Homework

This page shows the homework belonging to the curriculum of the first year Jazz & Pop department of the Utrecht Conservatory, 2016-2017.
Click here if you want to study a whole year curriculum (2011-2012)
External participators: pleasy study these special remarks.

Web & Contact

To access to the Fundamentals program and the VMS, go to
www.virtualmusicschool.org/Online
Important subdirectories are Sound, Instruments,
Classic Chord Progressions and the VMS-Playalongs.
Use the username and password you received from your teacher.

Downloads of transcription songs and additional material on http://lichtemuziek.hku.nl/Bart
HKU students please use bart.noorman@hku.nl to contact your teacher, or call 020-6974595 / 06-15161425

Your daily ear training routine consists of:
Intervals, triads, scales level 1, BP&D trainer cat 100 - 400.

Everything you need is in
VMS> Services > Eartraining centre, in the Ear trainer and in Fundamentals > Harmony & Tools.
The Play What You Hear trainer in the Fundamentals also is available for additional practicing transcription of melodies en rhythm (P2, P4 and P6 recommended), as well as recognizing/sightsinging scales.


Exam planning 1st semester

Tba.


What are the assignments for the first semester exam?I will give three notes: for cognitive skills (analysis, understanding), for auditive skills (hearing) and for creative skills. The test for analyses will comprise of a transposition exercise (5 saxes fabric) and an analysis of a standard in terms of scale degrees, scales and melodic development.
The ear training test will consist of 10 intervals, 10 triads, 10 scales (level 1) 10 Basic progressions (cat 100-500 in the Ear Trainer of the VMS) plus a dictation (melody and chords).
The note on creativity will be based on your Ooievaar/Guinea pig song and on your solo on Secondary thoughts. Either leave a Logic file or an mp3 plus a score in your personal folder in H105, or send your stuff to lichtemuziek.uc@hku.nl. Please also hand me the score on paper. For creating the solo everything is allowed: you can improvise, compose, repair, have a friend play your lines if your piano skills are limited, etc. As long as the notes are your own! Try to make a solo that is nice to listen to: lines of seconds, motives, nice developments, guidetone lines are your friends of course usually containing the head-butt notes. Virtuosity, vagueness and over-use of alterations is not what we want in this assignment. Your target group is normal people. You can use the playalong track from the VMS, or use iRealPro, Band-In-A-Box, or the swing version from the bass line exercise. Your transcription may be handwritten or in computerprint, but it must be graphically neat: proper enharmonic notation, decent bar distribution (4 bars on a staff makes sense) and of course I want chord symbols. The VMS offers chord sheets, which you can use.

What are the assignments for the propaedeuse exam?1. Write a singable melody consisting ofa number of 8 bar phrases, with traditional elements like a verse and a bridge/refrain. AABA is a good starting form, but I'm open to different formats. Make sure the bridge behaves like a real bridge: contrasting, and connecting properly to the final A-part. In second instance you add harmony to this beautiful melody.

2. Write an AABA chord progression, 32 bars, containing at least a diminished chord, a secondary V of II-V, a spot with Modal Interchange. No blues, no rhythm changes please, and write in the format of the jazz standards. In second instance you add a singable melody to these progressions.

3. Write a solo on one of the classic jazz standards, like Stella, There'll never be another you, etc. No blues, no rhythm changes. The progression must contain harmonic movement, so it would be a good idea to show me first. Of course this solo must be worth listening to and not just fill up the space. We've practiced melodic development a lot, so I'd say you have the tools.

Hand in well readable scores, on paper. If computer programs don't notate what you want I'd rather see a good handwritten chart. Take care of good alignment of the bars, so it offers good overview. For instance: new parts of your song should start on a new staff. Also hand in all three assignments as mp3 - this is for your own good. In class I'll show you how to do that in Logic (File > Bounce is the menu command). Choose clear names, like Peter-Melodysong.mp3, Peter-Harmonysong.mp3 or Peter-Solo.mp3, so that I don't have to figure out who's song it is. Drop them in the green colored folder named 'drop your mp3s here', which I created in the folder of students 2016-2017.

Some final remarks:
- Don't use too many roots in the melody. It is boring an causes ugly parallels;
- You have to add an analysis of the scale degrees of the harmony song and the melody song. This is for your own good. If it can't be analyzed it usually sounds bad...
- Please note that these assignments are style imitations, in the format of the standards.

Homework for week 47

This week I introduced you to the Instruments directory. We did these transposition exercises for saxophones (Q and A are both in the pdf). A similar exercise will be part of the theory exam.

Another subject was melodic analyses, in which we discussed this additional page.
We analysed the melody of Secondary Thoughts to get familiar with techniques.

In the practicum room checked the walking bass lines of ST, we worked with its guidetone lines, and we improvised to prepare for the solo assignment coming up.

Homework for tuesday:
Finish p. 55: Scale degrees and scales of Ceora. Please do this exercise not only 'mathematically' but also try the different possible tone supplies on the piano.
Also analyse the melody of Ceora, print the theme here.

Homework for thursday
Transcribe Chet Bakers's solo on In your own sweet way (melody only) which starts on 1'43". You may use an instrument for the pitch. The key is Bb-major. Spend about 2 hours on it. Simplify ornamentations with turn signs, that makes things easier.


Homework for week 46

Last week our focus was on melodic analyses and phrasing. We
We studied the essay Sounding Interesting on p165/166, and solo on Secondary Thoughts in detail. In the practicum room we compared our Ooievaar/Guinea pig melodies, and we learned about walking bass (p158).

Homework for tuesday:

Let's take some time for reconsideration: think which subjects need your attention most. For eartraining select those subjects from the upper box and practice them short and often rather than once and long.

If you need it: The pages below (easily found in Basic Forces and Vocabulary, with answers in the VMS) could help refreshing basic knowledge of chords, scales and keys. I won't treat them in class, but I'm happy to answer any questions.

Homework for thursday

Finish the walking bass line on Secondary Thoughts in the computer room. Make sure the bass hits the root on the beat where the new chord enters. Study the essay on p158 for explanation.

Improvise a bit on Secondary Thoughts. You'll find the score and mp3 for your instrument in VMS > Sections > Secondary Dominants > Song page and Play along page. For downloading you can go to the VMS-Playalongs.
Apply the techniques you learned (guidetone lines, arpeggios, melodic variations, shapes, etc).

Practise with the movie and mp3 about Secondary Dominants in the computerroom or in the Classic Chord Progressions folder. Practice suggestions are on the opening page. This way the sound of sec. dominants will settle in your ear.


Homework for week 43

This week we continued with secondary dominants by studying Secondary Thoughts. From the Phrasing chapter of the VMS we discussed the movies on harmonic and rhythmic magnetism.
The cool movie with advanced voice leading examples is here.
We also enjoyed eachothers contribution to the writing improv assignment on II-V-Is in all keys.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 42

This week I introduced secondary dominants. We sang many practical voice leading situations, we studied the first movie in the explanation section of Secondary Dominants in the VMS, and we watched the affiliated movie from the Classic Chord Progressions page partly.

In practicum class we discussed melodies on II-V-I on their compositional elements. Many examples are in Fundamentals > M&R > PWYH trainer > P6. The essay Sounding interesting on 165-166 is worth reading too.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday


Homework for week 41

This week we covered Guidetone lines (p159/160), and we did several assignments with the famous II-V-I-progression. Autumn Comes (in VMS > Sections > Sequence of descending fifths) is the VMS-song that demonstrates the essence.
We also studied the phenomenon of Resonance. You'll easily find the relevant movie in the Sound directory.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Go to VMS > Services > II-V-I facilities > Play along and locate the various II-V-I tracks in major (swing or bossa).
Practise the guidetone lines, play them on a piano, vary around them, try bridging the modulation in an adventurous way, and improvise away. The week after next week I will ask you to make a recording, so find out how you can do that technically (smartphones, laptops, zoom devices, etc.). Help eachother!

Keep practising with the BP&D trainer in cat 100 and 200. You find it in VMS > Services > Ear training centre > BP&D-tab.


Homework for week 40

This week we completed the grammar of tonal harmony with one additional movie:
VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > The I6/4 chord. The Para dormir
movie illustrates this circular principle of the 'holy trinity'.
We enjoyed Willeke Alberti's Telkens weer as the ultimate example of the sequence of descending fifths in major and in minor.
We also managed to find the chords of The Sound of Silence. with lots of plagal cadences, and - very special - no V7 and no leading tones.

Earlier we watched the first movie in theClassic Chord Progressions. The first collage with sequences of descending fifths was shown in class.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday


Homework for week 39

This week we covered VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > items 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The overview of all scales and scale degrees in major and minor on p 169/170 has biblical qualities!

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday


Homework for week 38

This week we started with learning something about the Physics of sound,: the movie on Harmonics/Overtones in the Sound directory.
I also introduced the modal scales. Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches is a beautiful example of modal music, but Gregorian monks are also worth listening to.

The answer to the transcription of The Sound of Silence is in the lichtemuziek directory (see upper box). All answer pdfs appear there.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday- See the box above for details.

 

Homework for week 37

I introduced both programs, and explained the basic principles of sightsinging. All logins are activated, don't hesitate to contact me if you can't access the site.

Please obtain 12 staff music paper, pencil (3B hardness recommended), stuff, sharpener, and the VMS Workbook in your language.

Homework for next tuesday:
Fill in page 9 (intervals) in the workbook.
Fill in page 12 (transpositions).
Learn the circle of fifths by heart.

If you don't have the workbook yet print them from Fundamentals > Theory > Exercises
If you need to refresh your knowledge on the Circle of Fifths and on Intervals, study the two relevant movies in the Theory menu of the Fundamentals.

Homework for next thursday
Study Fundamentals > M&R > Sing What You See > Explanation > Sightsinging movie.
Additionally work a bit with the Sing What You See trainer too.
Work on intervals in Fundamentals > H&T > Harmony trainer.

Transcribe both voices of Simon and Garfunkels Sound of silence (15 bars cover the melody, use a double staff system) without using an instrument (only for a final check). Key is Eb minor. This key is no big deal, as I demonstrated in class. Use the lines of seconds, recognize the patterns! Simplify the rhythm if 16ths are a bit too hard.

Please bring headphones to all thursday classes.
It is a good idea to find yourself an ear training buddy...

Good luck,
Bart

September 2017 - note to external students

Dear external students,

Before the real homework starts on september 7 I'd like to make a few important remarks. Please study them carefully.

Target group
I write the homework page for my students, referring every now and then to the things discussed in class. This means that you won't always be able to follow exactly what I mean. I will try to keep things as clear as possible, but please accept a certain percentage that you won't be able to pick up. I am not unwilling to respond to e-mails with questions, but don't be disappointed if you don't always get an answer.

Piano lessons
The conservatory students have piano lessons - most likely you don't. The piano offers a great overview, and of course you can play chords on it. My own piano skills are pretty limited due to lack of motorical talent, but I recall one exercise as extremely useful: playing II-V-Is in a certain convenient voicing. When I skip through songs this is the technique I use for it, playing basic seventh chords with left, and melody or scales with right.
I have described it in the introduction of Melodies To Harmonize Level 2, Section of Secondary Dominants (exercise page). I strongly advise to invest in this basic skill and simply learn to play II-V-Is in all 12 (can't help it) keys as soon as possible.

Math vs ears

Doing analytical exercises in a way is mathemetical fun, since music is structured so beautifully. However: your musical capabilities will benefit much more from it if you also play the material on an instrument. Knowing which scales to play on a certain type of chord progression is pretty meaningless if you have no idea how it sounds!

Studying the movies
Studying a movie can be done in two ways: lean back and see if you get the general message, or go through it bar by bar, checking if you understand each scale, all remarks, trying out things on the piano, making summaries, etc. This last approach gives the best results.

Mental matters
Finally: the curriculum is for people who want to become professional musicians, and they follow an intensive program requiring a steep time investment. Whenever you feel you loose track, never let this discourage you! It is not a shame if you need more time for certain elements, and even if you would pick up say 30% of the material, that 30% is definitely worth the work. I'm not a psychologist, but I think you'll get the message. Always remember this slogan:
With VMS you can study music at your own pace with a teacher you can rewind!


Enjoy!

Bart