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Jazz Studies

  • Module code: MU6004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 modules
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Jazz harmony, rhythm and improvisation skills will be taught in this year-long optional module, along with their practical application in performance. The module will enable students to recognise features of a range of jazz styles within a historical context and put them into practice.

Aims

  • to develop understanding of harmonic , melodic and rhythmic practices in jazz;
  • to provide the opportunity to develop practical skills in improvisation;
  • to develop an advanced understanding of compositional practices in jazz;
  • to promote awareness of the stylistic features of a range of jazz music within a historical context.

Learning outcomes

  • demonstrate the ability to understand advanced harmonic, melodic and rhythmic practices of jazz;
  • demonstrate an ability to perform fluently in a jazz style;
  • demonstrate an understanding of advanced compositional practices in jazz;
  • demonstrate awareness of the stylistic features of a range of jazz;
  • to understand the historical contexts of a range of jazz styles.

Curriculum content

  • analysis of harmonic and motivic practices in the performance of established practitioners;
  • rhythmic practices and procedures in jazz;
  • harmonic and scalic theories, chord extensions and substitutions;
  • composing jazz;
  • forming and shaping improvisation;
  • performance strategies for jazz musicians.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught through lectures and workshops. All students will engage with the music in theoretical and practical ways and will develop a thorough knowledge of jazz techniques and ideas. Extensive formative feedback will be provided in workshops and practical performance sessions.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures/workshops/seminars 44
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The course will be assessed through: (1) a folio of  jazz harmony and theory exercises and compositions (30%); (2) through transcription and analysis of a recording of a solo by an experienced practitioner (20%); and (3) by a practical performance that is stylistically appropriate and includes improvised solos (50%).

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) demonstrate the ability to understand advanced harmonic, melodic and rhythmic practices of jazz; Folio, Transcription and Analysis and Performance
2) demonstrate an ability to perform fluently in a jazz style; Performance
3) demonstrate an understanding of advanced compositional practices in jazz; Folio
4) demonstrate awareness of the stylistic features of a range of jazz; Folio, Transcription and Analysis and Performance
5) to understand the historical contexts of a range of jazz styles. Folio, Transcription and Analysis and Performance

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
PRC Performance 50
Coursework Folio of exercises and compositions 30
Coursework Transcription and analysis 20
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Levine M. (1995)  The Jazz Theory Book. Petaluma, CA : Sher Music Co.

Gioia T.   (1997) The History of Jazz.  Oxford: Oxford University Press

Bibliography recommended reading

Bailey D. (1983) Improvisation – Its Nature and Practice in Music. New York: Prentice-Hall

Berliner P. (1994) Thinking in Jazz: The Art of Improvisation. London: University Of Chicago Press.

Coker J. (1987) Improvising Jazz. New York: Simon and Schuster

Dunlap L. (Ed)  (2000) The New Real Book – Volumes 1, 2 & 3. Petaluma, CA : Sher Music Co.

Aebersold, J. (1997-2005) Play-Along CDs - Volumes 1 – 113. New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz

Burns, K. (2001) JAZZ - 8 DVD set; Florentine Films in assoc. with the BBC

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