Jazz Improvisation with Y8 pupils

Believe it or not, there are many types of music other than the tonal one we know and hear most of the time in the radio. Chromatic, serial, polytonal, microtonal, modal and many more. The pupils in Y8 have been learning different ways to improvise in Jazz music.

This improvisation is based on Modal Jazz which was influenced by Miles Davis III. In traditional jazz the musicians use chord patterns to support the improvisations. In 1950 some composers grew frustrated with the typical forms of jazz where the same chord pattern was constantly repeated.

Miles Davis III, born in 1926, was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the past century. His main instrument was the trumpet but he also was a famous composer and bandleader. He began to experiment with Modes which had existed from medieval times. Miles, developed a new style-counterpoint.

In counterpoint, all the musicians explore their own melodic ideas, weaving complementary patterns using notes from the selected mode.

The different modes are Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian and what it changes in between them is their melodic behaviours. Here the students are using the Dorian mode-DEFGABC.