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Unit of study_

JAZZ1021: Jazz History 1

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Sydney

Jazz History 1 provides the student with a practical understanding of the roots of jazz and the music developed, played and composed from the late 1800s - early 1930s and the historical context in which it was created. The classes will be structured around the use of sound recordings, archival footage, group discussion/analysis and by practical application. Students will be expected to be able to recognise, write about and discuss the major musical contributors of this period and their music, the cultural and socio-economic influences upon and of this music. Aural examinations will be of the 'Blindfold Test' variety. Students will transcribe notable performances from recordings and will direct ensemble performances of these. A listening list, reading list, video links and audio examples will be provided.

Unit details and rules

Unit code JAZZ1021
Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 3
Assumed knowledge

Students enrolling in this unit are expected to have strong overall music skills including notation, reading, aural skills, music research and analysis and jazz performance (excluding non-jazz students)

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Andrew Dickeson,
Project supervisor(s) Kevin Hunt,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment Group Presentation
Group in-class presentation
30% Week 06
Due date: 05 Sep 2022 at 23:00

Closing date: 10 Feb 2023
Approximately 30-35 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Solo Transcription/Performance/Analysis
Transcription, performance and analysis of improvised solos
35% Week 13
Due date: 06 Nov 2022 at 23:00

Closing date: 11 Feb 2023
Dependant upon choice of recorded works
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO3 LO2 LO1
Assignment Full Band Transcription and Performance
Transcription and historical recreation of significant recorded works.
35% Week 13
Due date: 06 Nov 2022 at 23:00

Closing date: 11 Feb 2023
Dependant upon tunes selected
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Group Presentation: Students will be divided into groups and will collaborate on  an in class presentation (video presentation should Covid restrictions necessutate this) on allocated artist/artists. Presentations should include a general biography of the major artists/groups involved, the recording date/dates, personnel, any significant historical, social or cultural associations, and an in-depth analysis of the allocated tracks and the musical style of the artist/artists generally. The assignment is to be of approximately 30 minutes duration. Presentations will be done during class time, opening up into further discussion as relevant. Assessment criteria - content of presentation is relevant and appropriate to the subject matter. Demonstrates evidence of effective collaboration. Demonstrates understanding of content, initiative in research, appropriate relevant language, correct spelling and grammar, evidence of independent thought, good referencing.
  • Solo Transcription/Performance/Analysis: Students will choose 2 solos from any of the tunes available for Jazz 1021- both the Dropbox tracks, Early Jazz Playlist or any other tracks studied in class. Students will: 1 Transcribe 1 chorus (minimum) of each solo (for solos on a 12 bar blues a minimum of 2 choruses are required). 2) Record themselves playing the two solos along with the recording. 3) Write a written analysis comparing the two solos – showing what language, musical devices etc are common to both, what the differences are, and how the solos relate to the styles, developments and innovations etc we have discussed in class.The transcription and written analysis shall be submitted as PDF files. The performance may be submitted as a video or audio file. Assesment criteria: the accuracy of the transcription, the accuracy and authenticity of the performance, and the depth and relevance of the comparison/analysis.
  • Full Band Transcription and Performance  Each student will provide a complete transcription, with rhythm section parts, with transpositions as relevant, of a tune of their own choice – chosen from the Jazz1021, the “Early Jazz” playlist listening tracks, or other tracks discussed in class - the Jazz1021 tracks are located in the class dropbox folder. Full transcription scores (as a PDF) and a video or audio track recorded either live, following appropriate distancing guidelines are to be submitted by the due date. Transcriptions are to be of all instruments on the chosen recording – melody, accompaniments, rhythm section etc. Rhythm section parts must represent what is actually played on the recording – and not just a set of chord changes etc. Accurate bass-lines as played on the recording, and any particular particular rhythmic/harmonic devices employed by the rhythm section should be provided. The minimum requirement for this assessment is the first melody chorus (or choruses if more than one chorus of melody is played) along with any introductions etc. Students should also provide a set of solo “blowing” changes where appropriate. For the sake of a unified performance it may be useful to provide a written ending. At their own discretion students may elect to transcribe more material – solos etc. Assessment Criteria the accuracy of written parts, understanding of the repertoire involved, evidence of preparation and rehearsal, and ability ability to conceive and direct a historically accurate performance.
  • Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria


The following assessment criteria are used for written work in this unit of study:

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Demonstrates high level of initiative in research and reading; sophisticated critical analysis of evidence; high level engagement with theoretical issues, innovative use of reading/research material and impressive command of underlying debates and assumptions; properly documented and written with style, originality and precision.


75 - 84

Demonstrates initiative in research and wide, appropriate reading; complex understanding of question and ability to critically review material in relation to underlying assumptions and values; analyses material in relation to empirical and theoretical contexts; properly documented; clear, well-developed structure and argument with some signs of literary style.


65 - 74

Evidence of broader understanding than pass level; offers synthesis with some critical evaluation of material; coherent argument using a range of relevant evidence; some evidence of independent thought, good referencing. A high credit (70-74) shows some evidence of ability to problematise and think conceptually.


50 - 64

Written work meets basic requirements in terms of reading/research; relevant material; tendency to descriptive summary rather than critical argument; makes a reasonable attempt to avoid paraphrasing; reasonably coherent structure; often has weaknesses in particular areas, especially in terms of narrow or underdeveloped treatment of question; acceptable documentation.


0 - 49

Work may fail for any or all of the following reasons: Unacceptable paraphrasing; irrelevance of content; poor spelling; poor presentation; grammar or structure so sloppy it cannot be understood; failure to demonstrate understanding of content; insufficient or overlong word length.

For more information see


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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Online lecture/tutorial The early roots of Jazz Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Online lecture/tutorial Roots of Jazz Early stylists Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Online lecture/tutorial Early stylists Louis Armstrong Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Online lecture/tutorial Louis Armstrong Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Louis Armstrong and his contemporaries Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Student Presentations Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Student Presentations Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Piano Stylists Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Piano Stylists part 2 Moving into Chicago Jazz. Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Pre-recorded lecture/tutorial Duke Ellington part 1 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Duke Ellington Fletcher Henderson Jimmy Lunceford Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 13 Jimmy Lunceford Chick Webb Andy Kirk and Mary Lou Williams Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

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%.
  • Due to COVID-19, this information is subject to change and in class attendance may be substituted for online activities. Please always refer to your timetable and information on Canvas.

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. have a well rounded knowledge of the development of jazz from the late 1800s to the mid 1930s- which will inform their performance skills and musicological knowledge.
  • LO2. achieve an understanding of the styles, sounds and cultural in-fluences of and upon the main artists of this period and to be able to recognise them aurally.
  • LO3. understand and, for instrumentalists, be able to perform competently in the varying styles of this era. They will have an understanding of the social and cultural influences upon and of the music of this period.
  • LO4. Will be introduced to the music, contributions and history of some of the important, influential and under-recognised female artists of this era.

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.



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