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Course Descriptions

Masters degree in jazz performance and composition is established in collaboration with the sound technologies graduate program. Its integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum is based on 3 subfields which have utmost importance for jazz music; performance, composition and music production. These 3 focal areas of the curriculum is designed to encourage creative thought, entrepreneurship and promote success in the current music industry. To this end, it is structured to provide a rich and valuable array of academic and music courses such as jazz composition and arrangement, advanced jazz harmony, music business, advanced recording techniques that prepare students for an ever-changing musical climate. The students go through an intensive period of advanced jazz theory, classic form, improvisation, composition and arrangement courses. The program provides performers with a solid musical foundation along with advanced performance training led by our world-class artist/faculty to develop their own individual voice and expression in music. They are offered direct and immediate interaction and performance opportunities with internationally acclaimed artists and educators as well as industry executives and entrepreneurs. Our curriculum led by a world-class faculty and location provide students with a unique opportunity to develop as performers, composers, instructors, arrangers, ethnomusicologists, music critics, film and commercial music producers and make the contacts necessary to launch a professional career in the globalized jazz world.

 

One of the inherent characteristic of jazz is its everchanging capacity to transform and redefine itself harmonically and conceptually. Jazz also integrates into its embodiment the cultural heritages of the new geography it goes to; embracing its traditional sounds, dance rhythms and evolves into a new jazz form with defining cultural traits.  150 years of Jazz History are full of examples of this evolutionary process as illustrated in the Afro-american, Latin-american, Northern European, Indian, Russian, Turkish jazz music etc. Adopting these inherent characteristics of Jazz as our primary goals, our program aims not only to provide students with general jazz theory and performance excellence but also endow them with jazz forms of our own geography within the Turkish musical heritage.

 

Description of Graduate Courses

STT5201 Advanced Contemporary Harmony I (3-0-3 -8)

 

Analysis of major and minor harmony. Subdominant minor and modal interchange chords, chord scales, melody and harmony relation, substitute dominants and related II-7 chords, diminished chord scales, modulation. (TR)

STT5202 Advanced Contemporary Harmony II  (3-0-3 -8)

 

Analysis of modern chord progressions. Secondary dominant resolution, dominant chords without dominant function, hybrid chords, contiguous dominant, analysis of melodic structures, pedal point and ostinato, modal harmony and modal composition, compound and hybrid chords, constant structures, Giant Steps. (TR)

STT5203 Jazz Composition and Arrangement (3-0-3 -8)

 

A systematic approach to the art of composing in the jazz idiom. Exploration of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic principles. Analysis of standard jazz form. Arranging considerations applied as a means of enhancing a composition. Composition of a small jazz group. Composition of non-song-form jazz pieces based on motivic development. Discussion of form and content as it applies to episodic composition in jazz. Examination of representative works by various jazz composers. Composition of an episodic five-minute piece, a short chamber piece without rhythm section and a large-scale ten-minute piece are required. (TR)

STT 5204 Jazz Improvisation Techniques I (3-0-3 -8)

 

This performance-centered class introduces basic skills essential to effective improvisation. Techniques covered include memorization procedure for song melody and harmony, listening skills, exercise design, pacing, chord tone soloing, tempo accuracy, swing rhythmic feel, melodic and rhythmic embellishment of song melody, and soloing with full rhythm section accompaniment. Development of effective practice skills. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. Techniques covered include rhythmic feels, accents and ghost notes, rhythmic syncopation, lower structure triads, phrase lengths, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment. (TR)

STT5205 Jazz Improvisation Techniques II(3-0-3 -8)

 

An advanced-level course introducing approaches to improvisation that require a solid background in harmonic and tonal concepts as well as well-developed improvisation skills. Several techniques that will be covered are; rhythmic activity, chord tone soloing, articulation, upper structure triads, dynamics, and soloing with full and partial rhythmic section accompaniment and also with hi-hat only. Motive soloing, motive development soloing, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Challenging rhythmic topics are featured as aspects of performance of improved solos. Preparation exercises for rhythmic displacement will also be covered. (TR)

STT5206 Private Lessons I (3-0-3 -8)

 

One to one study of diverse techniques and application of those techniques with a private instructor for each jazz instrument inclusive of voice. Main subjects that will be analyzed are phrasing, melodic and rhythmic variations, horizontal and vertical improvisation methods. Application of harmonic knowledge and improvisation techniques learned from Transcriptions for each instrument. (TR)

STT5207 Private Lessons II (3-0-3 -8)

 

One to one study of diverse techniques and application of those techniques with a private instructor for each jazz instrument inclusive of voice. Main subjects that will be analyzed are phrasing, melodic and rhythmic variations, horizontal and vertical improvisation methods. Application of harmonic knowledge and improvisation techniques learned from Transcriptions for each instrument. (TR)

STT5208 Classic Form (3-0-3-8)

 

Classical form is based on the relationship between classical music and jazz in terms of formal structures. Through study and analysis of musical examples and guided written work knowledge and skills are developed in certain formal concepts.

STT5209 Contemporary Composition (3-0-3-8)

 

Specific techniques of traditional 20th-century composition. Technical devices such as quartal harmony, serial writing, polytonality, and contrapuntal techniques. Assignments are directly related to each of these aspects of composition and are performed in class. Further concentration on the employment of serial approaches to composition. (TR)

STT5210 Tonal Harmony  (3-0-3 -8)

 

Emphasis on baroque, classical and romantic harmonic styles. The student will be able to deal with the specified connections and relations between tonal harmony and its influence on Jazz from Duke Ellington to John Zorn. (TR)

STT5211 Modal Harmony  (3-0-3 -8)

The main purpose of this course is to introduce the main themes of chromatic modal harmonic system and free asymmetric form through extensive study of leading musicians of the period such as; Miles Davis, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Ralph Towner, Eberhard Weber, Terje Typdal. The study of major, melodic major, harmonic minor and harmonic major scales and the analysis and application as well as harmonization of multiple voicing methods of their modes.(TR)

STT5212 Vocal Workshop (3-0-3-8)

 

This course aims to improve vocal performance through singing in ensemble groups mainly addressing repertoire, practice of improvisation, phrasing, jazz jargon, arrangement ideas, stage presence and the use of theory in performance for each vocalist. Further emphasis will be given to interpretation, cues, form, practice of improvisation, arrangement, stage presence and communication with the band members. (TR)

STT5213 Chromatic Approach to Jazz Melody and Harmony I (3-0-3-8)

 

This class emphasizes on famous saxophonist, arranger and composer David Liebman’s unique chromatic approach to jazz melody and harmony. Liebman’s method is going to be applied in order to create a chromatic dimension to music. First semester of this class covers the subjects of chromaticism on II-V-I, analysis of lines, double triads and performance of a chromatic solo transcription; as well as the subjects of the usage of intervals in order to create chromaticism, complex chords and synthetic scales. (TR)

STT5214 Chromatic Approach to Jazz Melody and Harmony II (3-0-3-8)

 

This course aims to introduce famous saxophonist, arranger and composer David Liebman’s unique chromatic approach to jazz melody and harmony. Liebman’s method is going to be applied in order to create a chromatic dimension to music. Second semester of this class covers the subjects of the usage of intervals in order to create chromaticism, complex chords and synthetic scales. (TR)

STT5215 Ensemble I (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course aims to cover up major jazz standards at the beginning level to be used for demonstration, practice and performance activities. The main emphasis will be playing with the band, interplay, cues, form, practice of improvisation, arrangement, interpretation and how to communicate musically with the band members through jazz language. Techniques covered include memorization procedure for song melody and harmony, listening skills, exercise design, pacing, chord tone soloing, tempo accuracy, swing rhythmic feel, melodic and rhythmic embellishment of song melody, and soloing with full rhythm section accompaniment. This course helps students develop effective practice skills.(TR)

STT5216 Ensemble II (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course aims to expand the fundamental improvisational skills developed in Ensemble I with the introduction of techniques that will further enhance the student’s personal improvisational style. Techniques covered include rhythmic feels, accents and ghost notes, rhythmic syncopation, lower structure triads, phrase lengths, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. (TR)

STT5217 Ensemble III (3-0-3-8)

An intermediate-level course introducing approaches to improvisation that require a solid background in harmonic and tonal concepts. Techniques covered include rhythmic activity, chord tone soloing, articulation, upper structure triads, dynamics, and soloing with full and partial rhythmic section accompaniment and also with hi-hat only. Music from various periods of jazz (swing, bop, postbop, and contemporary) will be used for demonstration, practice, and performance activities. (TR)

STT5218 Ensemble IV (3-0-3-8)

 

An upper-level course recommended for students with well-developed improvisation skills and concepts who are interested in further developing their own personal style through detailed application. Techniques covered include motive soloing, motive development soloing, and soloing with full and partial rhythm section accompaniment and also with no accompaniment. Challenging rhythmic topics are featured as aspects of performance of improved solos. (TR)

STT5219 Vocal Ensemble I (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course for vocalists gives the opportunity to rehearse the songs that are practiced in the private lessons with a rhythm section.  The main emphasis will be leading the band, cues, form, practice of improvisation, arrangement, interpretation, stage presence and communication with the band members. Each vocalist is going to be guided individually and subjects such as communication with the duo partner, leading rubato, stage presence, vocal composition, choir arrangement analysis, arranging for choir and extended vocal techniques will be addressed. (TR)

STT5220 Vocal Ensemble II (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course for vocalists gives the opportunity to rehearse the songs that are practiced in the private lessons with a ryhthm section.  In the second semester, the main emphasis is on tonal, modal and free improvisation. The focus is going to be improvisation on blues, pedal and typical chord progressions, vocal jazz patterns and transcription. (TR)

STT5221 Vocal Ensemble III (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course for vocalists gives the opportunity to rehearse the songs that are practiced in the private lessons with a rhythm section. In the third semester, the main emphasis will be given to practicing the skill of improvisation using solfege, on rhythm changes and jazz standards. (TR)

STT5222 Vocal Ensemble IV (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course for vocalists gives the opportunity to rehearse the songs that are practiced in the private lessons with a rhythm section. In the fourth semester, the main emphasis will be given to arrangement. This course aims to improve the arrangement skills of vocalists and perform the song with a specific arrangement where the band will play accordingly. (TR)

STT 5223 Jazz & Gospel Ensemble (3-0-3-8)

 

This performance course aims to improve the singing skills of vocalists through an intense workout in jazz and gospel choir repertoire. A variety of selected vocal jazz and gospel repertoire is going to be taught. (TR)

STT 5224 Blues Ensemble (3-0-3-8)

 

Blues is one of the main foundations of jazz music and is indispensable for introducing students with its preliminary harmonic structure. This course enables students to understand and interpret the blues with feeling, and to apply its unique mood in a wide range of blues repertoire and improvisation.

STT 5225 Music Business (3-0-3-8)

 

This course aims to analyze issues on copyright, management, media, social media, creating business opportunities, as well as cover up common issues that today’s musician is dealing with in the aim to created therefore.

STT 5226 World Music (3-0-3-8)

 

This course aims to introduce approaches to composition using ideas and aesthetic principles from a variety of non-Western musical traditions. Explorations of diverse concepts of rhythm, melody, timbre, and form as heard in the music of Africa, Asia, India, and South America. Assignments will include a substantial composition illustrating these fundamental music traditions from India to Africa, from South America to Chin. Furthermore, the regional musical instruments are going to be searched. At the end of the semester, each student is going to concentrate on a selected region and compose a piece inspired by that regions’ music.

STT 5227 Songwriting (3-0-3-8)

 

This course aims to cover up the theory and practice of songwriting. The craft of songwriting includes the subjects of melody, harmony, lyrics(both Turkish and English), song structure, rhyme types and prosody. In order to develop this craft, students are motivated to write songs through exercises and assignments, the selected of which will be presented at the of the course.

STT 5229 Jazz History and Styles Analysis

 

This course will provide students with chronological study of jazz, with insightful commentaries on it’s origins, and full descriptions of the various styles of jazz and the personalities that have contributed to this innovative form of music.  This study is a necessary foundation for students  to analyse, connect and compare diferrent jazz styles within curicial periods of jazz history.It also gives students  in-depth analysis of musicalelements such as jazz music forms and its technical appendices that discuss advanced music theory concepts.