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Line Writing Rules by Herb Pomeroy on Blue Music Group

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Herb Pomeroy
Herb Pomeroy (1930-2007) is regarded as one of the most influential jazz educators of the 20th century. He is best known for having taught the high-level arranging courses Line Writing, The Music of Duke Ellington and The Jazz Composer's Seminar at Berklee College of Music. Pomeroy also lead two student big bands, which performed at the Berklee Performance Center at the end of each semester. Less known is the Small Ensemble in which he concentrated on each individual student. He utilized many rhythmic and harmonic techniques in order to enhance the students' awareness and musical development.

During Pomeroy's long tenure at Berklee, many people asked him to write a book. His detailed answer was “I could, but I find that this [Line Writing] course changes a little bit every semester as I try to fine-tune it with new rules and principles to match relevant musical needs." Pomeroy was an excellent musician, not only as a trumpeter, but as an educator. His teaching was the music itself, not any particular personal beliefs or stylistic preferences. By not writing a book, he demonstrated the ultimate trust for the future of jazz education, and music as an ever-changing, dynamic art form.

The original Line Writing rules and accompanied examples are now available on Blue Music Group as a download. The included video catches Pomeroy's engaging spirit and enormous craft. Lead sheets to the songs taught in his Small Ensemble are included as a bonus.

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