MUS 236

Jazz Improvisation II

Spring 2011


Instructor: Robert Russell

Office: CAB 1028      Phone: 962-7440


Office hours: MWF 11:00 – 12:00 (By appointment only)

Prerequisite: MUS 235

Course description: A continuation of the work begun in MUS 235. Materials and practices for further development of improvisational skills in the jazz idiom.


Students will analyze the melodies and harmonies of commonly performed jazz compositions

Students will transcribe the improvised solos of master jazz musicians

Students will learn commonly used methods for negotiating chord progressions

Students will memorize the melodies and harmonies of commonly performed jazz compositions and improvise on the compositions from memory.



Each student will be responsible for memorizing and performing assigned tunes as designated by instructor. Playing tests will be given in class on each assigned tune. Written tests may be given periodically at instructorÕs discretion. Written transcriptions may also be assigned. All assigned work will be graded.

The final exam in this course will be a playing test consisting of instructorÕs choice of any three of the compositions learned during the semester.

Final grade will be computed as follows:

Assigned work during semester:     75%

Final exam:                                        25%



It is expected that every student will attend every class meeting. Any student attending fewer than 75% of class meetings without a verifiable excuse (illness, accident or other documented emergency) will automatically fail MUS 236. Unexcused absences numbering more than two will result in the deduction of one letter grade from your final grade.