This page shows the homework belonging to the curriculum of the first year Jazz & Pop department of the Utrecht Conservatory, 2011-2012.
Click here if you want to study a whole year curriculum (2010-2011)
External participators: pleasy study these special remarks.

Web & Contact

To access to the Fundamentals program and the VMS, go to
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@muziek.hku.nl to contact your teacher, or call 020-6974595 / 06-15161425

Your daily ear training routine consists of:
Basic Progressions / Dictations all categories; Scales level 1 and 2, Seventh chords plus one.

Where in the programs?
VMS > Services > Eartraining centre, also on the page 'other exercises'.
Fundamentals > Harmony Trainer, and the Play What You Hear trainer (great for all kinds of exercises including modal scales and dictations).

Group exams of the second semester will take place on may 10 and 15, individual exams on may 23 and 24 (1 hour p.p., to be scheduled later). Assignments have to be handed in on may 15 at 16:30 latest.

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. 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 2011-2012.

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.
- The assignments must be handed in on may 15 2012 (16:30 latest), preferably sooner.

Homework for week 16

Homework for next tuesday
Transcribe Just the way you are (melody and harmony, real book style, you best start where the band comes in).
Practice sixteenths if you haven't nailed them yet.

Work on the rest of the ear training package - as always;-)

Homework for next thursday
Continue working on the three exam assignments. Might be good to restudy the requirements!

Homework for week 15

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 clichées simply take us back to the horizontal aspects of voices acting together.

Homework for next tuesday
Transcribe Paquito d'Rivera's Samba for Carmen (melody and harmony, real book style, fast quarters). This is a challenging tune, you'll need everything you learned so far. If you have time also do the coda. If you really don't come out of it try (also) De Vlieger.

Homework for next thursday
Study the rhythms of Go with flow in the back of your book.

Work on your assignments.

Homework for week 14

Last week we discussed the second assignment and experimented with writing bridges opening with obscure key changes. Week 13 is projectweek, no classes.

Homework for next tuesday

Make a transcription of Hopelessly devoted to you - melody and chords. This anticipates a next class about line clichés.

Work on the rest of the assignments, details are right below the upper box.
Also work on your ear training program, like 16ths, scales, seventh chords, BPs dictations, etc.

Homework for week 12

This week I treated the Clave section. The movie with the song Sin Explicación contains lots of interesting harmonic, melodic and rhythmic spots, worth studying in detail. Improvising mambos and copying them 3 times exactly is a challenge for improvisers. Playing in clave is a great way to train your phrasing awareness.

Homework for next tuesday
Fill in the page I've got you under my skin, on last page but 1 in your book. Based on the key, the root motion and the melody you have to determine the possible chord types.

Find the chords of Sublime Illusion, a beautiful song in traditional Cuban son style.

Homework for next thursday

Finish the first assignment: melody with harmony.
Next week I'll show you how to create band accompaniment in only a few minutes.

Homework for week 11

This week we did a couple of finger exercises: we found the chord types on top of the given bass notes of La Barca (in the back of your workbook) by combining ears en melodic information. We also made a melody on a limerick with it's strict prosody.

Homework for next tuesday

Practice more with 16ths. You might need audio of I'll be glad when you're dead.

Analyze the harmony of Sin Explicación, on page 130, a good refreshment of scale degree theory.

Homework for next thursday
Let's start with the first propaedeuse assignment: Write a good and singable melody, suggested form is 32 bar with an AABA structure. Don't think/play chords (yet). I can't stress this enough: keep it simple, and make sure that it is singable. If you don't, harmonizing will be hard if not impossible.

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. We also studied three essential improv techniques hooked up in this Section.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday
Finish your scale exercise on Diminished Diversity in the computerroom, it is similar to technique #3 mentioned in the affiliated section.

Homework for week 09

This week we listened to some great music and found out that classical composition principles hardly differ from the construction of a great jazz solo like Clifford Brown's solo on Jim (sung by the young Sarah Vaughan), also available as PDF.
I've also introduced the elements of 16th figures. The second half of the Notation movie covers these, and cat. 6 of the SWYS trainer in the Fundamentals is fully dedicated to 16ths.

Homework for next tuesday:
Ear training week! Extend your routine with these elements:

Homework for next 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. Most of you already got pretty far, so please finish it. If the Logic program is problematic for you simple do it manually, with pencil and paper.
Note to external participators: any other standard will do: There'll never be another you, Stella, etc.

Homework for week 08

This week I introduced the subject of shapes and solo building. Relevant movies are found in Basics > Phrasing > Explanation > Items 6, 7 and 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.

The homework for next tuesday is to 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. Make a completely graphically designed solo. Somewhat 'pornographic' examples of the double line technique can be found in Samba Bicycleta (Section of Thematic Solos). 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 idea's into a jazz chorus.

1. Make a short shape, repeat it, and the third time: extend it
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.

Homework for next thursday
Improve and extend your PWYH-compositions in H205, and also 'remodel' some of your phrases/shapes into different layers of the harmony. An important subject, because it helps you to cut the crap and bring your idea back to its essence.

Homework for ear training: work on your weak spots by doing dictations, Basic Progressions, etc.

Homework for week 07

This week we continued with alterations. Serenade for Sara has been uploaded in the relevant folders in http://lichtemuziek.hku.nl/Bart as well as the great Booker Little song called Rounders mood (mp3 and pdf with multiple pages). Studying his melodic treatment of the weirdest possible alterations is worthwile. We also discussed the VMS song called Subway belonging to the TriSub section, as well as the amazing panflute solo by Bert. I recommend studying the structure of this solo in detail, because solo building will be the next subject.

Homework for tuesday febr. 14
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!
Obligatory for everyone, but explicitely for those who failed the ear training test...

Homework for thursday febr. 16
Compose more PWYH melodies as we did in the practicum room: compact phrases with a clear concept, singable. Choose a variety of styles, write at least 8 of them, and also write down the chord symbols. One harmonic cycle is enough. Some are easy, some are tougher, all are good for functional hearing. It is impossible to define what 'a good melody' is, but there are many examples available in the PWYH trainer in the Fundamentals, and we discussed many other good phrases already.

Path in H205: Documents H205 > Bart Noorman > Opdrachten studenten > Studenten 2011-2012 > Your Name > PWYH compositions > Logic file.

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.
Sections > Tritone Substitutions > Explanation > first three items
Fundamentals > Play Whay You Hear trainer > P6 tracks 049-060 (locate in Start With mode)

Homework for tuesday febr. 7:
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!

Analyze the One note samba on p104. febr. 07

Homework for thursday febr. 9:
Finish the de-altering exercise using the track 'Autumn altered' as we did in class, most probably you're already finished.
In the next practicum class we'll do a lot of composing, using the grooves from the PWYH trainer.

See the box of 'your daily ear training routine': I've added cat. 800 to the Basic Progressions, since it is relevant to the subjects we discussed. We have almost 5 months to master the remaining categories, so with a little systematic practice everyone will manage.

Homework for week 03

Please evaluate your exam results and draw your conclusions. We'll discuss the tests next week.

The program will be slightly different in the second semester. The focus will be more on creative assignments. I won't add so much extra theory since we discussed most of the building blocks, but I will go a bit deeper with everything.
Please note: creative assignments are obligatory, so I strongly advise to join all classes - by far it is the easiest way. Always bring your headphones to thursday's classes. Tuesday's classes will also often involve a little ear training.

Homework for tuesday
Next week I plan to start with the subject of Alterations, which is closely related to TriSubs. A song that is really stuffed with alterations is Serenade for Sarah, a great Michel LeGrand song. For reasons of continuity I chopped out some parts in a brutal way - I apologize to the makers. Please transcribe the melody of this song for tuesday januari 11. Later we'll add the harmony to that.

Homework for thursday
No homework, we'll do a practical exercise. Use the time to work on your weak spots.

Homework for week 51

Next week is the final class before the exam, so it is a good idea to ask any remaining questions. Check if you really know which scales belong to diatonic scale degrees in major and minor, and what to do with secondary dominants & II-Vs, modal interchange, diminished chords and tritone substitutions. I will spend some time on summarizing things next tuesday.

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum
Many absents this week due to exams. The students that attended the last class can skip it if they feel comfortable in this collection of pages with swing phrases, typical of jazz and bigband. Other students: please study its rhythms, especially the last 3 pages.

Homework for week 50

Those who need some additional memory training with scale degrees can use this.

This week I've introduced tritone substitutions (TriSubs). Fortunately these are much easier to understand than diminished chords. Find a summary on p. 96. In class we analyzed p. 105, would be good to catch up if you missed it.

With TriSubs added, all games with tension & release are explained. P. 168 is a useful summary containing most of the functional and melodic principles.

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum
Work on your weakest skills! No specific assignments this week.

However: On januari 10 I want you to hand in a transcription of Killing me softly (real book style: melody and chords). No cooperations please, you have to do his by yourself. It is part of your exam note for eartraining. Feel free to already work on it, it's good stuff to practice.

Homework for week 49

This week we discussed 'meaningful harmonies' in the essay on p.16/17.
Oye was used to practice transcribing fast rhythms by lowering the tempo and doubling the half note pulse. A useful ability!

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum

Homework for week 48

Last week I treated Diminished chords. Relevant items are in the explanation page of the affiliated Section. Diminished chords are tough, because:

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum

Homework for week 46

Please fill in the Barometer on http://digi-muziek.hku.nl/Pop_Jazz_2011 !

This week I treated the remaining items of the Modal Interchange section, the Neapolitan6 and bII chord. The relevant explanatory movie is in the explanation page, the summary is on page 63 in your book. Both songs of this Section contain a Neapolitan chord and are worth checking out.

I've used the Theme from the Godfather is as an example with a classic Neapolitan chord, used to modulate from major back to the relative minor key. Worth listening to, worth transcribing, and not too difficult.
Louis Prima's Buona sera is a swinging example with typical Moll-Dur clichees.

Homework for nov 15

Thursday nov 17:
We'll do a little pre-exam in the next class to see how everyone's flag is hanging.

Homework for week 45

This week I started with Modal Interchange. Relevant items are in:
Sections > Modal Interchange > Explanation: the first 4 items (Pdfs on p. 61 and 62)
Or come snow on the song page shows perfectly how one can dive into minor to a greater or lesser extent. Worth studying in detail and playing on your instrument.

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum

Homework for week 44

This week we continued with the subject of phrasing. Sources to study are the essay called Sounding interesting (p. 165/166), the first four items of VMS > Basics > Phrasing > Explanation, Bert's solo on Secondary Thoughts, and the essay about Walking bass lines (p. 158). Please find the extra page with keywords of melodic analyses here.

Homework for Theory:

Homework for ear training / practicum

Homework for week 43

This week we continued with secondary dominants, and I also treated some essentials of melodic analysis and solo building (phrasing). Relevant items to study:

Homework for Theory

Homework for ear training/practicum
ATTENTION: please bring your headphones in the practicum classes from now on.

Homework for week 41

This week I treated the subject of Secondary Dominants. Relevant items to study:

Please note: this Section is a fundamental one. Everything we're going to treat later is basically a variation of the same principle: connecting keys based on substitutions, common tones, leading tones, etc. If you study it thoroughly, the rest is easily comprehended.

Homework for theory

Homework for ear training

Homework for week 40

This week I treated two subjects related to the principles of voice leading.

Relevant items to study:
Workbook p.159: The essay about guidetone lines;
VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > The I6/4 chord;
VMS > Sections > Seq. of Descending Fifths > Autumn Comes

Ideally 3-7 & 7-3 lines are treated in your main subject lessons too when dealing with improv.
Your piano teacher will also let you play them on the piano, most likely embedded in II-V-Is in all 12 keys.

If you don't know chord types, scales and scale degrees belonging to the 12 major and 12 minor keys sufficiently: please pound it in!

Homework for theory
With your knowledge of the Tonic, SubDominant, Dominant and the I6/4 chord you are ready to harmonize the melodies on page 25. Additionally you may try to harmonize the melodies you finished yourself last week. If the melody is good and balanced, harmonization will go by itself. Taking your findings to piano lesson is not a bad idea at all.

Homework for ear training
Go to VMS > Services > Eartraining Centre > Eartrainer.
Put in Start With mode and make dictations D101-107 andD201-207. Imagine they are in various keys. You already wrote a couple of these series, but now add the chords to those.
Put the trainer back in Random mode and practice the Basic progressions of the 100 and 200 series.

Don't forget to check the upper box with 'your daily eartraining routine', because it was updated!

Homework for week 39

The Strollin' pdf is available in the lichtemuziek directory (see upper box)

This week I treated the Basic forces in harmony. Relevent items to study:
VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > items 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The Holy trinity (item 3) with the primary functions is on page 15 in your workbook.
The overview of all scales and scale degrees in major and minor on p 169/170 is has biblical qualities!

Make sure that you know these terms: pivot chord (Dutch: spil-akkoord), authentic cadence, plagal cadence, tertial substitute (Dutch: tertsverwantschap), sequence of descending fifths (kwintvalsequens), deceptive cadence (bedrieglijke wending / Trugschluss). The glossary (VMS > Services menu) might also be of help.

Homework for theory class

Homework for ear training
Download Frank Sinatra's Fly me to the moon.
Make a double staff system: the top staff is for transcribing the melody, the lower one in bass cleff for the walking bass. See if you can find the chord symbols based on the information from the bass and the melody together. You will find a pretty predictable chord progression. Finish the transcription till 1' 12". If you use a repeat sign you'll have less work. Don't use the piano too much, but of course you can check your lines.
Please note that Frank's timing is a bit vague now and then, simply choose something that comes close. Don't spend too much time on the rhythm, the goal of the exercise is to find the harmony.

Add triads to your 'daily' ear training program (see top box).
There is a movie in the Fundamentals (Theory menu > Explanation) called Harmony that explaines the system and character, a summary is on p 172.

Homework for week 38

This week I treated the vocabulary of chord symbols and modal scales plus some interesting phenomenons on rhythm. Relevant movies:

Homework for ATV (theory)

Homework for Ear training (solfege) - See the box above for details.

Note for external students: Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches is a beautiful example of modal music. Try to recognize the modal scale of each block, start by finding the bass note. The band shifts every 4 or 8 bars, you'll easily hear that.

Homework for week 37

We discussed the circle of fifths and intervals.
Two relevant movies are in VMS > Basics > Vocabulary > Explanation.
Alternately you'll easily find them in Fundamentals > Theory menu.

Theory (ATV):
Fill in page 9 (intervals). At the 2nd half of the page: don't forget to construct intervals below the given tone too.
Fill in page 12 (transpositions) in the workbook.

Write down all major and minor scales if you need the overview.
Learn the circle of fifths and the order of appearance of flats and sharps by heart (p. 5 in your workbook).

Ear training (Solfege practicum)
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.

Use your new knowledge about sightsinging for making dictations:
Transcribe the melodies of Dictations D101 (key of C), D102 (Bb), D103 (A), D201 (Cm), D202 (Dm), D203 (F#m). You'll find them in:
VMS > Services > Ear trainer (put it in Start With mode).
Please note: all dictations are in C major or in C minor, but since you are not supposed to use the piano for them you might as well imagine that they are in different keys. Think more in terms of functions instead of distances, that makes it easier!

It is a good idea to find yourself an ear training buddy!

Good luck,

September 2011 - note to external students

Dear external students,

Before the real homework starts on september 9 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.

I refer to pages in the workbook, which the students of the school have to buy, since it's so much more practical in classroom situations. You have the workbook as a big PDF in the Library (services column).

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!