• James Domine

History & Development of Jazz

Course Description:

Jazz is the musical style that gave American music its identity. Jazz traces its birthplace and origins in the deep south where early in the 20th century pre-existing musical traditions and practices gave the emerging genre its mythical and real past. This course will provide a focused examination of jazz in both its musical and cultural dimensions. Significant trends in the development of jazz involving listening examples will be studied, including a discussion of the repertoire, as well as the composers, arrangers, artists and performers that have made jazz the quintessential American art form. The most significant trends and sub-genres in the jazz idiom will be compared and contrasted with regard to their similarities and differences. Jazz is a style of music where cultures and ethnicities meet, collide, combine, synthesize and regenerate. It is a rich, migratory culture made up of different regional styles and dialects that has been able to revive itself throughout the 20th century. Apart from its seminal influence on the history of rock music and contemporary styles, jazz is itself one of the most durable traditions in music history.


Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to compare and evaluate musical genres and/or selections.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to identify specific artists, performers, and instrumentalists.

  3. Demonstrate ability to perform in public (optional).

Course Content

Sequence of lecture topics: Using examples from the musical repertoire, this class will explore the chain of musical events and the contributions of significant artists that shape the history of Jazz as an art form and tell a larger story of American cultural evolution in the 20th century. The sequence of lecture topics include: The World of Ragtime, Dixieland Jazz, the Big Band Period, the Swing Era, Vocal Ensemble and Solo Singers, Latin Jazz, Be-Bop, Progressive and Modern Jazz, Rock-Fusion and Electric-Eclectic Techno-Jazz.


Student Responsibilities

Students must comply with all College/Program rules, regulations and policies. Students must be courteous and respectful to fellow classmates. Since this is an online Distance Learning class all protocols relevant to Zoom meetings will apply. Students will remain muted while the instructor is lecturing, during all musical examples, and/or until permission is given to unmute for class discussions, questions, comments or other designated purposes as the instructor may allow. Students are encouraged to notify instructor if they expect to be absent two consecutive meetings or more. (See instructor Contact Information)


Class Cancellation/Teacher Absence Procedures

In the event of class cancellation, or teacher absence, every effort will be made to contact students, and an email will be sent to students. Students are encouraged to check their college email regularly.


Accommodation Statement: It is my policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements.


Student Conduct: Disruptive, or disorderly behavior exhibited will result in disciplinary action in accordance with program policies and procedures. Action may include warning, reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension and/or expulsion from class.


In Case of Emergency: Please program Emergency Sheriff’s number into your cell phone contacts. This will not apply to online classes.


Attendance Policy: Students who are absent the first week will be dropped. Students must attend regularly and adhere to class policy. Please notify instructor of any prolonged absence. Students may be added throughout the semester as space becomes available, even the last week of class.


Caveat: Syllabus is subject to change.


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