Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Jazz Improvisation

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit provides students with the possibility to take up studies in their first instrument or voice with special focus on developing instrumental or vocal skills in jazz improvisation. Students will be trained in basic scalar and chordal exercises in preparation for improvisation. They will also be given the chance to explore the rhythmic and stylistic nuances of jazz music. It provides students with an awareness of the world of jazz: its repertoire, style and idioms.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
a) assist students acquiring the basic concepts of jazz music;
b) provide students with the opportunity attain knowledge in basic jazz harmonisation and chordal progression;
c) facilitate an all-round recognition of improvisation as a compositional process;
d) enable students to distinguish between various jazz forms (blues, standard, bebop etc.)

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a) get acquainted with jazz music;
b) identify its various sub-styles;
c) explore different jazz forms.

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a) apply the techniques and knowledge attained during the course to the performance of basic jazz pieces or improvisation;
b) bring into the style personal musical ideas;
c) compose basic jazz pieces;
d) show awareness of jazz aesthetics.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Cocker, Jerry. 1964. Improvising Jazz (USA: Prentive-Hall, Inc.)
- Cocker, Jerry. 1978. How to Listen to Jazz (New Albany: Jamey Aebersold).
- Levine, Mark. 1995. The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co.)

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite: Intermediate knowledge of Music Theory and Instrumental skills


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 30%
Classwork SEM1 No 70%

LECTURER/S Dominic Galea

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.