Jazz Composition:
Theory & Practice

September 21December 13, 2020

In this course, we will examine writing in jazz styles ranging from the blues to fusion. You'll learn how to use motivic patterns and guide tones to create great melodies, and work with tonal and modal harmony. We will also cover harmonic techniques such as inversions, pedal point, constant structures and reharmonization. Arranging topics such as song form, intros, interludes and endings will also be covered. Students will have a variety of writing exercises to improve melodic, harmonic and rhythmic effectiveness, as well as creating their own compositions. Music notation software of your choice is required for submitting assignments.

Instructor: Vincent Leonard

Leonard,_Vince_headshot_altProducer and composer Vincent A. Leonard Jr. has had works premiered nationally and internationally. He is published by Arrangers Publishing Company, Educational Programs Network, and National Music Works. He co-authored Recording in the Digital World; Finale: An Easy Guide to Music Notation; Sibelius: A Comprehensive Guide to Music Notation; and Musical iPad. In 1996, he and fellow producer and engineer Jack Klotz Jr. formed Invinceable Entertainment and 3 IPS Studio, and have released two CDs, Magic Up Our Sleeve and On the Brink of Tomorrow. Compositional credits include the feature film Running On Empty Dreams, theme and episode music for the Captain Courteous radio series, and numerous theater pieces and industrials. Leonard has provided orchestrations for world premiere productions of Redwall for Opera Delaware, Elliot and the Magic Bed, Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell and The Little Princess for Upper Darby Summer Stage. Also widely known as a copyist and arranger, he has worked on projects with Peter Nero, the Philly Pops Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, the London Symphony Orchestra, Chuck Mangione and Leslie Burrs, and in musicals by Duke Ellington, Alan Menken, Kurt Weill and Mitch Leigh. Leonard is a member of NARAS and ASCAP, and is active as a clinician and music software beta-tester for Apple computers.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288