Cultivating the Art of Jazz Composition


Cultivating the Art of Jazz Composition
Jazz Education Journal
51-52, 54-57
Great jazz composers create a variety of emotional landscapes and moods with their music. The level at which a
composer has command of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic concepts is directly related to the overall structural
and creative success of his or her music. Structural analysis may be the place to start for someone new to the
process of jazz composition. Next, the process of writing an original melody over a simple preexisting harmonic
progression should be practiced. Beyond that, writing an original melody over the chord changes of a standard
tune is also an excellent vehicle for learning about jazz composition. Resultant compositions of this type are called
"contrafacts." Composition is the logical extension of a jazz musician's improvisational vocabulary. Examples of
various compositional elements are presented
Théorie et analyse musicales, pédagogie