: apply the scales, sequences and substitutions discussed during the module to modal pieces such as Maiden Voyage or Black Narcissus
Improvise over the following cadence, transposed to any key, using octatonics over the dominants: |Dm7 |G7 |Cmaj7 |C#° |
Improvise over the following minor cadence, transposed to any key, using the appropriate scale for each chord: |DM7b5 |G7alt |Cm|
At the end of the autumn semester the following subjects will be assessed:
Mixolydian and altered scales;
Basic reading of arrangements;
Blues in several keys.
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester, with a minimum class attendance of 80%. 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.
Students perform musical exercises in front of an exam panel. It indicates a student's progress in this module.
This module is intended to teach students to translate their theory knowledge to playing skills.