Об этом курсе
Learn the basic concepts of improvisation from Gary Burton, one of the most renowned improvisers in the jazz world, including the mental, melodic, and harmonic processes that contribute to the instinctive skills that an improviser puts to use when taking a solo. While many people are fans of jazz and understand that musicians are often “making up” the notes they are playing during a performance, most people—often including musicians, themselves, who are beginning to learn improvising—aren’t clear about what exact processes take place to enable this to happen. The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of modern improvisation and how to go about mastering the different musical and mental skills involved. Course author Gary Burton codifies a sought-after approach to improvisation that has been at the core of Berklee College of Music's curriculum for decades. Students who complete this course will know what to practice and how to practice the various aspects of improvising, in addition to understanding how the improviser spontaneously communicates to the listeners through their musical creations.
Globe

Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Intermediate Level

Промежуточный уровень

Clock

Прибл. 17 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 6 weeks of study, 3-6 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Субтитры: English, French, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish
Globe

Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Intermediate Level

Промежуточный уровень

Clock

Прибл. 17 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 6 weeks of study, 3-6 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Субтитры: English, French, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Welcome to Jazz Improvisation

Welcome to the course! Here we will cover all the details about the course and what you'll need to know to get the most out of your experience....
Reading
3 videos (Total 9 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Learning Music Online2m
How this Course Works4m
Reading5 readings
A Note From Your Teaching Assistant10m
Connect with Your Classmates10m
Getting to Know You10m
Course Resources10m
Earn A Course Certificate10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
What Are Your Goals?8m
Clock
3 hours to complete

Improvisation as a Language

Since everybody who is taking this course starts from a different place in terms of their experience as an improviser, it's important at first to cover some basic material. We'll begin our journey by exploring the language used by jazz improvisors. Improvisation is analogous to language in many ways. With music, we become fluent when the vocabulary (scales and chords) and grammar (harmonic progressions) are assimilated into conversational content or story (melodic themes and structure) and we no longer have to consciously think about them while we play....
Reading
4 videos (Total 14 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
The Relationship Between Spoken Language & Music4m
Story-Telling3m
Creating Your Assignment (week 2)3m
Reading1 readings
Spoken Language and Improvised Music10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
SELF ASSESSMENT: Improvisation as a Language4m

2

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

The Improviser's Vocabulary

In this lesson, we'll explore the improviser's lingo. We'll identify the most common chord scales and the type of harmony they relate to including major, minor, and dominant 7. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 24 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
Video6 videos
Learning Scales4m
10 Most Important Scales4m
The Modes3m
Dominant 7 Scale Choices4m
Using Chord Scales3m
Reading3 readings
The 7 Modes from Brightest to Darkest10m
3 Additional Scales10m
How to Record Yourself for Assignments10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Identify the Scale40m
SELF ASSESSMENT: Understanding Others' Vocabulary4m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Making Scale Choices in Real Time

Improvisers must be able to quickly recall chord scales and be able to play around on them fluently. This becomes important when choosing which chord scale to use on a given harmony—another thing we must be able to determine immediately. When a new tune is put in front of you at a session or a rehearsal, there isn't time to take the music home and spend an hour or two working out the correct scales. Improvisers need a quick, mostly intuitive way of making these scale choices in real time as the tune is being played. This week, we'll explore my method for making these quick musical decisions....
Reading
7 videos (Total 18 min), 3 quizzes
Video7 videos
Finding the Correct Major Scale2m
Chord Scale Method2m
Finding the Correct Minor Chord Scale2m
Minor Examples1m
Finding the Correct Dominant Chord Scale5m
Creating Your Assignment (week 4)2m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Scale Choices18m
SELF ASSESSMENT: 500 Miles High4m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Harmony for Improvisers

It is important for an improviser to clearly imply the harmonies when improvising. It is not enough to just play correct notes on each chord. In this lesson we'll examine how the improviser helps the harmonies move. Part of the improviser's job is to help the listener follow the changes as the chords move from one to another. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 20 min), 3 quizzes
Video5 videos
Guide-Tones3m
Using Guide-Tone Lines4m
Harmonic Motion 26m
Creating Your Assignment (week 5)2m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Harmony 16m
SELF ASSESSMENT: Memories of Tomorrow4m

5

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Theme and Variation

This week we will discuss how the improviser develops melodic themes in a solo. As mentioned in week 1, there are natural comparisons between speech and improvising that illustrate how this functions. The most common technique for telling a musical story that engages the listener for the duration of your solo is by using a traditional concept called theme and variation. That is, you introduce a theme—a musical phrase—then repeat it, making variations on it to develop an interesting storyline. A good solo is like an explanation, or a good story. The explanation or story is the content of improvisation....
Reading
8 videos (Total 31 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video8 videos
The Unfolding of a Story2m
Three Characteristics of Melodic Form3m
Variation3m
Musical Sentences2m
Analyzing Songs14m
Conclusion0m
Creating Your Assignment (week 6)2m
Reading2 readings
Lesson 5 Learning Targets10m
Course Evaluation10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Theme and Variation12m
4.8
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By IOApr 19th 2017

It was productive and interesting time. I learnt a lot of new things and got much fun improving my improvisation skills.\n\nCite from course: You will have plenty to keep you busy in the months ahead.

By AMJan 2nd 2016

I love this course in particular because this is a great opportunity to learn something from one of the best schools of music, and with an amazing professor. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Instructor

About Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

  • Yes. Learners should have basic proficiency on an instrument before enrolling in this course.

  • While prior knowledge of music theory concepts is not required for enrollment, it would be helpful for you to have a working knowledge of basic concepts, such as key signatures, chord scales, the circle of 5ths, etc. If you feel you need to review these concepts before enrolling in Jazz Improvisation, we recommend first enrolling the our Developing Your Musicianship course offered on Coursera.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center