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“Writing outside the Box” – ASMAC Master Class with Scott Healy – Sept 23rd 2017 – 11am-2pm

Join ASMAC for an exciting Master Class with Grammy nominated composer SCOTT HEALY! “Writing Outside the Box Techniques for Expanding Jazz Composition” Saturday, September 23rd 2017 – 11am – 2pm The Evergreen Stage – 4403 West Magnolia Blvd Burbank, CA 91505 $25 Members & Students / $40 Non-Members The master class on September 23rd will explore some of the ways a composer can extend the harmonic, rhythmic, orchestrational and emotional language of large ensemble jazz writing. Topics will include linear harmony, plastic meter, “off the grid” writing, controlled and notated improvisation, spatial and box notation, layered counterpoint, and techniques borrowed…

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The Return of the E.S.G.

…as opposed to MSG, MDA, MMA or ESL…

Announcing the THIRD meeting of the newly-reformed Ellington Study Group LA, now officially underwritten (thank you very much!) by the Academy of Scoring Arts.

The first two last fall were very well-attended;  we rebooted a bunch of material from past (pre 2015) classes, added some stuff, and got into it even deeper…Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”, Gil Evans’ “Blues for Pablo” and “St. Louis Blues”… with more to come, including works by Bob Brookmeyer, George Russell, and of course my main man, Sun Ra.

This class is for pro’s: film composers, legit composers, jazz composers, jazz and classical instrumentalists, rockers, or any interested party with a bit of a background in theory and harmony. While some of these folks (mainly the composers) don’t do “music community” involvement very well, when they get together it’s pretty cool. As it turns out, lots of people know lots about writing, everyone has great ears and a love of music, and I end up learning just as much as the attendees.

More info, including materials from past classes is available at ellingtonstudygroup.com.
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Here’s the agenda for the third meeting on Friday, December 18th, from 10 am to noon at Vitello’s in Studio City.

We’ll visit “Concerto for Cootie”, and revisit “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Ellington, glean some more scoring and comp techniques from a time when the only rule was there are no rules. We’ll move quickly to Gil Evans’ Miles Ahead, and continue our discussion of  “Blues or Pablo”, which will feature a detailed analysis of voicing, composition and orchestration techniques. This piece is a primer in Gil’s techniques–and there are a few choice passages where he moves the music forward through orchestration – this adds a third dimension to the music.

I also want to touch on a few pieces which we’ll listen to without the score…something from “The Individualism of Gil Evans” (by Gil Evans), or perhaps a record I just rediscovered, an early small big band session by Bob Brookmeyer. Or both. Or maybe something from George Russell. Or Sun Ra.

I’m expecting a good turnout like the last two sessions. There will be handouts as well as copies of analog scores to look at, in addition to the projection. See you there! Scott

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Again with the Linear Harmony? Too dry….

Linear Harmony #5: Block and Layered Counterpoint This is a new blog post at professorscosco – it’s dry as a bone but you composers will get the point. If you want an enjoyable read and fun content go read the Huffington Post. Click for the original article. I’m revising a piece for my ensemble, perhaps for a recording in the near or far future. I’ve used “Take it Inside” in many posts because it’s a good example of linear harmony. It’s also free and I have the score. During the process of taking this tune apart I’ve seen many missed…

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Repost: Blues for Pablo: True to Form

 Yes, it’s another retread…the following is a popular post from my other blog: What do you call this…something like “orchestrational and harmonic gestural writing”, or “tonal consequence”, or even “temporal textural tautological antiphony”?…maybe you just mean “music”. “Blues for Pablo”–True to Form Posted on October 8, 2011 by Scott Healy View the original article at professorscosco.com.   Blues for Pablo is to me the best piece of music on the great Miles Davis/Gil Evans 1958 record Miles Ahead (also titled Miles +19.) It’s a rich and detailed work. Gil’s techniques–transparent orchestration,  use of instruments such as alto flute, french horns, tuba and…

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Yesterday I made another blog post in my jazz composition blog, professorscosco.com. It’s another in a series about linear harmony, a really dry subject, but one that I believe is ignored in schools. Many writers I’ve heard recently are obsessed with chords and scales, and counterpoint is just in service of the chord progression. I like it when the lines are the chords, or maybe you can’t tell what the chords are. I’m finding that although it’s a little dull using my own music for demonstration (due to copyright restrictions and hubris), I’m compiling a body of examples that will…

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  I have a jazz composition blog, ProfessorScoSco, and of course this one, which you are reading now. So I publish a post in the other one, now I’m compelled to tell the world about it here. I am definitely spending too much time on shameless self-promo, but I actually enjoy writing about music theory, probably because I love the sound of my own voice. Perhaps it’s therapeutic too – but I do recognize that most of the theory crap I learned in school is useless, and wasn’t applied to anything concrete. I have a series going on Linear Harmony,…

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