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Unit of study_

JAZZ1019: Jazz Harmony and Arranging 1

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Sydney

This unit explores the study of the harmony of standard jazz repertoire both from a theoretical angle and through the process of arranging for small jazz combos. Students will learn to understand and use basic harmonic rules and standard harmonic devices, diatonic progression and chord patterns.

Unit details and rules

Unit code JAZZ1019
Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 3
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Andrew Robertson,
Lecturer(s) Andrew Robertson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Weekly homework assignments
Various homework tasks submitted over 5 weeks.
10% Multiple weeks
Due date: 23 Apr 2024 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment End of semester assignment
Full chorus arrangement demonstrating skills in voicing and orchestration
Due date: 31 May 2024 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Small test hurdle task Early Feedback Task
Brief demonstration of progress - initial course content #earlyfeedbacktask
0% Week 02 5-7 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Week 6 Homework Task
Larger homework task: 16 bar arrangement demonstrating closed voicing skill
10% Week 06
Due date: 29 Mar 2024 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Small arranging assignment
32 bars arranging for 4 horns using a variety of voicing options
20% Week 09
Due date: 26 Apr 2024 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Small continuous assessment Assessment
Written test - summary of Sem. 1 work
30% Week 13
Due date: 21 May 2024 at 23:59
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Early feedback task

This unit includes an early feedback task, designed to give you feedback prior to the census date for this unit. Details are provided in the Canvas site and your result will be recorded in your Marks page. It is important that you actively engage with this task so that the University can support you to be successful in this unit.

Assessment summary

  • Weekly homework assignments: Homework assignments, due in various weeks, different topics based on content covered in class. There will be 5 weeks of homework tasks, each worth 2% - totaling 10% for the semester. They will be simple and short activities focusing on the learnings of that week’s class.
  • Larger arranging assignments: These assignments are designed to build skills toward the final exam.
  • End of semester assignment: Small jazz band (8 piece) arrangement of 16 bars + ending with full score and parts. The writing of a successful arrangement demonstrates the student’s knowledge of jazz harmony and arranging in the most immediate and direct way. This arrangement will demonstrate an overall
    grasp of both fundamentals and more advanced concepts in jazz harmony, and exhibit facility with the content covered in class.
  • End of semester exam: Handwritten short score of small band arrangement from given lead line.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

Assessment criteria for assessments in this unit of study can be found on Canvas in the appropriate folder.


Assessed work will be marked according to these criteria.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Critical listening to great jazz arrangements and great jazz arrangers Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 02 Understanding diatonic harmony; Cadence points Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 03 Jazz rhythms, phrasing & articulations Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 4 Part Closed voicing 101 Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Closed Voicing; Texture; Understanding the Horn Section Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Engraving; Composing melodies; Composing counterlines Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Chordal dictation; Diatonic Reharmonisation Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Writing for Rhythm Section Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Chord analysis; Open voicing Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Dynamics; Bossanova rhythm section writing Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Workshop: Small jazz ensemble arrangements in class Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Semester summary of all information Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned. The Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90%.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 3 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 60-75 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate knowledge of fundamental jazz harmonic principles through improvisation in a coherent way
  • LO2. analyse jazz arrangements from a range of styles and eras
  • LO3. write arrangements for small group jazz band in a number of styles
  • LO4. be fluent in diatonic jazz harmony and beginning arranging techniques
  • LO5. complete a smaller-sized arrangement for small group jazz band to be performed in class.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes to number of assessments and weighting plus re-write of sequential learning program.

More information and resources are to be found on Canvas.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.