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New Modalities in Jazz Composition

theory

Overview

This course focuses on strategies to expand your approach to jazz composition and improvisation by utilizing techniques from 21st Century classical composition. Topics include the harmonic practices of spectral music, interval-based techniques of the post-war avant-garde, and cyclical, linear, and tempo-based approaches to rhythm. Simple compositional tools based on these practices are defined and implemented in short composition exercises. We also look at how these topics can be reflected in structures used for improvisation.

PART ONE examines approaches to melody and counterpoint using modal techniques from Olivier Messiaen, symmetrical systems from Bela Bartok, and interval-based linear constructions from Henry Threadgill.

PART TWO discusses harmony from the point of view of timbral transformation in Gerard Grisey, the symmetrical projections of Edgar Varese, and tri-chord generation techniques from Henry Threadgill.

PART THREE explores cyclical rhythmic layering in Steve Coleman, metric modulation in Elliott Carter, and polyrhythm as tempo in Brian Ferneyhough.

Thursdays 6:30 – 8 pm
7/12 – 8/16 (6 weeks)
Jason Levis • $280

 

Registration

DEPARTMENT: Composition

COURSE TITLE: New Modalities in Jazz Composition

COURSE OUTLINE:

This course focuses on strategies to expand your approach to jazz composition and improvisation by utilizing techniques from 21st Century classical composition. Topics include the harmonic practices of spectral music, interval-based techniques of the post-war avant-garde, and cyclical, linear, and tempo-based approaches to rhythm. Simple compositional tools based on these practices are defined and implemented in short composition exercises. We also look at how these topics can be reflected in structures used for improvisation.

Jason Levis (percussion)

Ph.D. and M.A. in Composition, UC Berkeley; B.A. in Music, Naropa University. Two-time Meet the Composer award recipient; Eisner Prize for Music winner; Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (UC Berkeley); Interaktion Festival finalist (Berlin), drummer and composer Jason Levis has led and been a collaborator in numerous jazz, improvised music, and chamber ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area and Berlin, Germany. These include the Heftpistole Chamber Ensemble; duo B.; Married Couple; DRY; live dub-reggae ensemble Joseph’s Bones; the Echo Chamber Ensemble; most recently the Berlin Boom Orchestra, and many more.

jasonlevismusic.com

 

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