Generally, students are awarded one credit for each hour of class time.
Exceptions are made for studio, ensemble, and a small number of classes.
For complete information as to courses offered in the current year, students
should consult the schedule of course offerings available each semester in the
Registrar’s Office. Courses numbered 100 through 499 are undergraduate
level; courses numbered 500 through 999 are graduate level. Course numbers
preceded by a “»” are typically offered each academic year. Course numbers
followed by a “T” are taught to mixed classes of undergraduates and graduates.
Undergraduate students may register for graduate-level courses with the
instructor’s permission. Courses followed by a “*” are repeatable for credit.
Courses followed by a “**” are repeatable for credit if the topic has changed
(permission from Academic Advisor required).


Undergraduate Curriculum

»JS 131 – Jazz Keyboard Skills
Introduces jazz majors to jazz harmony and theory at the keyboard. Topics include voicing, comping and reharmonization. (1 credit) Carlberg


»JS 132 – Jazz Keyboard Skills II
Continuation of JS 131. Prerequisite: JS 131 or instructor’s permission. (1 credit) Carlberg

»JS 223 – World Music Rhythms for Non-Majors
A world music workshop for instrumentalists and vocalists that focuses on the students’ ability to internalize and comprehend a range of rhythms. The teaching emphasizes speaking rhythm and then performing the lessons on the frame drum. Course materials are based upon a contemporary application of old-world teaching methods from North Africa, the Mideast, and South India. The rhythms are polyrhythmic and cyclical in nature. The playing techniques implemented are basic hand and finger techniques adapted from South Indian drumming and can be applied to a variety of percussion instruments. (2 credits) Leake

»JS 263 – Introduction to Jazz Improvisation and Ear Training
An introduction to basic improvisational techniques and aural skills for jazz studies majors. The first semester focuses on modal improvisation; harmonic progressions are introduced in the second semester. Emphasis on vocal/ instrumental connection, keyboard, and notational skills. (2 credits) Netsky

»JS 264 – Introduction to Jazz Improvisation and Ear Training
Continuation of JS 263. Prerequisite: JS 263. (2 credits) Netsky


»JS 368 – Jazz Repertoire
Advanced study, memorization, and performance of standard jazz repertoire. Prerequisite: JS 264 or placement exam. (2 credits) McNeil


»JS 378 – Jazz Theory
Study and aural recognition of jazz vocabulary, including chord progressions, tune and solo construction, and appropriate use of all chord/scale types. Instructor’s permission required for non-majors. Prerequisite: JS 368 or placement exam. (2 credits) McNeil


JS 431 – Jazz Improvisation Techniques: Harmonic, Rhythmic, and Melodic Vocabularies
In this course, students gain knowledge of different improvisational approaches, and implement them on their respective instruments through weekly in-class performance and composition assignments; transcriptional analysis assignments; and a final jury. The course also takes an approach where students record and critique themselves. Students begin the semester with a serious examination of “Jazz Line,” a method involving “bebop scales” that enables an improviser to articulate effectively and simply a harmonic progression. Students practice a variety of exercises that include anticipating and delaying the harmony; playing lines in different directional permutations; creating longer voice-leading connections; and starting phrases on different chord-tones and non-chord-tones. In the second and third units, students focus on six types of harmonic substitution, triad-pairs, and rhythmic transformations of sequences. The focus on harmonic and melodic approaches in Units 1-3 is contrasted by a final unit in which students begin building a rhythmic vocabulary. All units consist of examination and analysis of historically significant improvisations that exhibit practical applications of these techniques. Prerequisite: JS 263, 264, 368, 378. (2 credits) Levy

JS 435 – The Language of Bebop
This course is a practical exploration of the music of the masters of Bebop and Hard-bop including Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Fats Navarro, Max Roach, and Sonny Rollins, among others. It is designed to help you develop a level of mastery of a musical language that advanced musicianship in a variety of jazz idioms or styles presupposes. We approach the music in a way that corresponds to how the masters themselves often learned their craft, that is, by memorizing and learning to play and sing representative solos, analyzing them, and mining them for ideas and vocabulary. During the semester, we progress from imitation of soloists and building of fundamental vocabulary, to examination of ways of inflecting that vocabulary rhythmically and harmonically, to emulation, and finally, potentially, to innovation and the creative application of these ideas. Most weeks, we search and derive new ideas and vocabulary through study of a featured artist that includes a listening regimen, transcription analysis, performance of a solo or solo excerpt, and some type of performative aspect. (2 credits) Levy

»JS 473 – Jazz Composition and Arranging I
Fundamental topics in jazz composition and arranging are introduced through the analysis and imitation of models drawn from the jazz repertory. Topics include jazz harmony, reharmonization, voicing, writing for rhythm section, and writing for two and three horns. Prerequisite: JS 378. (2 credits) Nieske


»JS 474 – Jazz Composition and Arranging II
After studying each of the sections of the ensemble independently, an arrangement for jazz orchestra is developed through the analysis of works from the jazz repertory. Topics include form, counterpoint, and recomposition, encompassing both traditional and innovative approaches to writing for the jazz orchestra. Continuation of JS 473T. Prerequisite: JS 473T. (2 credits) Schaphorst

Graduate Curriculum

»JS 511 – Graduate Jazz Theory and Ear Training
Required for all Masters Jazz Composition and Jazz Performance students. Instruction and practice in jazz ear training and a review of jazz melodic, harmonic, and formal practice and analysis. Class meetings include weekly ear training practice (singing and dictation), presentation of theory concepts in short lectures, listening, analysis, and discussion. Homework includes ear training practice, including transcription, and analysis projects. Open to non-jazz graduate students by instructor permission. (2 credits) Carlberg

»JS 521T – Improvisation for Non-Majors
An introduction to basic improvisational techniques and aural skills used in jazz improvisation. The first semester focuses on modal improvisation; harmonic progressions are introduced in the second semester. Emphasis on vocal/instrumental connection, notational skills, and “non-classical” interpretation. (1 credit) Levy

»JS 522T – Improvisation for Non-Majors II
Continuation of JS 521T. (1 credit) Levy


»JS 525T – Development of Rhythmic Skills
Study of rhythm and the functions of laws governing it. Analysis of rhythm patterns and cycles, and studies to develop the ability to play them. Students are expected to become proficient in playing studies and identifying rhythms from dictation and other sources. (1 credit) Leake

»JS 526 – Jazz Composition for Performers
Introduces the basic techniques of jazz composition to jazz performers through guided composition assignments, listening and analysis. Includes tonal composition in standard song forms, writing for small jazz ensembles, and exploration of newer forms in jazz. Open to non-Jazz Studies majors by permission of the instructor. (2 credits) Carlberg

JS 528 – Intervallic Improvisation
Explores the use of interval sets, cells, and motives in melodic improvisation through performance, ear training, and composition assignments. (2 credits) Bergonzi



JS 529 – Melodic Rhythms in Jazz Improvisation
Focuses on the awareness and development of rhythms in creating a jazz language. For much of one’s studies the focus is on which notes to play; this course takes a different perspective by examining which rhythms one can use to organize those notes. The concepts of swing, metric modulation, and polyrhythms are also included in this course. (2 credits) Bergonzi


JS 532 – Hexatonics
Hexatonics presents a practical method for the application of six-note scales based on mutually exclusive triad pairs. Each week a new triad pair will be studied in all 12 transpositions, with attention paid to both linear and harmonic implications. Students will learn how to apply each hexatonic scale through compositional and improvisational exercises. (2 credits) Bergonzi


JS 534 – Jazz Line
Adding chromatic passing tones between specific tones of the diatonic scale is a device that jazz musicians often use. This technique helps to make the scale sound harmonically consistent relative to the harmony. This course presents a clear and practical approach to chromaticism, line playing, voice leading, and learning and integrating bop scales into one’s playing. (2 credits) Bergonzi


JS 548T – Jazz Vocal Traditions
Explores the history of jazz singing from its roots in early African-American music through Louis Armstrong to contemporary jazz singers. From the mainstream to the avant-garde, important individual contributions as well as larger trends will be examined. The mutual influences of the vocal and instrumental traditions on one another, and the influence of jazz singing on other styles such as pop and Brazilian music will be considered. Classes and coursework include reading, listening, lectures, videos, and guest lecturers. (2 credits) Eade

JS 567 – Graduate Improvisation Seminar
Rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, and sonic aspects of improvisation are examined through discussion, listening, and in-class performance. Structured improvisation and composition assignments explore specific musical parameters with the aim of expanding students’ knowledge of creative and expressive possibilities. (2 credits) Bergonzi

JS 568 – Graduate Improvisation Seminar
Continuation of JS 567. Prerequisite: JS 567 or permission of instructor. (2 credits) Bergonzi

JS 570A – Topics in Jazz Analysis & Theory: Gil Evans & Duke Ellington
A study of two masters of jazz composition through reading, listening, score study and analysis. (2 credits) Schaphorst


JS 570C – Topics in Jazz Theory and Analysis: The Music of Thelonious Monk
This course addresses the music of Thelonious Monk in all of its manifestations, including both his improvisations and compositions. Through reading, listening and transcription, Monk’s music will be analyzed from a variety of analytic and theoretical perspectives. (2 credits) Schaphorst


JS 570E – Topics in Jazz Theory and Analysis: John Coltrane
“Topics in Jazz Theory and Analysis: John Coltrane” offers a practical exploration of both the compositional and improvisational approaches exemplified by the music of John Coltrane with special emphasis on his Classic Quartet and the contributions of its members including McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison. The course objective is not only to reach a better understanding of Coltrane’s music through transcription and analysis, but also to put the theory into practice. That means learning to play solos and creatively applying harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic ideas mined from Coltrane’s music in our own compositions and improvisations. In Unit I, we examine Coltrane’s precursors, his tenures with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, and his Atlantic Recordings, which feature classics such as “Giant Steps,” “Countdown.” In Unit II, we cover some of Coltrane’s most extraordinary performances and recordings of his Classic Quartet, such as Live at the Village Vanguard, A Love Supreme, Crescent, and Transition. The course culminates with a unit dedicated to Coltrane’s final recordings with pianist Alice Coltrane and drummer Rashied Ali. Course work includes transcription, analysis, performance, and composition assignments, as well as midterm and final projects/presentations. (2 credits) Levy


JS 570F – Topics in Jazz Theory and Analysis: The Music of Charlie Parker and Bud Powell
This course explores the music of two masters of bebop, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, through listening, transcription, and analysis of their improvisations and compositions. In addition to rigorous examination of their respective vocabularies and improvisational strategies, special attention is given to the role of rhythm and interaction between soloists and rhythm-sections. To contextualize the significance of the musical contributions of Parker and Powell, the course considers predecessors, in particular Lester Young and the influence his solos played in Parker’s development, and post-Parker and Powell improvisers whose musics exemplify modern applications of Bebop vocabularies. In addition, the course acquaints students with various analytical models through a survey of relevant scholarship. The course culminates with a practical unit: students use what has been gleaned during their analytical work as the basis for in-class performances and composition assignments, including a performance of an extended Parker or Powell solo transcription. (2 credits) Levy


JS 570G – Topics in Jazz Theory and Analysis: Miles Davis
The course involves two essential and complementary objectives, which are a deeper understanding of the music of Miles Davis and a consideration of relevant analytical models of jazz and improvisation. Our exploration begins with Bebop and Miles Davis’s contribution to, and reinterpretation of, that musical language. We progress from there to two course units that focus on the music of his First and Second Great Quintets, music that is central to his legacy. As a consequence, we encounter and analyze the extraordinary contributions of Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and more. Coursework includes transcription and analysis papers, in-class discussion, review of analytical scholarship, and creative application assignments in which analytical concepts and vocabulary gleaned from our study are used as the basis of creating something new in composition or performance. (2 credits) Levy


»JS 573 – Advanced Jazz Composition and Arranging I
Advanced topics in jazz composition and arranging are introduced through the analysis and imitation of models drawn from the jazz repertory. Topics include ostinato, advanced counterpoint, intervallic and 12-tone techniques, alternate notational approaches and an introduction to Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music. (2 credits) Carlberg


»JS 574 – Advanced Jazz Composition and Arranging II
Innovative larger works for jazz ensembles are studied, including writing for woodwinds, French horn, tuba, voice, percussion and strings. Assignments include writing for a variety of non-traditional jazz instrumental and vocal ensembles, with an emphasis on building large forms out of basic melodic, harmonic and rhythmic material. Continuation of JS 573. Prerequisite: JS 573. (2 credits) Schaphorst

»JS 577 – Advanced Jazz Theory
Perspectives on analysis, composition and improvisation in jazz and nonjazz musics based on modal and acoustic theory. (Open to graduate Jazz/ CI majors and undergraduates who have completed JS 378; or by permission of instructor.) (2 credits) Schwendener

JS 578 – Advanced Jazz Theory 
Continuation of JS 577T. Prerequisite: JS 577. (2 credits) Schwendener

»JS 579T – Jazz Styles: Improvisation
Selected topics in the history of jazz improvisation are studied through listening, transcription, analysis of improvised solos and accompaniments, and composition of solos in the styles of such past jazz artists as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and a number of more recent figures. (2 credits) Levy


JS 580T – Jazz Styles: Composition
Studies selected composers’ styles through listening, transcription and analysis of jazz compositions, and composition of pieces in the style of such historic composers as Jelly Roll Morton, Don Redman, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Horace Silver, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter. (2 credits) Schaphorst

»JS 587T – Seminar in Performance
Focuses on developing and expanding students’ artistic sensibility through performance and discussion. Integrates advanced aural, theoretical, compositional and performance skills into individual aesthetics. Provides insights into concert preparation, career strategies, and development of repertoire. (2 credits) Bergonzi

»JS 588T – Seminar in Performance
See course description for JS 587T. (2 credits) Blake