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Unit of study_

JAZZ2016: Jazz Harmony and Arranging 3

This unit concentrates on more complex harmonic material that forms the basis for Jazz Improvisation, as well as learning arranging techniques for five horns and more complex ensemble music. Methods of reharmonisation of existing jazz and standard compositions will be introduced. Students learn big band orchestration which includes ensemble scoring, sax soli, background writing, form and the related uses of counterpoint. There will be detailed analysis of scores of major composers and arrangers.


Academic unit Jazz
Unit code JAZZ2016
Unit name Jazz Harmony and Arranging 3
Session, year
Semester 1, 2023
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Sydney
Credit points 3

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Andrew Robertson,
Lecturer(s) Andrew Robertson ,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
End of Semester Exam
Written test summarising all Semester content
30% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Participation Participation & Attendance
General participation in class and punctual attendance.
10% Ongoing
Due date: 24 May 2023 at 23:00
Throughout semester
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Larger Homework Task
Writing for saxophone section for 16 bars demonstrating voicing skills
5% Week 05
Due date: 22 Mar 2023 at 23:00
Due Week 5
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Larger arranging assignment
Arranging saxophone section + brass section for 1 x 32 bar form.
15% Week 09
Due date: 30 Apr 2023 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment End of Semester assignment
Full Big Band arrangement for 1 x 32 bar form
30% Week 13
Due date: 28 May 2023 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Weekly homework assignments
Weekly homework tasks
10% Weekly
Due date: 26 Apr 2023 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
  • Weekly Homework Assignments: Homework Assignments, due in various weeks, different topics based on content covered in class. There will be 5 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.
  • Week 5 Larger Homework Task
  • 2 Larger Arranging Assignments: Three larger assignments throughout the semester due Week 5 and 9. Each assignment will be worth 15% and is designed to build skills toward the final exam.
  • End of Semester assignment: Smaller-sized Big band 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: review of all work throughout Semester 1
  • Participation/Attendance: Assessment of overall participation in class and punctual attendance throughout Semester.

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.

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.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Composing a jazz melody Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Study of the Saxophone Section Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Harmony Analysis and Reharmonisation Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Colours of the Brass Section Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Writing for the Brass Section + Articulation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 More Brass voicing techniques Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Exploring different Brass voicing/blending options Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Tutti Section composition Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Rhythm Section + Balance, dynamics, jazz articulations and effects Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Workshopping your final arrangements Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Semester summary + mini workshop Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Exam practice- write excerpt big band chart from lead line in sketch form 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 jazz big band in a number of styles
  • LO4. become fluent in more complex jazz harmony and arranging techniques
  • LO5. complete a smaller-sized arrangement for full big band, and rehearse and record your arrangement.

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

More information and resources are to be found on Canvas.


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