Columbus State University Print Logo

Schwob School of Music

Schwob School of Music

Jazz Curriculum

Numerous jazz studies courses and ensembles are available to students wishing to enhance performance technique, improvisational ability, harmonic and theoretical awareness, and teaching methods within the many different styles of jazz. A formal Jazz Studies Minor and Jazz Certificate exist for students interested in studying jazz music in increased depth and scope.

JAZZ STUDIES MINOR [19 credit hours]

MUSC 1221: Jazz Theory/Improvisation I [2 credit hours]
MUSC 1222: Jazz Theory/Improvisation II [2 credit hours]
MUSC 1223: Jazz Theory/Improvisation III [2 credit hours]
MUSC 1224: Jazz Theory/Improvisation IV [2 credit hours]
MUSC 3230: History of Jazz [3 credit hours]
MUSP 3060: Jazz Band [1 credit hour] (4 semesters)
MUSP 3358: Jazz Workshop [1 credit hour] (4 semesters)


MUSC 1221: Jazz Theory/Improvisation I [2 credit hours]
MUSC 1222: Jazz Theory/Improvisation II [2 credit hours]
MUSC 3230: History of Jazz [3 credit hours]
MUSE 2265: Jazz and Vernacular Methods [1 credit hour]
MUSP3060: Jazz Band [1 credit hour] (2 semesters)
MUSP3358: Jazz Workshop [1 credit hour] (2 semesters)
MUSP3060: Jazz Band [1 credit hour] (1 semester)
MUSP3358: Jazz Workshop [1 credit hour] (3 semesters)

New for Fall 2014, the Jazz Studies Certificate is designed to offer music students engaged in various fields of study within the Schwob School of Music the opportunity to study and perform jazz. The 12-credit-hour program focuses on development of the ability to play and improvise in various jazz styles, study of jazz history and theory, and exploration of jazz pedagogy techniques. Any instrumental or voice student in any music degree program is eligible for participation regardless of prior jazz performance experience.



Jazz Band (MUSP 3060): This course is a large jazz ensemble, the flagship Columbus State University Jazz Ensemble, structured in standard big band instrumentation: trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and a rhythm section. Students will study of wide range of jazz styles through rehearsals and performances. An audition is required for placement into the ensemble; students that are not placed into the ensemble will be required to register for the course and attend as observational participants and complete regular related assignments. [1 credit hour]

Jazz Combo/Workshop (MUSP 3358): This course is a small jazz ensemble structured as a jazz chamber group instrumentation: one instrument of a kind. Focus is placed on study, research, and memorization of wide range of jazz standards through rehearsals, arrangement, and performances. [1 credit hour]

Jazz Theory/Improvisation I (MUSC 1221): Designed as an introduction to basic jazz improvisation, this course presents methods for the non-jazz musician to become familiar with jazz improvisation techniques. Major topics include creative improvisation in simple harmonic environments, jazz nomenclature, basic chord progression types, 2-5-1 chord motives, and transcriptions. Prerequisite: MUSC 1214. [2 credit hours]

Jazz Theory/Improvisation II (MUSC 1222): Designed to build upon MUSC 1221, this practical and theoretical course combines jazz harmony and counterpoint with improvisational experience in the classroom. Major topics include chord/scale relationships, modal theory, chord progressions, formal analysis, thematic and motivic improvisation, and intermediate-level transcriptions. Prerequisite: MUSC 1221. [2 credit hours]

Jazz Theory/Improvisation III (MUSC 1223): Advanced techniques for jazz improvisation and correlative jazz theory will be examined. Partial direction of study is student-selected based upon instrument. Proficient performance of jazz improvisation is required. Prerequisite: MUSC 1221. [2 credit hours]

History of Jazz (MUSC 3230): This course traces the development of jazz beginning with the music's inception through contemporary jazz. The following topics will be covered: the European and African origins of jazz, the precursors of jazz in the Southern United States, the lineage of early jazz, the Swing Era, bebop, West Coast/cool jazz, hard bop, avant-garde jazz, jazz fusion, and contemporary jazz. Prerequisite: MUSC 1100. [3 credit hours]

Jazz and Vernacular Methods (MUSE 2265): This course will create an opportunity for students to gain experience and understanding of the process and methods involved in conducting rehearsals of various jazz ensembles as well as individual jazz instruction with an emphasis on the techniques that are unique to the jazz idiom. An overview of available printed materials and computer software pertinent to jazz education will be presented and discussed. [2 credit hours]

Jazz Composition and Arranging (MUSC 4899): This course is designed as in-depth exploration of compositional and arranging techniques in various jazz styles and jazz ensemble formats, from extended jazz combo to jazz band. Students will research and analyze timbral characteristics and interaction of common instrumentation in jazz ensembles. Prerequisite: MUSC1223. [2 credit hours]