OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Minimum number of credits required to earn minor: 19
GPA requirements to earn minor: None.
Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward minor: None.
Contact Information: Beth Wiemann, Chair, Class of 1944 Hall, 581-1244
The Minor in Jazz Studies is designed to offer students a significant and in-depth experience with jazz, designated an American National Treasure by the 100th U.S. Congress in 1987.
In addition to a total absence of instrument specificity, the performance and study of jazz allows individuals to access a nearly limitless repertory. For musicians whose available solo repertory is quite limited, this opens the door to a lifetime of personal creativity and participation with music in general and jazz in particular.
The focus of this program is the study of jazz through the art of improvisation, that is, spontaneous musical composition. In addition, highly specific arranging skills (for piano and one other instrument only), as well as sufficient piano skills for the performance of the arrangements created in the coursework, are part of the materials to be covered. The overall purpose is for the students to develop integrated skills in jazz theory, composition, and performance which will allow them to continue to be involved in this music throughout their future musical lives.
Students who elect this program must play a musical instrument of some description in “C,” “Bb,”or “C bass clef” only, that is capable of single-note pitches and a full chromatic scale in tempered tuning. Unpitched percussion is not among these, but percussionists can participate in the coursework on mallet instruments. Vocalists as well will need to play a pitched musical instrument that meets the criteria outlined above. Pianists will need their own portable keyboards.