This class will look at the innovative approaches contemporary composers have taken in incorporating improvisation and notated composition. Seminal composers such as Charles Mingus and George Russell, Anthony Braxton and Julius Hemphill, will be looked at, as well as the work of younger artists exploring today. The focus will be on both the experimental and the vernacular in Afro-American music. The class will have a number of composition assignments, written for the instrumentation within the class, culminating in a final work and concert. A background in music theory is essential, and experience in improvisational ensembles a plus. Prerequisite: Tonal Theory II or 5 College equivalent.