Jamming 1 – Introduction to Playing Improvised Music
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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This course is for musicians who have little or no experience of improvising, and wish to give it a go. Students will be introduced to the music and performing styles of a variety of improvised music and its main musical exponents, and will be given ample opportunities to jam – that is, to practice and perform improvised music together as a group.
Topics under discussion include:
- A brief history of improvised music, focusing particularly on jazz.
- Theory: scales and other stylistic elements of the genres under discussion.
- Practical study and demonstration of various styles, including jazz, blues, rock and pop.
- Solo or group performance of one or a collection of compositions in appropriate style.
- Social and historical context in which improvised music and its main exponents can be situated and better understood.
Who is this course for?
This course is specifically designed for musicians who have little or no experience of improvising. Participants will be encouraged to express themselves using a range of well established strategies in a supportive group environment. All instruments and levels are welcome.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning are undertaken by means of small group work. Methods include aural analysis (recorded musical examples), presentation of material on video and/or DVD, and the practical study and demonstration of the styles and genres under discussion. One of the principal aims of this method is to stimulate students into discussion and debate, and further exploration.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
You will not have formal examinations but you may have class tasks and tests. You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Frith, S., W. Straw and A. Street: The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (Cambridge: CUP, 2001)
- Kernfeld, B.: What to Listen for in Jazz (Yale University Press, 1997)
- Rawlins, R. and N.E. Bahha: Jazzology: The Encyclopedia of Jazz Theory for all Musicians (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005)
- Steinel, M.: Building a Jazz Vocabulary: A Resource for Learning Jazz Improvisation (Hal Leonard Corporation, 1995)
The tutor will recommend specific audio and/or DVD recordings and documentaries.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.