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Continuing Education Course Catalog > Community Education > Arts & Music

Big Ears: How to Hear Jazz   

Jazz writer Whitney Balliett famously called jazz "the sound of surprise" - so get ready to open your ears to the elements, styles, evolution, and improvisations of the masters of jazz and discover surprise after surprise in the music! In this class, we will listen closely to key musicians and bands from the inception of jazz to its place in the here and now. Through focused listening, you'll develop "big ears" (as jazz players say) and learn how to understand jazz as it travels through time by way of improvisation. You'll also choose an instrument within the standard jazz ensemble and meet with other students in listening groups, or "bands," as you focus on your instrument's role in the music. Join in and discover, carefully and collectively, the astonishing development of jazz!
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