Music 310G – History of Jazz Syllabus

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Music 310G – History of Jazz - Syllabus

Section 01 – 12:00 pm MWF, Robinson Hall 226 (Ray Charles PAC)

Section 02 – 1:00pm TR, Robinson Hall 226 (Ray Charles PAC)
Prof. Chad E Hughes

Office: Robinson Hall 127 (Ray Charles PAC)

Phone: (404) 215-2693

Office Hours

MW 1:00pm, MTWR 6:00pm, Or by appointment

Textbook and other materials
Required text: Scott Deveaux & Gary Giddens, Jazz: Essential Listening (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011).

ISBN: 978-0-393-93563-9

Spotify will be used for linking the student to streaming listening examples. This can be downloaded from the website to desktops and laptops, or as an app. YouTube will also be used. It is a free service, but you will occasionally have to listen to an advertisement. If you find the advertisements overly annoying, it is possible to purchase an upgraded version to bypass the ads.
Some materials will be delivered electronically through the OneDrive tab of Outlook o365. This will require the student to sign in using the new official college-assigned email address:

Course Description

This course provides a general survey of the history of jazz from its beginnings to the present. Major emphases are placed on the stylistic and evolutionary development of the music and the significant contributors to jazz styles. This course is designed as a jazz appreciation course for the general student and will fulfill the music requirement in the core curriculum.

This course offers the general student an option other than the traditional Music Appreciation class to fulfill one of his Humanities requirements in the core curriculum. While all five of the General Education offerings by the Department of Music focus on familiarizing the student with basic elements of music (pitch, rhythm, timbre, style, form, etc.), this course uses jazz as its content for historical survey and repertoire of musical examples.  It supports the mission of the College to teach the student about the history of African-Americans and highlights the centrality of African-American music to American music in general.

Expanded Description (Course Design)
Readings from the required textbook, reinforced by written homework assignments, and faculty lectures provide the chief means of presenting materials to the class.  Class discussions centered around sessions devoted to listening to recordings of representative compositions by major contributors to jazz are designed to deepen the student's familiarity and appreciation of the genre. Additional independent listening assignments from Spotify and the internet (YouTube) are intended to augment the student’s understanding of the material. Unit tests, two major examinations (midterm and final), one essays, homework assignments, concert attendance, and class participation provide the chief means of evaluation. 
Course Goals
1a. Students will be able to identify by definition or example basic musical elements (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, style, and form) and relate them to their usage within the genre of jazz.
1b. When listening to a performance of jazz, students will be able to identify and discuss on an elementary level musical elements found within the performance (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, style, and form).
2. Students will be able to list successive stylistic developments in the history of jazz; differentiate them by highlighting their specific musical characteristics, places of origin, and approximate years of development; and identify major contributors within each style.
3a. Students will be able to identify representative compositions from the standard canon of jazz repertory and discuss historical importance where applicable.
3b. Students will be able to recognize aurally and identify specific recorded performances from a select list of representative compositions from the standard canon of jazz repertory.
4. Students will be able to relate developments and trends in the history of jazz to concurrent events in American history, especially as they relate to the history of African-Americans in political and social contexts.
Course Objectives
1a. Given a definition or example of a specific musical element, students will identify correctly which musical element is being described.


Given the name of a specific musical element, students will provide its definition and/or an example.
1b. Given a recording of a jazz performance and a set of possible solutions, students will correctly identify the style of the piece and its form.  Students will compare and contrast the several choruses within the form, correctly citing at least one distinguishing feature of each.
2a. Given the name of a particular style of jazz, students will enumerate specific musical characteristics of the style, its approximate date (decade) of origin, and major contributors to the style.


Given specific identifying characteristics, students will differentiate between contrasting styles of jazz.

2b. Given the name of a jazz artist, students will identify the artist's major contribution(s) to the development of jazz, including areas of instrumental/vocal performance and composition, and styles with which (s)he is associated.


Given specific identifying factors, such as instrumental/vocal performance medium, stylistic association(s), historical contribution(s) for which (s)he is recognized, and/or composition, students will identify the artist in question.

3a. Given the title of a specific jazz composition or recording from the standard jazz repertory, students will identify its composer/performer and its relevance to the development of jazz history.
3b. After having listened to an excerpt from a recording chosen from a predetermined set of examples for consideration, the student will identify the name of the piece and the performer(s).
4. Given the title of a specific jazz composition or the name of a specific development or trend in the history of jazz, students will discuss its relationship to concurrent events in American history, especially as it relates to the history of African-Americans in political and social contexts.

Attendance Policy
Class attendance is required. However, school policy permits three unexcused absences. Unexcused absences beyond three will constitute possible failure. After the basic average has been determined, absences and class participation may be considered before the final grade is issued.
Credit Hour Definition
Contact with the course instructor is a key component required for students to meet learning outcomes at Morehouse College. In keeping with accepted practice in American higher education, Morehouse uses the semester hour as the unit for expressing the completion of academic credit. One semester credit hour is granted for a minimum of three hours of student academic work per week, on average, for a semester of approximately fifteen weeks in duration. Academic work includes not only formally structured activities such as lectures, seminars, laboratories, supervised field work, tutorials, and applied and studio instruction but also out-of-class activities such as required conferences with the faculty member, homework, research, writing and revision, reading, independent study, community engaged experiences, recitals, rehearsals, and recitations.

Quizzes (3) = 10% each

Midterm Exam = 20%

Final Exam = 30%

Essay = 10%

Homework assignments (2) = 10%

One point for each of up to five completed concert critiques is added to the final grade.
The Grading Scale

100+ * A+ 4.0

94-100 A 4.0

90-93 A- 3.7

87-89 B+ 3.3

83-86 B 3.0

80-82 B- 2.7

77-79 C+ 2.3

73-76 C 2.0

70-72 C- 1.7

67-69 D+ 1.3

63-66 D 1.0

60-62 D- 0.7

0-59 F 0.0

*Because points for concert critiques are added after the final average is calculated, it is actually possible to earn more than 100 percentage points.
Academic Integrity
The Division of Humanities & Social Sciences at Morehouse College endorses the highest standards and expectations of academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Sanctions for violations of these standards include possible suspension or dismissal from the College. It is each student’s responsibility to be familiar with the expected codes and conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook and in the section on Academic Honesty in the Morehouse College Catalog.

Office of Disability Services
Morehouse College is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities or those who suspect they have a disability must register with the Office of Disability Services (“ODS”) in order to receive accommodations.  Students currently registered with the ODS are required to present their Disability Services Accommodation Letter to faculty immediately upon receiving the accommodation.  If you have any questions, contact the Office of Disability Services, 104 Sale Hall Annex, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Dr. S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314, (404) 215-2636, FAX: (404) 215-2749.
Course Outline
Weeks One and Two:

Elements of Music (Chapter 1)

Jazz influence in Hop-Hop

Homework Assignment 1
Week Three and Four:

Jazz Form and Jazz Roots (Chapters 2,3, 4)

Test One Louis, NOLA, and Chicago
Week Four and Five:

Swing Era: Kansas City, DC, and New York (Chapter 4)

Test Two: Basie and Duke
Weeks Six and Seven:

The Swing Era: Sweet bands (Chapters 7 through 10)

Midterm Exam: Big Band
Week Eight to Eleven


Writing Assignment: Quantifying Three Recordings

Test Four

Week Twelve through Fifteen:

Cool Jazz/Hard Bop/The 50’s/Avant-Garde (Chapters 11 through 15)

Fusion/Historicism/Today (Chapters 16 through 19)

Homework Assignment 2
Final Exam – Jazz Vocalists, Miles, and the Present

A syllabus is not a contract between instructor and student, but rather a guide to course procedures. The instructor reserves the right to modify it at his discretion.

Suggested Bibliography
Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 3rd ed., 1997.
Bebey, Francis. (trans. Josephine Bennett) African Music: A People’s Art. New York: Lawrence Hill & Co., Publishers, Inc., 1975.
Nketia, J. H.Kwabena. The Music of Africa. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974.
Courlander, Harold. Negro Folk Music, U.S.A. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963. (Paperback: New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1992.)
Jones, LeRoi (Amiri Baraka). Blues People: Negro Music in White America. New York: The Grove Press, 1963. (Paperback: New York: Harper Perennial; 1st Quill edition, 1999.)
Porter, Lewis & Michael Ullman. Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993.
Porter, Lewis. Jazz: A Century of Change. New York: Schirmer Books, 1997.
Marquis, Donald. In Search of Buddy Bolden, Revised Edition. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2005.
Schuller, Gunther. Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Schuller, Gunther. The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Ellington, Duke. Music Is My Mistress. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1973.
Davis, Miles with Quincy Troup. Miles: The Autobiography. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1989.
Piazza, Tom. The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995.
Alexander, Scott. The Red Hot Jazz Archive.

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