MUSI 212: History of Jazz Music

Fall 2002, schedule #30044
M W 2:00-3:15
101 OCH (Old Cabell Auditorium)

Prof. Scott DeVeaux

Office hours:
Monday 11-12, Thursday 11-12
208 Old Cabell

General Outline:

The first part of the class consists of a Listening Orientation in which basic musical concepts, as well as the special listening skills needed for the study and appreciation of jazz, will be explained and discussed.

The remainder of the course is a historical survey, proceeding chronologically from the origins of jazz at the beginning of the century to the present. Emphasis will be placed on important performers (and associated stylistic schools) and their musical achievements. Social and cultural issues will be discussed wherever relevant.

This course assumes no previous musical knowledge or experience.

This course satisfies the College of Arts and Sciences Area Requirements for "Fine Arts" and "Non-Western Perspectives."


Required at Newcomb Hall Bookstore:

  • James McCalla: Jazz: A Listener's Guide, 3rd ed.

Required at Brillig Books (7 Elliewood Ave.):

  • Course reader, containing xeroxed articles

Recommended at Newcomb Hall Bookstore:

(Please note: this is recommended, not required--a useful guide to those who want to explore jazz in considerably more detail than we do in the class, but not necessary!)

  • DeVeaux, The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History

Recommended at Plan 9 Records:

(Again, the following recordings by our local jazz artists are recommended, not required!)

You may click on the titles for CD guides:

  • Freebridge Quintet, Spanning Time (CD) (John D'earth, trumpet; Jeff Decker, tenor sax; Bob Hallahan, piano; Peter Spaar, bass; Robert Jospé, drums)

Weekly Assignments:

The required reading and listening for the course is divided up into assignments. The reading will be drawn from the required texts. The listening assignments will be made from the required anthology of recordings and from sound files available on the web. You should do the work by or during the week indicated on the assignment.


A significant amount of the course material will be covered only in the classroom. You are responsible for obtaining this material through regular classroom attendance. The instructor reserves the right to consider attendance as a factor in the final grading.


The course may be taken for a grade or for CR/NC. The deadline to choose the grading option is 13 September. A grade of "D" or better is required for Credit under the CR/NC option.

Course Requirements:


  • MIDTERM I: Wednesday 2 October, 20% of grade

  • MIDTERM II: Wednesday 30 October, 30% of grade

  • FINAL: Tuesday, 10 December, 2 p.m., 45% of grade

NOTE: The date and time of the final cannot be changed.

Concert Reports, 5% of grade

  • Report #1: due Friday, 11 October

  • Report #2 (and extra credit report): due Tuesday, 10 December

Course Outline:

Listening Orientation

28 August: Introduction; Basic Musical Concepts

2 September: Basic Musical Concepts
4 September: "

9 September: Form and Improvisation
11 September: "

Wednesday, 11 September: Drop deadline.

Friday, September 13: Add deadline.
Last day to change to or from the "Credit/No Credit" option.
Last day to elect the AU (Audit) option.

Historical Survey

Early Jazz:

16 September: Historical background to jazz
**18 September: special event--Freebridge Quintet, lecture/demonstration**

23 September: New Orleans Jazz
25 September: Louis Armstrong

30 September: Jazz in the 1920s
2 October: MIDTERM I

7 October: no class (reading holiday)

The Swing Era:

9 October: Swing Bands: an introduction

14 October: Duke Ellington
16 October: Kansas City Swing

21 October: Swing Era soloists
23 October: Swing Era soloists
23 October: Withdraw deadline

Modern Jazz to 1960:

28 October: Bebop (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie)
30 October: MIDTERM II

4 November: Thelonious Monk
6 November: Cool Jazz

11 November: Hard Bop
13 November: Miles Davis in the 1950s

Jazz since 1960:

18 November: Mingus, Coltrane
20 November: Miles Davis in the 1960

25 November: The Jazz Avant-Garde
27 November: no class (Thanksgiving Recess)

2 December: Jazz-pop Fusion
4 December: Summing up (jazz in 2002)

Tuesday, 10 December, 2 p.m.
(Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, OCH 101)