From Brahms to Biggie to King Crimson to Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan to Miles Davis we will go through a guided tour of the great melodies, harmonies, tunes and hooks of music history. The aim of the class is to provide participants with different "recipes" from some of the greatest masters of music so that you can experiment and create informed gourmet masterpiece compositions of your own.
Who is this class for?: This class is great for composers, beat makers, and song writers of any genre who are constantly inspired by amazing music all the time but don't know how to drink it in, and internalize it. It is for any musician who wishes to expand, improve and deepen their relationship to music. There is no pre-requisite knowledge of music theory. The class will provide music theory lessons within the context of recorded music in a way that will be clear. This class is not a traditional abstracted linear approach to music theory it is integrated specific research of great art.
Class focus: Each class will be centered on a recorded piece of music. We will listen to this music as a class and discuss what parts we enjoy and why. From there I will pass out the music transcribed on notation paper and we will dissect and analyze the written music. Each class will be focused and thorough so no one will be "left behind" from week to week.
Preparation: The only preparation I ask is for each student to listen with focus to the excerpt prior to class and form an opinion or two. I will provide a sample CD of all excerpts on the first day of class. Students should bring notes from their listening experiences, writing utensils and notation paper so they can take notes in class.
Jonathan Armstrong has been composing and arranging music for various working ensembles since he was 15. Each experience in writing for different instruments has further solidified his knowledge of how music fits together. He has also taught ear training courses at the California Institute of the Arts and various K-12 programs throughout Los Angeles. Teaching such disparate age groups has broadened his approach to music theory and composition lessons. It is his philosophy that such topics ought to be covered in relationship to real music.
In addition to this he currently writes music for numerous ensembles of all sizes and genres. He performs often on 10 instruments and is an inexhaustible student of music. He still transcribe chord changes, melodies, solos and notes that catches his ear. He breathes music.