Luther offers a jazz studies experience through two big bands, multiple combos, open jam-sessions, applied improvisation lessons, and improvisation, theory/arranging, and history classes. Students interested in jazz studies are advised to supplement the music major requirements with the courses below. Additional questions can be directed to jazz studies professor Juan Tony Guzmán.
MUS 130, 230, 330, 430 Private Instruction: Jazz Improvisation (1 hour)
MUS 135 Principles of Improvisation (2 hours)
Through the lens of improvisation in the jazz idiom, instrumentalists and vocalists will undertake an introductory study of jazz harmony, form, and repertoire. Emphasis is placed on stylistic performance practice and imitation of jazz recordings. Students are expected to demonstrate improvisational skills on their instruments at moderate tempos. Offered alternate years.
MUS 247 History of Jazz (4 hours)
A survey of the history and development of jazz, from the 1890s to the present. Includes origins and early jazz through the modern jazz era. Listening activities focus on the major figures of each historical period. Offered alternate years. (Same as AFRS 247) (HEPT, Hist, Intcl)
MUS 235-A Jazz Theory and Arranging (2 hours) A seminar that examines jazz harmony, melody, form, rhythm, style, and piano voicing as they apply to improvisation, arranging, and composition. This course includes ear training and the analysis of classic jazz repertoire. The comprehensive outcome is an original arrangement of a jazz standard scored for horns and rhythm section, which will be performed and recorded. Offered alternate years.
MUS 273 Chamber Music (1 hour) (For jazz combo credit)
Instruction in the literature for small ensembles. Ensembles should be approved by an instructor before registration. Open to all students regardless of major. All ensemble members must be registered.
MUS 300 Jazz Orchestra
MUS 300 Jazz Band