Piano 4

Course Number: MUS-212DLCredit Hours: 2

Course Description

Piano 4 introduces more advanced arranging and harmonizing techniques, such as secondary dominants, modal mixture, tritone substitutions and seventh chord extensions. Improvisation is considered through use of the Blues form, pentatonic scales, and the blues scale. Students also learn harmonic and melodic minor, whole tone, chromatic and diminished scales and how to apply these in composition. Prerequisite: Piano 3.


Kait Dunton

KAIT DUNTON is a Los Angeles based composer & pianist with an unconventional approach to composition and to the piano trio, best expressed by her genre-pushing super group, trioKAIT. Kait has produced and released three albums of original compositions, with a fourth featuring her equally out-of-the-box arranging style. Her third record, trioKAIT, made the Huffington Post’s list of “The Best Jazz for 2015” and was featured in Downbeat Magazine as well as on JAZZIZ Magazine’s 33⅓ Anniversary CD. Her second album, Mountain Suite, features master interpreters Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, John Daversa and Darek Oles.

Classically trained, Kait now works primarily in jazz and contemporary genres, maintaining a balanced career of performance, composition and education. Her enthusiasm and love for music radiates as much on the stage as in the classroom. A Pasadena native and an alum of Polytechnic School, Kait holds a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music.

Find Kait on:
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | SoundCloud


Week 1:

  • Secondary Dominants: V of vi
  • Secondary Dominants: V of V
  • Secondary Dominants: V of Everything Else
  • Secondary Dominants: Written Progression
  • Secondary Dominants: Transposed Written Progression
  • Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing”


Week 2:

  • Borrowed Chords
  • Tritone Substitution
  • Piano Four-te Waltz: Chord I.D.
  • Piano Four-te Waltz: Left Hand Chords & Voice Leading
  • Chord Identification
  • Test 1 Guidelines & Practice


Week 3:

  • Harmonic Minor
  • Harmonic Minor Scale with i-V-i Chord Progression
  • Major Pentatonic
  • Minor Pentatonic
  • Blues Scale
  • Pentatonic + Blues Scale Practice


Week 4:

  • Chromatic Scale
  • Whole Tone Scale
  • “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock
  • Test 2 Guidelines


Week 5:

  • ii7-V9-I Progression
  • iiØ7-V7(b9)-i7 Progression
  • ii7-V7-I Progression with Extensions
  • Diminished Scales
  • Diminished vs. Dominant Diminished
  • “On Green Dolphin Street”
  • Guidelines for the Final Test

Hardware & Equipment Requirements:

This course will require you to use a piano or keyboard to play through musical examples.

You will need:

  • Access to an 88-key keyboard or piano (must be in the same location as an Ethernet-based internet connection and your computer for testing purposes)
  • Webcam
  • Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Microphone
  • Desktop or laptop PC or Mac with speakers, running the most up-to-date versions of Google Chrome or Firefox (see “Software Requirements” for more info)
  • Printer, so that you can print out music examples used in the course or an iPad or similar device
  • Metronome (or metronome app)

Software Requirements: