The Architecture Of Black Improvised Music (MHI2323.01)

William Parker

This seminar will involve listening, discussing, and responding to the great music creators who contributed to the 1960’s free jazz movement. Many of these icons have lectured, performed, and walked the grounds of Bennington College. Students will examine the history, structures, and techniques developed during this creative period, including personal anecdotes about the music innovators Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra, and many other musicians in this genre that I have performed and recorded with during my musical career. Responding to readings, listenings/viewings, and end of course paper is expected.

Readings include: Black Music, By Amiri Baraka
Four lives in the Bebop Business by AB Spellman.


Learning Outcomes:
Learning outcome includes:
• Improved listening and understanding of a musical genre often misunderstood - Improve writing skills within a music context
• Having a greater understanding of the history of Avant Garde jazz/politics/spirituality
Develop and communicate their own ideas in class discussion, in both critical and creative writing assignments, and
in oral presentations.
• Engage with a practitioner in this art-form who has performed, recorded, and contributed to its innovation



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 1
M 3:40PM -5:30PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Fully In-Person , All courses , History
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