Main Subject Viola Jazz & Pop 1
Number of course weeks
One 50-minute class per week
Total contact hours
Form / content / level
Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Viola main subject year 1.
Acquiring the technical basics required for the student's musical development. Students will be able to play the pieces described under Contents or similar material (self-chosen pieces, other genres) with a band and to improvise over the pieces, demonstrating 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. For more details with respect to tonal coloring, range and improvisation skills, see Content.
Relation to other modules
The level of instrument proficiency corresponds to the contents of the band and theory modules.
scales: major, lydian, melodic minor, dorian, altered, whole tone, octatonic and mixolydian #11, all in the first-position range; chords: major, minor and augmented triads and the most common tetrads in the first position range; expanding the range up to and including the third position; II-V-I licks with altered and octatonic resolutions (Michael Gustorff lick system).
Fred Lipsius: Reading Key Jazz Rhythms 1-8; simple Bebop themes, e.g., Ornithology, Dewey Square, Pent-up House; Lennie Niehaus: Intermediate Jazz Conception 2.
Transcribing solos, e.g., by Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Svend Asmusssen, Miles Davis (or solos in other musical genres with a similar level of complexity), and playing them by heart.
Using licks from the solo transcriptions; using various dominant colors, e.g., mixolydian #11, altered, octatonic, whole tone; principles of thematic and motivic improvisation; modal pieces, e.g., Impressions, Milestones; practicing with play-alongs (e.g., Jamey Aebersold: Band-in-a-Box).
Playing by heart pieces in different musical styles and tempi with modulating chord progressions, e.g., Stella by Starlight, Beautiful Love, How Insensitive and/or pieces in other genres, possibly including also pieces composed by the student; playing circa 20 pieces by heart and improvising over them; indication classical technique: Sevçik's Changes of Position, Poilleux, Danda: Opus 68, Mazas: Book I, Sitt, Polo (double stops), Bach e.g., Concerto in E Major.
A selection of the following items (note that by the end of year three the student should have mastered all parts):
Major, lydian, melodic minor, dorian, altered, mixolydian#11, pentatonic, blues scale, octatonic, chromatic and whole tone. All played over three octaves, in thirds (two variations), in fourth (two variations), as diatonic triads, as diatonic tetrads and in different patterns.
Major, minor, diminished and augmented triads and major7, minor7, dominant7, half diminished and major-minor tetrads. All played chromatically, in a circle of fifths, in inversions and with different patterns.
All kinds of II-V-I chord progressions using mixolydian#11, octatonic and altered scales, diatonic progressions, chromatic progressions and thirds / fourth / Coltrane changes.
4. Classical Etudes.
A classical etude or a Bach solo sonate of choice. For example: Kreutzer: Etudes ou Caprices, Dont, Mazas, Sitt, Gavanies: 24 studies, Polo: double stops.
A transcription of a non-violin player with a 'higher' difficulty.
Playing and using several techniques in a self-written etude or prepared improvisation: riccochet, ponticello, pizzicato, chord playing (arco en pizz), flageolets, glissandi, trills and tremolos, one tone fingering, chopping in different rhythms and grooves.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons & occasional group lessons.
Material & Tools
Real Books; Fred Lipsius: Reading Key Jazz Rythms, Lennie Niehaus: Intermediate Jazz Conception for Saxophone 2, Gustorff lick system, Jamey Aebersold Play-a-Longs, recordings of the pieces to be played.
Organizing a short performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the annual Jazz & Pop strings student concert; independently organizing a performance (five pieces) 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, intonation, timing, reading skills, repertoire knowledge, progress, self-reflection, session participation, attitude and lesson preparation.
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester.
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.
This module is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the practical part (audition) of the propaedeutic exam Viola Jazz & Pop. The student learns to play pieces in various genres, in part chosen by the student himself (jazz, fusion, latin, possibly including original compositions by the student), and to improvise over the pieces. During this process, attention is paid to technical facility and stylistic awareness with respect to rhythm, harmony and melody, and to subjects such as jazz-specific fingerings, bowing techniques, various harmonic colors, rhythmic concepts, etc.