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The Bad Plus – “Structure”

The Bad Plus have developed a reputation for their genre-bending and provocative compositions. In this video, they break down the concept of “structure” and explain its importance as it pertains to composition and improvisation.

EDUCATOR RESOURCES

Subject: The Bad Plus have developed a reputation for their genre-bending and provocative compositions. In this video, they break down the concept of “structure” and explain its importance as it pertains to composition and improvisation.

The Bad Plus walks viewers though the concept of “Structure” and how it pertains to composition and improvisation. They begin by playing their song “Lean In The Archway” and then break down the song to show how structure shapes their composition, improvisation and playing styles.

Age/Skill-Level Recommendation: Intended for intermediate to advanced level music students, ages 14 and up. We recommend this video be used with students who have experience playing an instrument and an understanding of musical phrases.

Topics Discussed: Structure, Improvisation, Collaboration, Songwriting, Jazz, Piano, Bass, Drums, Composition.

Recommended Use: We recommend this video be used to teach intermediate to advanced level students about the importance of the collaborative process and how to become a better collaborator.

Discussion Questions

  • Define “structure” as it pertains to composition.
  • At one point, Reid says “Structure provides a certain kind of freedom”. What does he mean by that?
  • The concept of “free improvisation” would seem to clash with structure. How does The Bad Plus use structure to guide their improvisation?

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