Skip to Main Content

MUS-134: Jazz Appreciation

General Information

  • Name: Jazz Appreciation
  • Discipline: Music
  • Units (Credits): 3
  • Transfer Information: (Courses with numbers 100 to 299) This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.
  • Academic Division: Liberal Arts
  • Prerequisites: None

Course Outline

I: Catalog Course Description

Jazz music's evolution as an art form unique to the United States has both shaped and reflected the construction of our national identity. This course teaches how social and cultural events led to the development of jazz music from 1890 through the 1960's. Prominent players and groups of each era will be covered, as well as sociological, economic and cultural factors that shaped the many styles of American Jazz as evolved.

II. Course Objectives and Linkage to General Education Program

The information in the parentheses after a course objective refers to the specific general education (GE) learning outcome that the objective meets. Objectives without this information are not linked to WNC’s general education program.

By completion of this course, the student should be able:

  1. List in chronological order the prominent eras and trends of jazz music and identify the names and contributions of key jazz music personalities. (GE 1, 2, 4)
  2. Describe the emergence of jazz music from its beginnings as ragtime, swing, to “Be-Bop” to the present day “Smooth Jazz.” GE 1, 2, 4)
  3. Demonstrate an ability to identify individual jazz music styles, distinguish among the styles of jazz in terms of music theory and conception. GE 1, 2, 4)
  4. Discuss relationships between jazz and the historical, social and economic factors of each era. (GE 1, 2, 4)
  5. Describe technological advances from the early phonographs to modern multitrack recording, GE 1, 2, 4)
  6. Understand and discuss the profound impact this music has had throughout the United States and the world. (GE 1, 2, 6)

III. Topics

  • What is Jazz? It’s roots and definition.
  • The elements of Jazz; improvisation, Rhythm, Dissonance, interpretation, and Interaction.
  • The Instruments that play jazz: The Rhythm Section: Piano Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vibraphone, Organ. The Woodwinds: Soprano, alto, tenor and Baritone Sax, Clarinet, Flute. The Brass: Trumpet Cornet, Trombone, Flugelhorn, and Tuba.
  • Origins of Jazz: Ragtime, The Blues, and New Orleans.
  • The Great Migration of musician form the South to Northern US cities and the influence of organized crime on Jazz.
  • Early jazz piano, The Swing era to the end of The Big Bands.
  • What is Bebop and the revolution it created among jazz musicians?
  • Latin jazz.
  • Vocal Jazz from Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit to Lambert, Hendricks & Ross’s Twisted.
  • The music of Miles Davis, Soul jazz, Jazz in odd time signatures and Funk jazz.

Scheduled MUS-134 classes:

Fall 2016

There are currently no MUS-134 classes scheduled for this term.