Advanced Theory: Jazz Theory and Harmony


This course will study the building blocks and concepts of jazz theory, harmony, and rhythm. It will include the study of the standard modes and scales, as well as the use of melodic and harmonic minor scales and their respective modal systems. It will include the study and application of diminished and augmented scales and their role in harmonic progression, particularly the diminished chord as a parental structure. An in-depth study will be given to harmony and harmonic progression through analysis and memorization of triads, extensions, and alterations, as well as through substitute chords, reharmonization, and back cycling. We will look at polytonality and the superposition of various hybrid chords over different bass tones and other harmonic structures. We will study and apply all of the above to their characteristic and stylistic genres, including bebop, modal, free, and progressive jazz. The study of rhythm, which is possibly the single most-important aspect of jazz, will be a primary focus, as well. We will also use composition as a way to absorb and truly understand the concepts discussed. Prerequisite: Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition