Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Approval

Department or Program: Music

Course Number: 110

Number of Credits 3

Course Title: History of American Jazz

Catalog Description:

A history of jazz music in America; its African and European influences, its emergence as a recognizable art form in the 20th century, and its present-day varieties. Offered each semester.

This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2: Yes (this is a name change)

Department Contact Person for this Course: Rich MacDonald

 

Email: rmacdonald@winona.edu

 

 

Rationale:

USP Outcome a: explore the language, skills, and materials of an artistic discipline.

In this course the students explore the language, skills, and materials of jazz music through studying its history and origins. Important musical contributors are studied through the style periods with which they are associated. Students have the opportunity to hear recorded examples of the earliest forms of jazz as well as modern styles. Live demonstrations of jazz style are performed on a variety of instruments on a weekly basis.

 

USP Outcome b: use the methods of an arts practitioner to actively engage in creative processes or interpretive performances.

In "History of Jazz" students are actively engaged in creative processes by: 1) learning techniques of becoming better listeners, 2) composing simple blues songs and performing them vocally or instrumentally, 3) clapping and/or singing syncopated jazz rhythms, 4) applying interpretive motion (dance) to selected jazz pieces.

 

 

USP Outcome c: understand the cultural and gender contexts of artistic expression.

Students in this course learn about jazz culture as it evolved from blues, spiritual songs and interpretive dances. The influence of the African migration, the Creole society, and European formal structures form the basis for the investigation of jazz music in American culture. Gender context is addressed through the biographical study of jazz artists.

 

 

USP Outcome d: engage in reflective analysis of their own artwork or interpretive performance and respond to the works of others.

Students' creative projects are performed in class, and are accompanied by a short paper. Students also write reflective analysis papers on at least two jazz performances outside of class.

 

Syllabus

MUS 110 History of American Jazz

 

Catalog Description:

A history of jazz music in America; its African and European influences, its emergence as a recognizable art form in the 20th century, and its present-day varieties. Offered each semester.

 

This course is eligible for University Studies Credit under:

B. Arts and Science Core,

4. Fine and Performing Arts

 

 

This course fulfills the requirements for the Fine and Performing Arts category of the University Studies Program by including learning activities that promote students' abilities to:

a. explore the language, skills, and materials of an artistic discipline;

b. use the methods of an arts practitioner to actively engage in creative processes or interpretive performances;

c. understand the cultural and gender contexts of artistic expression; and

d. engage in reflective analysis of their own art work or interpretive performance.

Course Objectives:

1) To explore the language, skills, and materials of jazz music through studying its history and origins. (USP outcome a)

2) To expand creativity through guided listening, composing and performing. (USP outcome b)

3) To investigate cultural and gender contexts of artistic expression in jazz through historical study and biographical information on its major contributors. (USP outcome c)

4) To engage in reflective analysis of one's own artistic expression and the expression of others in the jazz medium. (USP outcome d)

Materials:

1) Text: Jazz Styles (7th ed.) Mark C. Gridley, Prentice-Hall, 2000 (required)

2) Jazz Classics CD, Mark C. Gridley (required)

3) The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (CD's), available in the Media Library in Maxwell Hall

 

Plan of Study

The outline of the text will be followed closely regarding historical development of jazz styles and the major performers in each period. Emphasis will be placed on live demonstrations of these styles by the instructor and selected musicians. Students are encouraged to increase their knowledge of the idiom through listening experiences via recordings and live performances. Students are responsible for one artistic expression piece, composing and performing in groups.

 

Grading

Four exams will be given during the semester and will account for 60% of the grade (150 points each). Each exam will feature multiple choice questions.

Another 10% of the grade (100 points) will be accounted for by attendance at two live jazz performances. One of these performances (required) is the WSU Jazz Ensemble Concert, held in the WSU Performing Arts Center each semester. A one-page typed description of this event using prescribed guidelines is required. The second event may be of the student's choosing, subject to approval of the instructor.

Attendance is expected and required. 10% of the grade is accounted for in attendance. Unexcused absences are not acceptable. Each class meeting is assigned a point total, which is tallied for the semester attendance grade on a 100-point scale.

The final 20% of the grade (200 points) is incorporated in the creative project. This project will be assigned to groups of eight to ten participants. Thee assignments will require students to compose and perform a jazz or blues piece either vocally, instrumentally or through dance.

1000 total points.

900-1000 = A

800-899 = B

700-799 = C

600-699 = D

0-599 = F