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Counterpoint and Beyond

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Counterpoint—the use of multiple independent voices in composition and arranging—has been an underutilized and misunderstood technique in jazz. This course aims to demystify the use of counterpoint both by investigating vibrant examples (ranging from early virtuosi like Gesualdo and Bach, to 20th century innovators like Stravinsky and Hindemith, to jazz and third-stream masters John Carisi, Bill Smith, Charles Mingus, and more) and through practical exercises geared toward real-world usefulness for jazz composers. Beginning with an overview of species counterpoint (short compositional exercises designed to develop an understanding of how voices relate to each other), we will work our way to 20th century and jazz applications. We will also explore other ways to take jazz compositions and arrangements away from predictable conventions and into fresh and adventurous terrain. (Basic knowledge of jazz harmony required.)

Thur, 6:30 – 8 pm
August 4 – 18 (3 weeks)
Ian Carey • $120



JCMS Spring Catalog
The Word

“I truly appreciate what the Jazzschool has to offer. Having the opportunity to work with a great jazz trio in our classes, the open mic sessions, and the final performance make this learning experience incredible.”

— Cynthia Lee