Thinking Big: Jazz Composition and Performance Beyond the Chorus Form

Course Content
The 32-bar chorus form is by far the most common in jazz. However, longer works have also always been a part of the jazz repertoire, and not only in big band music. Although the longer form did not always receive positive critical acclaim, there seems to be an increase of engagement with it in current jazz writing. But what does it take for a longer jazz piece to work well? What are the gains of composing longer works in jazz? What is the relationship to the element of improvisation? In what way would a longer work in jazz differ (if at all) from one in the so-called ‘classical repertoire’? These and similar questions will be addressed in this course through analysis of longer pieces from different periods. We will not only look at scores, but also analyse recordings and video performances.

Course Details

teachers Patrick Schenkius, Barbara Bleij, Walther Stuhlmacher
term January-April 2023
method of instruction weekly, three-hour group lessons
course requirements minimum 80% attendance, weekly analytical assignments (additional readings may be part of the requirements)
assessment individual presentation
credits 5