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Transform Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea piano improvisation through Autumn Leaves into Jazz Pedagogy

ABSTRACT Jazz education needs to be improved in Hong Kong in terms of both quantity and quality. This study gives jazz instructors a

demonstration of teaching jazz in an effective way. By using a numbering system, transcriptions and tables of analysis, students, especially beginners, will gain a clear and organized material for practice. Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea are chosen to be examples in this study. Since jazz theory cannot be heard, music analysis is necessary to jazz study in order to avoid missing musical information while listening to CDs. The result gives abundant materials for students to practice and they will be able to learn different styles of jazz musicians. This method can motivate them to do music analysis and transcription by themselves, which can strengthen students musicianship and allow them to gain fulfillment from their jazz practice.

BACKGROUND This paper helps jazz instructors to have a brief idea on how they could prepare for a series of jazz lessons by analyzing the works of jazz musicians. By referring to this analysis, it is hoped that

instructors will have more confidence in their jazz education method. Moreover, students will be able to extract useful

information which can help in their practice, performance, further education and even composing their own music.

Jazz is not popular in Hong Kong. Aitken (2007) stated that he had put a big effort on introducing jazz music to mainland China, and Hong Kong was one of his stations during this trip. In September 2006, he conducted a jazz concert in Hong Kong that featured Hong Kong international schools jazz ensembles. Jazz education in Hong Kong is lackluster (Chung, 2012). More jazz educators are needed in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the methodology of teaching jazz instruments is also significant since jazz education is quite new in Hong Kong. Music analysis is very important in the jazz learning process. Brewer (2011) pointed out that music analysis has been known as a critical learning process. A brief image of the characterizations of a particular jazz musician is also significant. Instructors have responsibilities to give an introduction of music analysis to their students. After discussions on several jazz musicians, students will have a clear idea on their preference of characteristic and musical language. At the same time, instructors will be more able to lead their students on a sturdy jazz learning journey.

THE NEED FOR THIS STUDY

Jazz musicians listen to plenty of music recordings and video recordings to seek for improvement in their musical languages and improvisations. In addition to improving the sense of hearing, the ability to look at transcriptions and music analysis is also important. This visual process should be completed after students listen to CDs and before they start practicing their instrument. Music analysis is needed to avoid the missing information while listening to CDs. In this process, musical sound is transformed into a written language. In this way, instructors and students will be more able to read the music in a theoretical approach. Instructors can also present music information more accurately. For those beginners and intermediate students who lack abilities to make transcriptions and music analyses by themselves, these musical analyses will be critical resources.

LIMITATION OF THIS STUDY Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea are chosen as demonstration in this study because of their different styles of improvisation. In fact, any musician can be used as the target for analysis. It is necessary for instructors to choose appropriate musicians to analyze with students by considering students characteristics and learning approach. Piano is not the only instrument that can be used, but it is the most common form of music instrument that students will come across. It
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is possible for all instrumental instructors to teach with these methods. There will be only one solo analysis for each musician for demonstration purpose. Instructors may decide to do a complete version of a CD recording or a live recording for more detailed materials. Autumn Leaves is chosen because it is the song recorded by the two target pianists.

THE TWO PIANISTS Oscar Emmanuel Peterson In the year of 1925, Oscar Emmanuel Peterson was born in Canada. As a well-known jazz pianist, a critical influence on little Peterson started from his father Daniel Peterson and his sister Daisy Peterson. Being Petersons first music teacher, his father taught him trumpet while he was in five but unfortunately he stopped two years later due to the bout of tuberculosis. After the disease, Peterson turned all his focus on piano playing. He studied piano with his sister. Later on, he had an opportunity to study with a Hungarian pianist called Paul de Marky, who was himself the disciple of a disciple of Franz Liszt. Peterson had a steady classical piano technique and on top of these piano lessons, he started learning ragtime music, especially the Boogie-Woogie piano style. He absorbed a lot of different musical styles into his jazz music. The
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most representable influence was the music from Art Tatum after he had heard his father playing Tatums work Tiger Rag. Peterson was not only influenced by the modern time musicians (Universal Music Group, 2012). Instead, he insisted on playing baroque music, especially the Prelude and Fugue composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. As a teacher, Peterson did not stop asking his students to play the Well-Tempered-Clavier when he was teaching in the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto and the York University. His career started from joining a jazz project which was held by Norman Granz. The project gave Peterson an opportunity to perform as a jazz pianist through radios, concerts, jazz clubs etc. Peterson commenced the wonderful journey and met a lot of jazz musicians and composers in his further career including his idol Art Tatum and as a brilliant musician and teacher himself, he influenced many jazz musicians and committed his whole life to jazz music and jazz education. He died in December 2007.

Armondo Anthony Chick Corea Chick Corea was born in Massachusetts in the U.S.A. in 1941. Like Oscar Peterson, Coreas father was also a trumpet player and apparently was one of the first inspiring musicians to the little Corea. Corea learnt piano on his own when he was just four by exploring and composing music in his own sound. He listened to jazz

musicians such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Horace Silver and Dizzy Gillespie. He learnt plenty of musical elements and put them into his music and this made him start doing concerts when he was just in high school. Corea developed a brilliant jazz piano technique during his childhood and he decided to ask for further musical education. After a critical influence by taking private lessons with a concert pianist Salvatore Sullo when Corea was eight, he determined to study music at the Columbia University and also the Juilliard School. Eventually, he quit both schools due to some unsatisfactory causes. Corea started his career in the early 60s. He had an opportunity to attend a professional performance with great jazz musicians such as Cab Calloway, Herbie Mann, Mongo Santamaria, Blue Mitchell and Williw Bobo. Corea released his first album Tones for Joans Bones when he was 25 years old. He started to present to the public his musical language emphasizing the Latin and swing music style he had invented (Wikipedia, 2012). Corea participated in an innovative organization called Avant Garde. During the three-year period, he tried to create new music elements and at the same time, he explored jazz fusion and input Latin jazz elements into his music. One of the most representable pieces called Spain was one of the very famous tunes composed by Core in 1972. This tune was played and recorded by many different jazz

musicians and even Corea himself recorded his tune in various versions as well. Coreas music influenced the style of jazz rock fusion and he also input lots of pentatonic elements into his music. He was one of the jazz musicians advocated making sound effect on instruments, as some classical musicians such as John Cage did. He made special sound by putting his left hand fingers on the piano strings while the right hand playing on the same note. Corea regularly used these techniques to create rhythmic patterns or other new elements to create his own music and due to his creativity in music making, he became one of the best jazz pianists and musicians in the present day.

METHOD Autumn Leaves is chosen to be used to compare the different improvisation approaches between Oscar Peterson and Chick Coera, presenting the two piano transcriptions on how and what the two musicians are doing in the same piece according to the jazz standard. By exploring the improvisation of these two pianists, their licks, note patterns, scales, motives and jazz theories were transcribed. This analysis helps students have a brief idea on how these two jazz pianists sound like and how they approach their music. At the same time, students can taste their music in the analysis. After reading

the scores and table in a systematic way, students will have an idea on how different pianists improvised. The tables below show what musical elements are happening in each bar of the works of the two jazz pianists. The aim of this analysis is to focus on the findings of how the great musicians recorded their own CD recording.

Numbering system The scale of chords will be presented by numbering system. Take an example on the chord C minor 7 th , the scale and notes of C minor 7th are C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C. These notes will be represented by 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7, 1 respectively. Scales degree of chord qualities Minor 7th (Dorian) Major 7th (Ionian) Minor 7 b5 (Locrian)
th

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7, 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1 1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7, 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 b7, 1

Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) Scales Blues scale Octatonic scale

1, b3, 4, #4, 5, b7, 1 1, 2 ,b3, 4, b5, b6, 6,b7, 1

Applications Licks, four note patterns, and other materials can be applied elsewhere with the same chord quality. For example, materials in a

C minor 7th chord can be applied into all minor chords.

FINDINGS Oscar Peterson recording from London House Chicago 1962 Bar no. Chord and quality 1(A) 2
C Minor 7th

Oscar Peterson (first solo)

licks (b3,5,b7,7,2,1) Four note pattern (2,b3,5,b7) Three note pattern (4, #5, 6)

F 7th

Dominant

Bb Major 7th

Dominant 7th arpeggios (Descending) build up on the (1) of the chord.

Eb Major 7th

Minor 7th Arpeggio (Ascending) build up on

the (2) of the chord. A Minor 7 b5 Locrian scale (Descending) starting on


th

(b5) 6
D 7th Dominant

Licks (4,2,b3,3,4) Four note pattern (4,b5,b7,b2) Licks (6,b7,2,4,6,b6,3,1,7,b7)

7 8 9(A) 10

G Minor 7th

Four note pattern (2,1,5,b3) Four note pattern (1,6,1,5,1)

G Minor 7

th

C Minor 7th F 7th Dominant

Blue scales (Ascending) starting on (1) Four note pattern (5,4,2,b3) Blues scale starting on (4)

11 12

Bb Major 7th Eb Major 7th

Blues scale beginning starting on (1) Major Arpeggios (Ascending) starting on (3)

(3,5,1,3,5) 13
A b5 Minor 7
th

Pentatonic scale (Ascending) build up on the (b5) of the chord. Licks (2,4,b3,2,b3) Licks (b7,2,3,4,6,b6)

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D 7th

Dominant

15 16

G Minor 7th G Minor 7th

Blues scale starting on (1) Blue scale (Ascending) build up on the (6) of the chord and starting on (b7) Four note Pattern (b2,b3,b2,b7) Four note Pattern (b6,b7,b6,4)

17(B)

A b5

Minor

th

18

D 7th

Dominant

(4) Blues scale (Descending) build up on the (4) of the chord and starting on (b3) (6) Blue scale build up on the (6) of the chord starting on (1)

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G Minor 7th

20

G Minor 7

th

Parallel major arpeggios (Ascending) starting on (1) Licks (5,7,2,1) Minor arpeggios and scale (Descending)

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C Minor 7th

22

F 7th

starting on (1) Dominant blues scale/licks build up on the (2) of the chord (b7,1,1,b3,5,#4,4) Chromatic scale (Descending) blues scale/licks build up on the (6) of the chord (#4,5,b7,b2,1,b7,b3)

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Bb Major 7th

24

Eb Major 7

th

Minor arpeggios (Ascending) build up on the (6) of the chord

25(B)

A b5

Minor

7th

Chromatic Materials Pentatonic scale (Descending) build up on the (b5) of the chord
10

26

D 7th

Dominant

Mixolydian scale (Descending) starting on (1)

27

G Minor 7th

Minor arpeggios (Descending) build up on (7) of the chord four note pattern (2,b3,5,b7)
7th

28 29

G Minor 7 A b5 Minor

th

Pentatonic scale (Descending) build up on

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the (b5) of the chord and starting on (b5) D Dominant Licks (6,1,717,b7)
7th

31 32

G Minor 7th G Minor 7


th

Blues scale build up on the (6) of the chord Blues scale/licks build up on the (6) of the chord (b3,#4,5, b7,6)

Chick Corea Recording form the Album Rendezvous in New York Bar no. 97(A) Chord quality
C Minor 7th

Chick Corea (first solo) Arpeggios on (9,13,11) Replace the b5, and b6, into the normal 5 and 6 when playing the dorian scale. The scale becomes

(1,2,b3,4,b5,b6,b7,1). 98
F 7th Dominant

4,5,b7 are chosen to play on Chromatic motive starting on (3) Chromatic pattern (Descending) with two notes per group

99

Bb Major 7th

100

Eb Major 7

th

Chromatic pattern (Descending) with two notes per group

101

Minor

7th

Starting

on

b5

and

keep

creating

the

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b5

chromatic motive (Descending)


Dominant

102

D 7th

Keep

creating

chromatic

pattern

(Descending) with two notes per group. Chromatic Scale (Descending) starting on (b3)

103

G Minor 7th

104 105(A)

G Minor 7th C Minor 7th

N/A Minor 7th arpeggios (Ascending) starting on (5) Four note pattern (1,2,b3,4) Licks (b2,3,6,b3)

106

F 7th

Dominant

107

Bb Major 7th

Chromatic pattern (Descending) with two notes per group starting on (b7)

108

Eb Major 7th

Chromatic pattern (Descending) with two notes per group

109

A b5

Minor

th

Chromatic pattern (Descending) with two notes per group

110

D 7th

Dominant

Chromatic scale (Descending) starting on (2). Four note pattern (b3,5,2,5) Minor arpeggios starting on (1) Licks (4,b3,1,5,4,#4)

111 112 113B)

G Minor 7

th

G Minor 7th A b5 Minor 7th

N/A

114

D 7th

Dominant

Three note pattern (b7,1,b2) starting on (1)

115 116 117 118

G Minor 7

th

Three note pattern (4,5,b6) Three note pattern (4,6,7) Three note pattern (4,6,7) Three note pattern (7,4,5) Three note pattern (7,2,b3)
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G Minor 7

th

C Minor 7th F Dominant

7th

119 120 121(B)

Bb Major 7th Eb Major 7th

Three note pattern (5,7,1) Three note pattern (2,#4,5) Three note pattern (3,5,6) Three note pattern (b7,2,b3)

A b5

Minor

7th

122

D 7th

Dominant

Three note pattern (b5,b7,7)

123 124 125

G Minor 7th G Minor 7


th

Melodic pattern (4,b3,2,4,1,2,b3) Four note pattern (#4,5,b6,5) Four note pattern (#5,6,2,6) Four note pattern (6,4,b5,b2)

A b5

Minor

7th

Chromatic scale (Descending) starting on (b7)

126

D 7th

Dominant

b2,1,b7,b6 are chosen to play with

127 128

G Minor 7th G Minor 7th

N/A Octatonic

scale

patterns

(1,2,b3,4,b5,b6,6,7)

DISCUSSION/IMPLICATION Instrumental jazz pedagogy The findings above explore the differences of two jazz musicians. Apparently, Chick Corea comfortably used plenty of note patterns rather than playing licks during his improvisations. Additionally, we also discovered jazz music theory and knowledge inside musicians mind. Jazz instructors will be able to inspire students by initiating them through the information in the music analysis. Musical phrases are equally explored in the music analysis. Students will confidently

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learn musical phrases and phrase structures by searching the analysis table and also the transcriptions. They can also improve the creation of building climax through the whole piece. Teaching with analysis table has another significant advantage. Students will understand the benefits of transcription and analysis. Students will be motivated to transcribe and analyze by themselves in further learning and at the same time, they strengthen their musicianship and patience. Due to the abundance of materials presented in the tables, students can improve their creativity by combining and choosing different elements into their own musical language.

Improvisations Licks, note patterns, scales and theories are clearly written in the analysis table. Students never lack resources in their practice process. As a result, they are given more different combination to create their music rather than simply listening to CD recordings. Students will have a clear target on choosing a particular musician or instrumentalist to learn from. They will be able to learn jazz improvisation, which is relatively difficult for beginners, in a more effective process and it will be easier for them to gain fulfillment.

Further jazz education

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Students educated in this method will be well-organized jazz musicians. They will be able to identify the sound and recognize the musician through their ears in a more sensitive way. This ability will be very useful when they become teachers someday. They will also be capable of playing like any musician they like in the lesson through their instrumental demonstrations. This ability will help them to teach the new generations.

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References
Aitken, D. (2007). IAJE NEWS: Jazz Debuting Across China. Jazz Education Journal. 40. 2-3. Brewer, P. (2011). A Brief Analysis of Ira Sullivans Creative Method on Portrait Of Sal La Rosa (1976). Current research in Jazz. Volume 3. Chung, H. (2012). Reaffirmed Jazz aficionado. Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Retrieved from http://henrychung.blogspot.com/ Hal Lenoard Corporation. (2004). The real Book (6th ed.). Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation. Universal Music Group. (2012). Oscar Peterson Biography. Retrieved from www.oscarpeterson.com/bio/ Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2012). Chick Corea. Retrieved from

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/chick_Corea

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