About The Book 

 Harmonic Development and Contrapuntal Techniques for the Jazz Pianistserves as a guide for harmonic expansion and development for jazz piano, offering pianists both a rationale and methods to improve contrapuntal hand techniques. The text focuses on the relationship between theory and execution and both of those components’ usefulness in creating a jazz sound at the piano. This kinesthetic method provides the learner with a systematic approach to harmonic movement, revealing options that may not have been otherwise apparent. This method will allow pianists to add depth and dimension to their chord voicings in the same way that vocalists and wind instrumentalists give character and shape to the notes they create. Intended for the learner who is reasonably familiar with essential jazz harmony, the textbook and companion website will be both a significant resource for the advanced player and a fundamental component for the learner in a structured academic musical setting. Here you will find musical examples, audio tracks, performance exercises, written assignments, and video links. 

The concept for this book is the fruit of my life’s work as a jazz pianist and teacher. I believe that documenting and sharing lived experiences has the potential to promote growth and development in others. This is not a jazz theory book, but rather a perspective on learning jazz harmony derived from early attempts to learn jazz piano first by ear and later by incorporating theory.  Jazz instruction was not available during my formative years, and yet, music on shows like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, The Flintstones, and A Charlie Brown Christmas resonated profoundly. While I spent hours at the piano trying to imagine how to emulate and create those sounds, I also desired feedback and guidance. This work chronicles the method I created to de-mystify piano jazz harmony and represents the guidance that I sought. My hope is that it serves that purpose for others.   

About the Author 

Gary Motley graduated from the University of Montevallo and Georgia State University with degrees in music and jazz program administration, respectively. He is a Teaching Professor and Founding Director of Jazz Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches jazz theory and jazz improvisation. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and the American Composers Forum, he has been featured on Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland. He is inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.