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Jazz Avant-Gardes
MUSC 277
Spring 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: AMST 267

What is an avant-garde and what does it mean in the context of jazz? This course will explore this question focusing on the 1950s and 60s and beyond. We will take a holistic approach, examining the music and its surrounding community within the broader social and cultural currents of the times. These currents include European-inherited avant-garde aesthetics, the increasingly urgent civil rights movement and changing conceptions of freedom, artist collectives, and Afrofuturism. Three key artists will provide a focal point: Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Sun Ra. Others will expand our view, including Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Yoko Ono (a non-jazz artist who contributed to an experimental sensibility in NYC), and others. We will immerse ourselves in a combination of reading, listening to recordings, viewing videos, discussion, and some in-class performances. Throughout the semester we will pursue the parallel goals of using this movement in jazz to expand our understanding of avant-garde movements in general and using historical avant-garde movements to expand our understanding of how the phenomenon has played out in jazz. The first two weeks will function as a Jazz 101 boot camp, so no prior experience in jazz is necessary.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(MUSC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-20-2024
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