Composing in Fast Motion: The Improvisational Spectrum
The goals of this colloquy are: 1. Giving both musical and non-musical participants a historic overview of different approaches to improvisation under the large headings of Blues and Jazz; 2. to interact with a diverse “discography” of improvisation through guided listening (CD’s and YouTube); and 3. to actually do improvisation. These goals will be achieved through a roughly equal mix of presentation, interactive discussion, weekly guided listening assignments and in-class guided listening, live demonstration and participation.
Scott Cleveland is a lifelong composer/singer/pianist/music educator/church musician. He holds degrees in Music Education, Music Theory/Composition and a M.Div. from BU. He has several solo albums and performs locally in numerous duos/trios/quartets and as music director for many local productions. He is on the Adjunct Music Faculty of UMA, and is the Music Director for The Deer Isle Congregational Church.
Listening List: All of the following can be found on YouTube.com:
Listening Goal #1: Compare and contrast the improvising approach of these four Blues guitarists. How are they similar? How are they different?
Listening Goal #2: To what extent do they improvise (vary) the sung melody?
Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues”
B.B. King, “Why I Sing the Blues”; B.B. King: “The Thrill is Gone”
Stevie Ray Vaughn: “The Sky is Crying”
Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five: “Hotter Than That”
Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five: “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue”
James P. Johnson: “Carolina Shout”
Count Basie Orchestra: “88 Basie Street”
Count Basie Orchestra: “Taxi War Dance”
Duke Ellington Orchestra: “Take the A Train”
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