Jazz Studies Opportunities

Students at CSUB wishing to explore the rich tradition of jazz can do so in various courses throughout the curriculum.  There are opportunities to perform in large and small ensembles, examine the history of the music, and study the theory and vocabulary of improvisation in private and classroom settings.  For more information about participating in the CSUB jazz program, please contact Jim Scully, Director of the Jazz Collective.  

Jazz Appreciation • MUS 1039

An introduction to the musical characteristics, techniques, and styles of the jazz tradition. Focus on the study of African and African-American folk origins through blues, early jazz, swing, bebop, cool, avant-garde jazz, jazz-rock fusion and new creative music. This exploration provides students a valuable context to use as a reference point while listening to and studying the music of the masters and innovators of this style.  

Jazz Collective • MUS 1250/3250

The Jazz Collective, under the direction of Jim Scully, is open by audition to CSUB students.  This modular ensemble will present repertoire for medium and large jazz ensembles. This advanced jazz ensemble performs four events on campus each year and is often contracted to perform at outside events in our region. Admission to this ensemble requires a year-long commitment from its members.  Contact Professor Jim Scully to audition for Jazz Collective.  Meeting Times: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 to 1:50 PM in Fall & Spring Semesters.

Jazz Improvisation I • MUS 2140

Jazz Improvisation I will focus on ionian, dorian, mixolydian, lydian and pentatonic melodic patterns and basic chord voicings of major and minor ii-V-I progressions. Students will study and memorize idiomatic melodic patterns, blues and “rhythm changes” forms, and drum and bass patterns for traditional, Latin, and world beat grooves. Pre-requisite: MUS 1410 or permission of instructor.  Required: concurrent enrollment in 1250/3250 or 2240/4240. Meeting Times: Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 AM to 12:20 PM. (Fall 2016)

Composition Seminar • MUS 2150

Composition Seminar is open to all students with an interest in composing new music.  This seminar setting allows for group instruction of compositional techniques and skills such as: music notation, instrumentation, orchestration, formal structure, motivic development, computer-assisted notation and related aspects.  Students will study scores and listen to works of historical importance, as well as pieces that explore contemporary trends. Creative projects are required. Pre-Requisite: MU 1420 or approval of the instructor. Meeting Times: TBD

Jazz Combos • MUS 2240/4440

Jazz Combos focus on performances of traditional and contemporary jazz, Latin jazz, and world music. Groups range in size from trios to septets. Student compositions and arrangements are encouraged, performed, and digitally recorded. Contact Jim Scully for more information. Meeting Times: Monday evening from 7 PM to 10 PM.  Fall & Spring Semesters.

Jazz Improvisation II • MUS 3140

Performance of ionian, dorian, mixolydian, lydian, and altered dominant melodic patterns with chromatic embellishment. Transcription and performance of melodic patterns, blues progressions, rhythm changes, chord substitutions, and turnarounds.  Introduction to concepts of solo construction.  Pre-requisite:  MUS 2140 or permission of instructor. Required: concurrent enrollment in 2240/4240. Meeting Times: TBD

Is This Cool? - Tony Rinaldi (2014)