Anthony D.J. Branker

A&HM 4029

March 6, 2006


Hearing Bebop Chord Progressions

(75 minute class meeting for university students in Jazz Theory 1)



Objective:                  The student will demonstrate an increased awareness of chord progression formulas that are associated with jazz standards and the music of bebop.


Purpose:                     To enable students to gain facility with the recognition of chord sequences and chord qualities that are fundamental to the structure of bebop compositions.


Materials Needed:     Sibeliusı Auralia Ear-Training Software

                                    Keyboard Lab with computers and headphones (10 stations)

                                    Computer and Keyboard for Instructor

                                    Audio Playback System with CD player


Anticipatory Set:       Play recording of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with trumpeter Clifford Brown performing ³Confirmation² from A Night at Birdland, Vol. 2 (Blue Note Records) while class is entering. Students are asked to identify as many different types of chord qualities and formulas as possible in the composition.


Procedure:                 1. At the piano keyboard, students will play through ii-7 – V7 – I and ii-7b5 – V7b9 – i progressions in all 12 keys with click track.


                                    2. Using the Jazz Chord section of Auralia Ear-Training, students will be asked to identify jazz chords by chord quality (15 questions).


                                    3. Using the Jazz Chord Imitation section of Auralia Ear-Training, students will be asked to sing back chords that are played (15 questions).


                                    4. Using the Jazz Chord Singing section of Auralia Ear-Training, students will be asked to sing various chord tones above and below the note provided.


Check for Student

Understanding:         Students will demonstrate their understanding of the materials through the successful completion of an ear training chord quality quiz and a chord progression recognition quiz provided by the Auralia software program and/or the instructor.


Closure:                     Based on what was covered in class today, students will discuss the structure and harmonic foundation of another bebop composition provided by the instructor.


Extension:                  Students will create their own 16 measure harmonic chord schemes based on some of the common chord progression formulas that were addressed in class. These layouts would then be used as the foundation for a section of an original bebop composition created by the student.  The instructor will introduce a discussion of reharmonization techniques using many of the same formulaic patterns presented during todayıs session at a future class meeting.