Seminario 2018: Jazz Explorations
at Sweets Ballroom
SEMINARIO Oct 30th, 2016: OSA Instrumental Music hosted 400+ student musicians from across California for an immersive event of activities and presentations. The event included a massive collaboration between OSA, Cal Performances, LA Philharmonic, Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Oakland Symphony's MUSE program, and El Sistema USA (including 11 music ensembles across northern California). The presentations culminated with a 175 student orchestra at Sweets Ballroom and the entire event culminated at The Paramount with a performance by YOLA conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. It was truly inspiring to see so many young musicians come together for a similar goal.
Documented in the LA Times
Documented in the LA Times
Oakland School for the Arts
MS Beginning Chamber
Students will be placed in mixed-instrument groups to develop fundamental skills in rehearsing and performing classical repertoire with their peers. Any instrumentalist who has basic facility of an instrument is welcome. The beginning-level chamber focuses on rhythmic accuracy, technique, cooperation through non-verbal communication, and developing an understanding of intonation and balance. Every student is expected to learn four works, representative of their level, during each semester and participate in chamber recitals.
MS Intermediate Chamber
The Intermediate Chamber consists of mixed-instrument groups designed to further develop skills in rehearsing and performing classical repertoire. Abilities gained from an intermediate-level chamber group include, but are not limited to, phrasing as a unit, contributing to the group as a leader, and assessing one’s own playing as well as others in a professional and respectful manor. Every student is expected to learn four works, representative of their level, during each semester and participate in chamber recitals.
MS Chamber Orchestra
The OSA Middle School Chamber Orchestra is open to all students who play standard orchestral instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute/picc, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, and percussion). Literature rehearsed and performed consists primarily of intermediate music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. This large ensemble is designed to provide students with experience in an orchestral setting, to develop an understanding of other instruments, to establish instrumental roles as they apply to a group, and to learn a broad range of styles. Each rehearsal aims to prepare for concerts and will focus on balance and shaping musical ideas, intonation, and classical techniques.
MS Symphonic Chamber Orchestra
The OSA Symphonic Chamber Orchestra is the largest classical music group at OSA. This course is open to all classical and jazz instrumentalists excluding piano and guitar. Students are encouraged to take this course regardless of level; however, an audition is required for chair placement in the beginning of the year. Literature rehearsed and performed consists primarily of intermediate music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. We will supplement our repertoire with other styles including Jazz, Popular, and Multicultural works.
MS Music Theory III
In this course, students will begin to combine their understanding of scales, melody, harmony, and chord progressions in the context of tonal music. Students will become fluent in the use of triads and seventh chords in all inversions, and they will begin applying these chords with correct voice leading. This course also covers chromatic harmony with a means to develop a richer harmonic understanding through various musical contexts. Students will continue to train rhythmically by means of clapping exercises, rhythmic dictation, and listening examples.
HS Intermediate Chamber
The High School Intermediate Chamber continues to develop skills in producing highly attuned mixed-instrumental cooperatives. The main focus for this course is to master the ability to listen while playing with a means to effectively monitor one’s role in the context of a group. Every student will have an opportunity to lead his or her group; this includes critique within a friendly and respectful atmosphere. Every student is expected to learn four works, representative of their level, during each semester and participate in chamber recitals.
HS Advanced Chamber
The High School Advanced Chamber consists of autonomous mixed-instrument groupings. Every student is expected to be a leader on their instrument, to understand their own role within an ensemble as well as the roles or other instrumentalists, and, most importantly, to support their peers through effective communication. Students at this level must have prior classical chamber experience. Every student is expected to learn four works, representative of their level, during each semester and participate in chamber recitals.
HS Mixed Chamber / Arranging
Students will be placed in mixed-instrument groups to develop fundamental skills in arranging. Mixed Chamber is unique by its design to include any instrumentalist of any level; especially, to encourage those whose backgrounds lie outside the classical domain. This course provides an open environment to focus on notation and skills needed to lead a small group. Every student will contribute to the recording session and CD release at the end of the year.
HS Chamber Orchestra
The OSA High School Chamber Orchestra is open to all students who play standard orchestral instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute/picc, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, and percussion). Literature rehearsed and performed consists primarily of advanced music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. This large ensemble is designed to further student’s experience in an orchestral setting. Each rehearsal aims to prepare for concerts and will focus on balance and shaping musical ideas, intonation, and classical techniques.
HS Music History
This course is designed for students to gain general knowledge of music history from antiquity to present times. Topics will emphasize salient features of eras in regard to counterpoint, form, harmonic evolution, notation, and instrument development. Through weekly journaling and vocabulary assignments, listening exams, and class discussions, this course seeks to impart an appreciation of worldwide perspectives covering diverse genres and cultures.
Sample Middle Ages Transcriptions
OSA Instrumental Music
Program / Stage Plot Archive
OSA Wind Quintet
The Expanding Palette includes five interdiciplinary courses: Sonically Minded Books, Visual Music, Color Organs and Color Systems, Experimenting with Theater, and From Books to Tablets.
EP connects students to the enormous potential in which fine art, intermedia technologies, and sound can coexist. In the advent of threedimensional printing, touch sensitive, and visual technologies, the reform of art education is inevitable. This curriculum offers skill sets which glorify obsolete technologies alongside these advancements. The textbook offers the artistic community a catalogue of unique notations, color-to-sound systems, and discourse within the underdeveloped genre of visual music.
Topics in Book Art: Sonically Minded Books (lab course) will introduce definitions, examples, exercises, images, and research connecting artist books and sonic art within three units: I Paper Amplification, II. Meter/Pacing/Silence, and III. Form. The course will include documentation of experimental binding techniques, three-dimensional forms, book installations, and the research. The main goal for this course is to design and cultivate a genre of "Sonically Minded Books”: a book made in whole or in part with intent to communicate sound.
Topics in Color Theory: Color Organs and Color Systems (project-based course with lectures) will explore objective viewpoints provided by color theorists and composers who utilize color relationships. This course will provide practical color guidance for artists working with pigment or light.
Visual Music (lecture with assignments and readings) will be a survey of symbols and notations of the contemporary practice. Analytical discourse will explore visual music succeeding both as a visual object and sonic experience
Experimenting with Theater (lab course with exercises and intermedia performance) will introduce post-modern theatrical techniques in the work of composers in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Students will be working on a term project to be showcased in a public event at the end of the course. Collaboration will play a large role in this course.
From Books to Tablets (project-based course with lectures) will exemplify objects that coexist in physical and digital domains. In preparation for an interdisciplinary event that I created at Mills College, I found enthusiastic support from students excited to integrate books with sound, most notable were discussions regarding technologies that augment tactile and visual cues. This course will explore these technologies. A unit of this course will be devoted to music engraving practices and their placement in current artworks.
Sonically Minded Book
Binding Forms: Flip Book, Fan Binding, Concertina, Pop-up book, Concertina within a codex, Hide-Reveal Codex, Dos-a-dos, French Door Binding
Silence: the absence of content.
Measure: Content located within the bounds of a single page spread; What one sees (i.e. what is revealed) at any given time; Folio
Beat: Division of the folio; most often delineated by a fold in the page.
Pacing: The temporal experience of content and space.
Tempo: how quickly the content is revealed to the reader. Measured in pages per day/hour/second/minute.
Book art definition - Formal considerations of pacing.
Poetry definition – The basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse.
Music definition – the rhythmic element as measured by division into parts of equal time value. The meter of a piece of music is the arrangement of its rhythms in a repetitive pattern of strong and weak beats.
Time Signature: A notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and which note value constitutes one beat. Duple/Triple/Quadruple Meter: Refers to the number of beats in a measure (2,3 and 4 respectively. Simple/Compound Meter: Refers to the divisions of a beat. Simple=2; Compound=3. Complex/Irregular Meter: Establishment of a regular metric pattern from an asymmetrical sequence of two or more time signatures.
The Expanding Palette
An Interdiciplinary Curriculum
Topics in Color Theory
All pigment mixes differently – Two ways to mix: Trial and error (from red, yellow, and blue) / Color swatch guides specific to the brand of inks. Make sure to plan proportions used.
Always mix the darker hue INTO the lighter hue (saves time and ink; if your green is far too blue, it will require a ton of yellow to compensate)
Know your pallette, including color vision's strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Test your color vision at
Light and pigment mix differently (additive vs subtractive)
Despite some ideas that seem to be universal, such as cold and hot colors schemes, using color is to explore the self and ones individual tendencies and tastes. Color theory and color research can give artists a general arrangement for which we can compare and contrast our personal interpretations. By comparing, I believe that we can identify and fine tune subjective color combinations, expand our pallet, and strengthen our visual content (in addition to the meaning behind it).
12 Chromatic Colors: YELLOW, YELLOW/ORANGE, ORANGE, ORANGE/RED, RED, RED/VIOLET, VIOLET, BLUE/VIOLET, BLUE, BLUE/GREEN, GREEN, YELLOW/GREEN
3 Achromatic colors: GREY, WHITE, BLACK
Subtractive color synthesis is the creation of color by mixing colors of pigment. Additive color synthesis is the creation of color by mixing colors of light.
A primary color is a color that cannot be made from a combination of any other colors. A secondary color is a color created from a combination of two primary colors. Tertiary color is a combination of three colors (primary or secondary).
Tints (adding white) and shades (adding black): Use opaque for tint/shades. Transparent will affect the shade depending on your paper color.
Johannes Itten defines seven kinds of color contrast: Contrast of hue, light-dark contrast, cold-warm contrast, complementary contrast, simultaneous contrast, contrast of saturation, and contrast of extension. We speak of contrast when distinct differences can be perceived between two compared effects.
Simultaneous Contrast relates to the afterimage. This contrast in color theory recognizes the fact that our eyes will always account for the complementary of a hue even when it is not present. Using this particular contrast can cleverly fool our cognitive perception, and speak directly to the fact that our eyes attempts to resolve the color we experience instantaneously. After Image: Goethe recognized that strong hues tend to generate an impression of their complementary color in the surrounding field, like a contrasting halo. The same effect arises in the afterimage produced when one stares at a color for long moments and then looks away.
Complementary contrast describes an increase of visual consonance of any hue if it is paired with its complementary hue. Red paired with green will excite each other in a mutual way by virtue of the way in which we perceive them.
Light / dark contrast is understood by a color’s relative light or darkness measured by color theorists with the term value. Naturally, white and black mark the furthest extent of this particular contrast. Yellow and violet mark the furthest hue extent of light/dark contrast (white and black are not hues).
Warm and cold advancing and retiring colors find their extremes with red-orange and green-blue. Proven with both human and animal experiments, blue-green slows down circulation and red-orange stimulates it.
Saturation Contrast relates to the degree of purity to a hue. This is some times called chroma. Chroma, measured radially from the center of each slice, represents the “purity” of a color (related to saturation), with lower chroma being less pure (more washed out, as in pastels. Note that there is no intrinsic upper limit to chroma. Different areas of the color space have different maximal chroma coordinates. For instance light yellow colors have considerably more potential chroma than light purples, due to the nature of the eye and the physics of color stimuli.
Red, Blue, and Yellow mark the perfect contrast of hue for those working with pigment. They are completely distinct whose effect is always strongly resonant. All other hues exist as combinations of these three. Secondary hues favor neither red, blue, nor yellow colors and are therefore less resonant.
Contrast through extension defines at what quantitative proportion between two or more colors may be said to be in balance. Darker hues should occupy a larger area than those hues that are lighter.
• Monochromatic: Using any tint, tone, or shade of just one color.
• Analogous Color: Using colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. A typical analogous color scheme should not contain more than three or four colors or you jeopardize harmony. Use a variety of values, intensities, and arrangements to develop interest. One of the easiest ways to obtain interest in analogous color schemes is to place emphasis on a dominant hue. Some ways to make a particular hue dominant is to give it a large area, a darker value, or make it the most intense color.
• Split-analogous color: An analogous color scheme includes a main color and the two colors one space away from it on each side of the color wheel. An example is red, violet, and blue.
• Complementary: Using two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel.
• Split Complementary: Using any color with two colors on each side of its complement. (e.g. Green, with violet and green.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• Alves, Bill. “Digital Harmony of Sound and Light.” Computer Music Journal 29:4
(Winter 2005): 45-54.
• Ball, Philip. Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color. Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press, 2001.
• Bishop, Bainbridge. A Souvenir of the Color Organ with Some Suggestions in Regard to
the Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light. New Russia: 1893.
• Bleicher, Steven. Contemporary Color Theory and Use. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson
Delmar Learning, 2005.
• Hahl-Koch, Jelena trans., John C Crawford. Arnold Schoenberg Wassily Kandinsky:Letters, Pictures, and Documents. London: Faber and Faber, 1984.
• Itten, Johannes. The Art of Color. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1961.
____________. The Elements of Color. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company,
• Kaplan, Frances. Art Science & Art Therapy: Reprinting the Picture. Great Britain:
Athenaeum Press, 2000.
• Kharkhurin, Anatoliy V. Is Triangle Really Yellow?
• Kuehni, Rolf G and Adreas Schwarz. Color Ordered: A Survey of Color Order Systems
from Antiquity to the Present. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, 2007.
• Kuehni, Rolf G. An Introduction to Practice and Principles, John Wiley & Sons Inc:
• Lamb, Trevor, Lanine Bourriau. Colour: Art & Science. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1995.
• Licht, Alan. Sound Art. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc, 2007.
Lee, David Webster. Nature’s Palette: The Science of Plant Color. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 2007.
• MacLaury, Robert E, Galina V. Paramei, Don Dedrick. Anthropology of Color:
Interdisciplinary Multilevel Modeling. Amsterdam: NLD John Benjamin’s
Publishing Company, 2007.
• Newman, William R. Atoms and Alchemy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press,
• Proctor, John, Susan Proctor. Color in Plants and Flowers: The Mysterious and
Sometimes Capricious Way in Which Nature Uses Colors in Plants for Survival.
New York: Everest House Publishers, 1978.