Course Code: OPIAN-315
Next term starts January 13, 2020
The piano has played a fundamental role in defining jazz as we know it today. Its melodic and harmonic capabilities create endless musical possibilities that continue to evolve over time and are performed in a wide variety of contexts including solo piano, accompanist for a singer or instrument, and ensemble settings. Jazz Piano is designed to teach you timeless techniques that develop your ability to meet the demands of a working pianist in dynamic situations.
Starting with the basics, you will explore jazz chord voicings with tensions, how to interpret melodies and phrases with an authentic jazz feel, improvisation, jazz bass lines, and developing effective intros and endings to songs. The course focuses on jazz blues, swing, standards, and bossa nova, while laying the foundation for you to expand into any of the jazz-influenced styles.
In addition to cultivating your technical and improvisational playing of the instrument, you will learn the history of the genre and how the European classical traditions melded with African rhythms to give birth to a new sound of jazz. A multi-faceted approach to learning will be offered with the utilization of audio and video demonstrations to further your comprehension of the material. Featured artists will include some of the most influential jazz artists of all time: Jelly Roll Morton, Erroll Garner, Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Marian McPartland, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner. Each week, you will work with flexible play-along audio tracks, which provide a strong platform for practicing performances with complete control over tempo, enabling you to progress at your own pace.
Jazz Piano is an essential course for any pianist looking to enhance their originality, versatility, and compositional skill within the jazz genre.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify historically significant jazz pianists and their music
- Properly interpret jazz rhythms and phrases
- Feel confident recognizing and playing a wide variety of chords from unaltered diatonic sevenths through fully altered dominants including the A/B jazz voicings
- Perform repertoire in the jazz blues, jazz standard, and bossa nova styles in a variety of settings including solo, accompanist, and ensemble
- Improvise solos using a variety of methods from the pentatonic and blues scale to chord tone and approach notes
- Create smooth intros and effective endings for repertoire
- Think like a jazz player and learn songs based on their harmonic analysis and by recognizing common jazz progressions such as the II V I