Composition workshop: The goals of my composition workshop are a focus on the following topics:
Melody and thematic development
Harmonic resolution and creation of chord changes in both key-based and modal contexts
Understanding how form arises from the interaction of melody and harmonic structures
Arrangement, instrumentation, orchestration and rhythmic style
By developing awareness of the musical elements that create style with a brief comparative look at the history of jazz as it moved through the diatonic, key-based song form era that created the Great American Songbook, into Bebop and Hardbop, and the transitions that began in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s towards modal music and non diatonic harmonic resolution, students will get a clear introduction to the growth of the variety of styles that make up present day jazz.
We will work on writing melodies and using melodic development techniques in various contexts, learning about the basic compositional forms in jazz, including blues, AABA or ABAC song form, and through-composed. A final project could lead to composing complete pieces in several styles, both in a basic lead-sheet format and an arrangement for a specific ensemble.