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
Important subdirectories are Sound, Instruments
and Classic Chord Progressions. Use the username and password you received from your teacher.

The new interface of the VMS is u
nder construction. All trainers for harmonies and scales are now conveniently organized on one page here.

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 2, Seventh chords plus 1 addition, Basic Progressions and Dictations in all categories.

Everything you need is in
VMS> Services > Eartraining centre, in the Ear trainer and on the page 'other exercises', 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 2nd semester

Re-exams for the 2nd semester take place on august 25, at 9:30. Bring headphones for this.

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 20

This week I've treated blues. The Blues Section in the VMS is relevant, as well as the tenor solo in Thematic solos > Samba Bicicleta.
I hope you enjoyed the Eiis Regina video. She's my favourite vocalist when it comes to making music from the heart!

Homework for next tuesday

Transcribe Just the way you are (melody and harmony, real book style, you best start where the band comes in). In this time of the year your priority might be somewhere else, but it is my duty to offer practise material. Spend 2 hours max.

For analysis it's a good idea to re-read the essay about meaningful harmonies on page 16/17 as well as the summarizing pages 167 and 168.
Next week is the last normal class, so that's the time to ask any questions.

Homework for next thursday
Work on your three assignments.
Try to finish the 20 voice leading exercises.
Work on the eartraining package for the 2nd semester, as always.

Homework for week 19

This week I've treated line clichees, a subject that is by the way no part of the VMS yet. Functionally there is nothing new here, line clichés simply take us back to the horizontal aspects of voices acting together.

Homework for next tuesday
You can choose between two transcription songs. Both songs have line clichees, similar to what we saw in hopelessly devoted to you.:

Homework for next thursday

Make voice leading phrases 11-15 if you haven't done so yet.

Continue working on your assignments.

Homework for week 18

Last week I got the flue, next week is spring holiday.

Homework for next tuesday
Make a transcription of Hopelessly devoted to you - melody and chords. This anticipates the next class, which is about line clichés. It is a smart song, and it is precisely the level you should have reached by now. I recommend a 6/8 time signature.

Homework for next thursday
Work on the three assignments.

Maintain your ear training program, like scales level 2, seventh chords plus 1, Basic Progressions, dictations, pitch orientation, rhythm notation, etc. Give priority to your weakest spots.

Homework for week 15

This week I treated the Clave section (partly). The movie with the song Sin Explicación contains lots of interesting harmonic, melodic and rhythmic spots, worth studying in detail. Next week we continue with the rest of this section.
We used the II-V game with the cards for writing bridges, which generated several learning moments.

In the practicum room we transcribed Till there was you by Peggy Lee. Use the results for your organizing your practising strategy. We'll briefly discuss the answers next tuesday.

Homework for next tuesday

Use this mp3 of Desvelo de amor using this template if you need to exercise hearing chords.

Homework for next wednesday/thursday
Some need to work on the first assignment. I wait one more week wth the kick-off of the second assignment.

Catch up on assignments you are behind on, you received a personal e-mail about it.

Homework for week 14

This week we practised various subjects: we found the chord types by listening to La Barca, we practised the new scales, and we worked with the 16ths of I'll be glad when you're dead.
In practicum class I showed how you can use Band-In-A Box for making accompaniment tracks in minutes. iRealPro can do something similar.

Homework for next tuesday

Analyse the scale degrees of Sin Explicacion on page 130.

Homework for next thursday

Finish the first propaedeuse assignment (with chords). Make a decent chart and recording. Using Band in a box or iRealPro for accompaniment is allowed.

We'll do an ear training exam in this class: a live transcription with piano. This is to see which elements need an additional effort. See e-mail about this.

Catch up on open assignments and ear training elements.

Homework for week 11 and 12

This week we practised with Basic Progressions in cat 700-800 and we sang the remaining voice leading exercises.
I hope I gave some inspiration for the first final assignment: lyrics, images, ringtones, birds, you encounter them every day when you're open to it.

Week 11 is re-exam week, see upper box for details

Homework for next tuesday in week 12

Let's start with the first propaedeuse assignment:
Write a good and singable melody, suggested form is 32 bars with an AABA structure. The bridge should be a contrast and evoke the longing for the A-part. A pop song format with a verse and a chorus is fine too.
think/play chords (yet). I can't stress this enough: keep it simple, make sure that it is singable and make it beautiful instead of corny (melig).
The melody must be strong by itself, and it should not need fancy chords or grooves to be appreciated. Thinking lyrics is a good idea, but stay away from chords.
Test it on a 'normal' person with no specific musical education.

Homework for next wednesday/thursday in week 12

Keep working on ear training subjects that need your attention: seventh chords, ear trainer all categories, scales level 2. Half an hour per day recommended.

Finishing the practical assignments mentioned in the previous week is a good idea.

Homework for week 10

This week we refreshed diminished chords by studying the VMS-song Diminished Diversity, which shows appropriate use of scales plus lots of improv concepts. I recommend studying that movie in detail, because there is a LOT of information.
We also studied three essential improv techniques hooked up in this Section.

We studied Ave Maria as a song from the classical literature, containing lots of diminished chords, pedal tones, and inversions (especially when the melody is on the root of the chord!). Pedal tones can 'justify' harmonic clashes!

I made our mission of this year clear by going over the many techniques you can apply for cracking the code of a song by discussing page 157, General Exercises.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday
I introduced two short exercises for the next 2 weeks, feel free to choose your own priority from this series:

Homework for week 09

This week I introduced 16th figures. The second half of the Notation movie (VMS > Basics > Vocabulary > Explanation) covers the explanation. You can use cat. 6 of the SWYS trainer in the Fundamentals as an addition to the rhythm lab classes.

We repaired the Bad Phrasings in Basics > Phrasing > Exercises.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next wednesday/thursday
is to model your graphically designed solo into the harmony of Weaver of Dreams, you can use the Logic file in your personal folder in H205 for this. We prepared this already in class, would be good to finish the whole chorus.

Homework for week 08

This week I introduced the subject of shapes and solo building. Relevant movies are found in Basics > Phrasing > Explanation > Items 5 till 8. The page with Melodic Shapes (p. 32 in your book) on the exercise page is a great and practical improv tool for all players and singers. I suggest you start applying this on your instrument from today!

Homework for next tuesday
Transcribe How deep is your love (melody and chords), a beautiful song with a clearly audible bass line, some intelligent harmonies and various rhythms. You can skip the intro and focus on the main material of the song itself. Beware of sus4 chords!

Explore the new trainers for the Seventh chords and Scales a bit.

Homework for next wednesday/thursday

Apply the technique demonstrated in the last movie (item 8). Below are some suggestions for this roadmap, which has to be constructed without thinking of any key or chords. Make a completely graphically designed solo. In order to prevent too much complexity you must be able to sing your roadmap for your fellow students and convince us with the clarity of your ideas. Please think medium swing. With complicated 16ths you may get into trouble when we frame these ideas into a jazz chorus.

1. Make a short shape, repeat it, and the third time: extend it. This can be based on your name, as we practised in class.
2. Create three different elements. The connection between these is that the last note of the previous shape forms an interval of a second with the next shape.
3. Write 4 bars of double line technique (verkapte tweestemmigheid).
4. Write two phrases that are based on the same concept of articulation.
5. Write three elements in which an overall ascending line of seconds can be observed (as found in thousands of standards)
6. If you have less than 32 bars, fill it up with connected elements of your own.

The first 10 voice leading exercises are probably already finished. Catch up if you are a bit behind.

Homework for week 07

This week we continued with the subject of alterations/TriSubs.
We discussed the song Subway and the great panflute solo on it.

I also introduced a new movie on tunings in the Sound directory, showing that in equal temperament we play out of tune all the time!

Homework for tuesday:
I think another attempt to find the chords of Serenade for Sarah is good for most students, now that I revealed part of its secrets. Analyzing the scale degrees on this pdf of the score is a recommended second step, I will treat it briefly in class.

Practise with cat. 800 in the Ear trainer and do all 8 dictations.

Homework for thursday:
We already worked on the file called Voice leading exercises, which is stored in your personal folder in H205. Try to finish the first 6 exercises. Feel free to compare it with my own versions (the green regions following the yellow ones). Use the paper with voice leading rules to check things precisely. These puzzles are tougher than you think (4 star sudokus...), because the repair of one mistake may have consequences for the whole structure.

Homework for week 06

This week I treated the subject of alterations. Relevant items to study:
The essay called alterations in your workbook on page 161-162.
VMS > Sections > Tritone Substitutions > Explanation > first four items
Fundamentals > PWYH trainer > P6 tracks 049-060 (locate in Start With mode)
The collage movie on TriSubs on the Classic Chord Progressions page.

In practicum class we de-altered a solo on Autumn Comes to compare inside vs outside.

Homework for tuesday:
Fill in the scale degree puzzles on page 99 on TriSubs;
Analyze Body and Soul on p101.
Analyze the One note samba on p104.

Homework for wednesday/thursday:
Add the chords to your transcription of the melody of Serenade for Sarah, knowing that it consists of many I-V-I constructions as well as lots of II-Vs, in which pretty much all V7s are altered, and the alterations occur in the melody. You can do it if you let your ears and your knowledge cooperate!

Add cat. 700 of the Ear Trainer (TriSubs) to your routine and practise a bit with BPs.

Spend some more time on Autumn Altered if you feel you can learn some more from it.

I recommend practicing the altered lines of the PWYH trainer on your instrument if you want to learn the their sound. Playing the altered solo (or writing one!) is also a good idea. Scores are available for all instruments!

Homework for week 05

Last week's test results were very satisfactory!

I plan to continue with the subject of Alterations, which is closely related to TriSubs.
Another element we are going to pick up is voice leading. This is typically a subject you cannot learn from movies, because it's more about experiencing sound, get suggestions for corrections, and learning from your fellow class mates. No digital backup of this stuff, so I highly recommend coming to the classes.

Homework for tuesday

Homework for thursday
Anything you find advisable for you personally.

Homework for week 02

Last week was all about summaries and exam training. For heaven's sake was a good song for practicing scale degrees, scales and melodic analyses.

If you are preparing for the exams: Remember that each section has an overview page with appropriate scales: p 48, 62, 63, 81, (96 on TriSubs).
Summaries on all harmonic building blocks are on pages 167 and 168.

We did not discuss every standard in the workbook, but if you need more practice you'll easily find answers to remaining songs in the VMS on the Analyze/Harmonize pages.

The various ear training resources are all meant to get insight in the way melody, harmony and rhythm interact. The many questions I asked in terms of bass motion, melodic lines and patterns, changes in function, harmonic colours etc. hopefully improved your functional hearing. On a row:

Homework for next tuesday jan 10:

No class on thursday jan. 12, school is closed!

So week 3 is exam week, see the upper box for details.

Homework for week 51

This week we discussed page 16/17 on Meaningful harmonies, with its related
movie in VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > 8. Melodic progressions.

We also continued with diminished chords. These are tough, because:

Paul Simon's I do it for your love showed us that meaningful harmonies not always fit the scale degree system perfectly. It also contained some beautiful effective diminished chords, worth analysing. Click for video and score.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday:

Homework for week 50

Last week we finished the Modal Interchange subject. We sang the lines on p79 on the harmonies on p78 for getting familiar with the harmonic flow. I recommend doing that on your instrument as well, in multiple keys.
We studied the collage of Neapolitan and bII chords on de CCP page.
We studied many ST-contributions and learned from it.

Finally we studied the basic principle of diminished chords. The first movie on the affiliated explanation page in the VMS pretty much covers the essence.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday

Next practicum class we will do a little pre-exam: a couple of intervals, triads, scales, Basic Progressions and a dictation, so that you can see how the flag is hanging.

Some students want/need more children's songs. In Bart's Best of collection you'll find many more songs that can all be transcribed without the piano. Feel free to practice with them till the exam, I guarantee that it will help.

Homework for week 49

This week we got a littly deeper into Modal interchange. Louis Prima's Buona sera is a swinging example with typical Moll-Dur clichees.
We also studied the Neapolitan chord and its counterpart bII, with the Godfather as a classic example.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 48

This week we started with Modal Interchange: the 2 movies on sound and scales in the affiliated Section are easily found in the VMS.
We discussed scales and melody of Ceora. Find my melodic analysis here.
In practicum class we discussed Chet's solo and his phrasing principles, and we started with MI in the Ear Trainer.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next wednesday/thursday

If you want you can already start with your creation of a solo on Secondary Thoughts (recording and transcription). In two weeks it's supposed to be finished. Find simple phrasing, with nice and clear construction elements. I really don't care if you improvise, compose and/or repair. See the exam description for details.

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.

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. 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 theClassic Chord Progressions folder. I'd say one day you practice with the movie, the other day with the mp3 for ear training, to see if you can reproduce the harmony by ear. Ideally you play the chords with your left hand and the melody with right.

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.
The new II-V domino game appeared to generate several learning moments.
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.

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). Downloading in Firefox is done with File > Save page as. Practise the guidetone lines, play them on a piano, vary around them, try bridging the modulation in an adventurous way, and improvise away. 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!

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. Cool!

I set up a new page calledClassic Chord Progressions. The first collage with sequences of descending fifths was shown in class. Graphically it's not very impressive, but I'm working on it.

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 I 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,

September 2016 - note to external students

Dear external students,

Before the real homework starts on september 5 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!