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Jazz Theory

Jazz Theory

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Published by Jazz

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Jazz on Aug 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Jazz Theory
4th Revised edition
Stuart Smith
© Copyright 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 Stuart Smith
Robert Dix Lincoln
Things should be made as simple as possible. But no simpler.
Remark attributed to Albert Einstein
 Jazz theory
simple. It has to be.
Since the earliest days of my teaching career at UMass Lowell, I had thought aboutwriting a book on jazz theory. I had developed a detailed set of notes for such a book, butthe notes spent most of their time languishing in my file cabinet. Every now and then Iwould take them out and add or change a few things. But then, for lack of a compellingreason to begin writing, I would just put them away again. This project would probablynever have come to completion had it not been for my boss, William Moylan (professor of Music and former Chairperson of the UMass Lowell Department of Music) and my2003-2004 Jazz Lab ensemble students — especially Jaclyn Soep, Chad Gosselin, and M.Xavier (“Maxxx”) Lewis. Dr. Moylan welcomed me back into the Music Departmentafter a 21-year stint in Computer Science. He assigned me to direct the Jazz Lab, whichmade it possible for me to work with young jazz musicians again. Jaclyn, Chad, andMaxxx encouraged me to create the jazz theory course for which this book was written. Iwas so impressed by their desire to gain a deeper understanding of jazz that I simplycouldn't say no to their request to provide a course for them.The task of actually writing the book was made much easier and more enjoyable by mycolleague, friend, and current boss, Paula Telesco, who served as both gadfly andcheerleader on this project. She read several drafts of this book, providing innumerableuseful suggestions, pointing out errors and weaknesses in my presentation, and askingmany thought-provoking questions. The book is far better than it would have beenwithout her assistance.I learned jazz by playing with some talented musicians in high school and college.During those years, I was fortunate to fall in with two different groups of musicians whowere willing to jam for hours simply for the enjoyment of playing and learning. In thefirst group were Bill Campbell, Lynn Eberhart, Bill Sprague, Vic Weinrich, and BernieYaged. In the second were Joe Goodman, Pete Plonsky, and Bob Shechtman. I've oftenwished we could all get together for a reunion jam session, but we've long since gone our separate ways and, sadly, members of both groups have already passed on.Finally, I have to thank my late, multi-talented mother, Marge Smith. For many years,Mom was the rehearsal pianist at a ballet/tap/jazz dance school and had to produce pianoarrangements of all kinds of music on short notice. She introduced me to pop chordnotation and showed me how she developed piano accompaniments to popular songsfrom the chord symbols in sheet music. This experience sparked my interest in jazzharmony, which ultimately led to the writing of this book 

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