CJC Degree Programs
Jazzschool Classes/ Workshops
The 100- and 200-numbered courses are lower division courses. The 300- and 400-numbered courses are upper division courses.
Jazz History A four-semester course examining the musical and cultural development of jazz, from its antecedents in the musical cultures of West Africa, Western Europe and the New World, to the music that is performed internationally today. Through extensive listening, reading and discussion, students gain a solid understanding of jazz, a twentieth-century urban dance music that has become globally celebrated as a cultural art form embodying the ideals of freedom and democracy.
HIS100A – 200B fulfills the CJC Social Sciences requirement. Please note: the Social Sciences requirement is not transferable from another institution. This requirement must be fulfilled at the CJC.
HIS100A Jazz History — The Roots of Jazz and Early Jazz, Pre-1900 – 1919 3 credits, 3 hours lecture This course examines the influences of West African, Caribbean, South American, Asian and European music and culture on the development of jazz pre-1900, and on the early music of New Orleans that became known to the world as jazz by 1917. The course focuses on the West African conceptual approaches, practices, and cultural conventions that form the foundation of jazz, and its origins in spirituals, blues, ragtime and other African American sacred and secular music. The development of jazz is studied within the historical context of American social forces including post-bellum segregation, the industrial boom and the Great Black Migration, World War I, and the invention of the radio and sound recordings.
HIS100B Jazz History — Style and Culture in America from 1920 – 1939 3 credits, 3 hours lecture A survey of early jazz styles from the Jazz Age of the Prohibition era through the reign of the swing bands and the jitterbug. The music of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and many others is studied within the contexts of the post-World War I economic boom, the Great Depression, ballrooms and big bands, the rise of sound motion pictures, American musical theater and the Great American Songbook, among other socioeconomic and cultural touchstones. Prerequisite: HIS100A.
HIS200A Jazz History — Style and Culture in America from 1940 – 1959 3 credits, 3 hours lecture This course explores jazz as an art form, with a focus on the musical innovations of modern jazz through the beginnings of free jazz. Styles including bebop, hard bop, funk, Latin jazz, cool jazz, and other styles created by Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Max Roach, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Art Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s Jazz Messengers, Ornette Coleman and many of their collaborators are examined, focusing on instrumental grouping, structural, harmonic and rhythmic creativity, and folk influences. Students draw connections between the mid-century impact of World War II, the Atomic Age and the Cold War, the hegemony of television, advertising, the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement and other historical epochs upon the evolution of jazz. Prerequisite: HIS100B.
HIS200B Jazz History — Style and Culture in America from 1960 – Present 3 credits, 3 hours lecture This course surveys the range of idioms and subgenres of post-Coltrane jazz, particularly the evolution of free jazz with the AACM, the 1970s New York Loft Scene, jazz in Europe, the music and ideas of Wynton Marsalis juxtaposed with the electronic fusion music of Miles Davis and his collaborators, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Chick Corea and others, and the return of jazz to its dance origins. The steady influx of global influences from traditional and contemporary musicians from Africa, Asia, and the New World continues to infuse a diverse range of compositional styles, forms and instruments into the jazz world. Prerequisite: HIS200A.
HIS110 The Great American Songbook: The Jazz Standard 2 credits, 2 hours lecture/lab An overview of the evolution of The Great American Songbook — the canon comprising American popular songs written originally for musical theatre and later film between 1920 –1950. Now the cornerstone of modern jazz, the repertoire of the Great American Songbook arose during the decade of the Jazz Age, The Great Depression, WWII and the unprecedented economic growth that took place in 1950s America. This singular body of work manifested hope, built morale, eased social barriers and reflected our country’s promise for the future. Students examine the lives and perform the work of the central composers of this period, including Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Richard Rogers and Harold Arlen among others. Note: This course serves as a requirement for vocalists and is a highly recommended elective for instrumentalists. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in PRF110A and PRF210A required.
HIS261 History of Funk 3 credits, 2 hours lecture A course tracing the history of funk, the R&B-based genre that originated in the 1960s. Influencing a wide range of musics including gospel, rock, jazz, hip-hop, Afro-Caribbean and South American, funk also reflected the radical social change of the 60s and 70s, including the struggles for Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights and the emergence of alternative cultures. Artists and bands covered include Ray Charles, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Ohio Players, Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire, Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters as well as Bay Area-based bands Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Azteca, Sons of Champlin, Pointer Sisters, Larry Graham and GCS, and George Duke.
HIS300 Jazz and Cross-Cultural Practice 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A review of selected musical traditions of the world and their cross-cultural and intercultural application to jazz.
HIS301 New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A course tracing the musical influence of the international port of New Orleans, the melting pot for music innovation and cultural exchange that is the wellspring of the American art form, jazz. Explores the African American experience of cultural resilience through dance, singing and drumming traditions that fused elements from various cultures with gospel, blues and the Latin tinge. Includes analysis of important recordings as well as in-class performance of traditional and modern New Orleans-style funeral marches, street parades, brass bands and other music employing improvisation, syncopation, call and response and friendly competition that continue to influence music throughout the world.
HIS302 The Miles Davis Legacy 3 credits, 3 hours lecture/lab Arguably one of the most important and influential figures in modern jazz, trumpet player, bandleader and innovator Miles Davis shaped virtually every facet of America’s most important art form throughout a recording and performing career that spanned six decades. Beginning with Charlie Parker’s group in 1945 until his death in 1991, Miles directly influenced every important jazz movement and musician. Through his recordings and those of his towering sidemen, this course traces the development of modern jazz from bebop to cool, to hard bop to modal, to orchestral jazz to “time no changes,” to fusion.
HIS308 The Language of Hard Bop 3 credits, 3 hours lecture/lab Drawing on quintessential recordings of the 50s and 60s hard bop era, students listen to, explore and discuss selected works of hard bop masters, focusing in particular on the collaborative spirit inherent in jazz. Recordings include iconic Blue Note Records artists such as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers “family tree,” Miles Davis’ small groups and more. Students apply concepts characteristic of the hard bop style to in-class performance of jazz repertoire. Prerequisites: MUS200B and THE200B or permission of instructor.
HIS309 Jazz Oral History Methodology 3 credits, 3 hours lecture/lab An introduction to jazz oral history methodology. Students learn research techniques in literature review focusing on biographies and autobiographies; oral history methodologies including research, preparation, transcription and analysis of interviews; and interview, audiovisual and archival techniques and their application. In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, students work with and contribute to the collection of the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program at the National Museum of American History. Prerequisite: HIS100A or consent of instructor.
HIS310 The Jazz Singers 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A history class focusing on the legendary jazz singers from the perspective of the first instrument, the voice. Students listen to and learn about a gamut of jazz singers and their greatest contributions, beginning with the precursors of jazz from work songs, field hollers, spirituals, rag and blues, to the “holy trinity” — Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald — on to jazz today and its future. Students learn to identify stylistic nuances unique to each artist as well as becoming familiar with the important instrumentalists supporting them. Lectures include an overview of the social climate of each period, fostering a greater understanding of how this music was created and has evolved. Film shorts of some of the renowned artists are shown throughout the course. Students are asked to attend and write reviews of two live jazz concerts.
HIS330 Latin American Roots of Jazz 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A survey of the evolution and relevance of the Afro-Latino roots of jazz. This course examines the pan-American sociopolitical circumstances that brought Afro-Latino music and jazz together as branches of the same tree. Emphasis is placed on the historical development of the especially influential music of Cuba, New York and Puerto Rico. Students listen to rare recordings from 1900 to the present. Music is analyzed through lecture, listening and discussion and broadens an understanding of jazz from both stylistic and historical perspectives.
HIS340 Brazilian Roots of Jazz 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A survey course tracing the Brazilian roots of jazz — from their mid-nineteenth century African and European-influenced folkloric origins to the mid-twentieth century emergence of the samba-derived bossa nova and beyond.
HIS370 The Beatles 3 credits, 3 hours lecture An examination of the life and work of the incomparable English rock and pop group The Beatles, framing the group’s career in the context of the vibrant social, cultural, and political climate of the 1960s. Attention is given to the group’s impeccable song writing, their rapid rise to fame, and their creative use of newly-available technology in the recording studio.
HIS385 History of American Roots Music from 1900 – Present 2 credits, 2 hours lecture A survey course on the history and cultural significance of American acoustic music styles, from traditional country, blues and bluegrass, to singer-songwriter, and newgrass (progressive bluegrass), among other contemporary acoustic sounds.
HIS386 The Blues: From Spirituals to Ornette Coleman 3 credits, 3 hours lecture A course focusing on the salience of the blues, tracing its late nineteenth century origins in African-American spirituals, work songs and field hollers to its ubiquitous role throughout the historical continuum of jazz.
HIS387 Protest Songs — From the African American Work Song to Women’s Rights 3 credits, 3 hours lecture An historical overview of protest songs, from the African American roots tradition (work songs, spirituals, field hollers, moans, ring shouts and plantation dances) through the Civil Rights, Anti-War, Free Speech and Women’s Rights movements –– sacred and secular oral traditions manifesting cultural resistance and a cri de coeur for freedom and equality.
HIS390A History of Western European Music from Antiquity to 1750 3 credits, 3 hours lecture This course traces the development of Western European art music from the 10th century through the middle 18th century, focusing on the musical styles of the master composers of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Emphasis on the socio-economic and political conditions that gave rise to them.
HIS390B History of Western European Music from 1750 to the Present 3 credits, 3 hours lecture This course traces the development of Western European art music from the middle 18th century through the twentieth century and beyond, focusing on the musical styles of the master composers of the Classical, Romantic and Twentieth Century periods and beyond. Emphasis on the socio-economic and political conditions of each period.
HIS390C History of 20th Century Music 3 credits, 3 hours lecture A sequel to HIS390B, a course tracing the lives and music of seminal 20th century composers who abandoned the functional harmonic conventions of the past for uncharted territory: from the 12-tone serialism of Schoenberg to the minimalism of Glass. Composers examined include Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartók, Berg, Webern, Cage, Partch, Carter, Boulez, Takemitsu, Reich and Adams, among others. Emphasis on composers’ respective philosophical viewpoints within the wider historical context of the 20th century.