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Unit of study_

JAZZ2623: Jazz Music Skills 3

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Harmony and Arranging Module: Concentrates on more complex harmonic material that forms the basis for Jazz Improvisation 3. Students will learn big band orchestration which will include 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. Methods of reharmonisation of existing jazz and standard compositions will be explored further. Aural Module: Consolidates and expands upon concepts and skills introduced in Jazz Music Skills 1 and 2, plus introducing advanced chord types, and increasingly complex harmonic structures. N.B Both the Harmony and Aural Modules must be passed in order for the student to proceed to Jazz Music Skills 4.

Unit details and rules

Unit code JAZZ2623
Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Andrew Robertson,
Lecturer(s) Matthew McMahon,
Andrew Robertson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Weekly Homework Assignments
Weekly homework tasks (Harmony module)
5% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Small test Ear Training Class test 1
Ear Training written/aural test
12.5% Week 05 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
Assignment Larger arranging assignments 1
Saxophone section + RS arrangement. 32 bar length
7.5% Week 05 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Small test Ear Training Class test 2
Ear training written/aural test
12.5% Week 08 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
Assignment Larger arranging assignments 2
Adding Brass section to existing previous arrangement x 32 bars
7.5% Week 09 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Skills-based evaluation End of Semester Class Test (Harmony Module)
Written test, summary of Semester content
15% Week 12 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Skills-based evaluation Ear Training End of Semester Class Test
Aural/written test
25% Week 12 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
Assignment End of Semester assignment (Harmony module)
Full Big Band arrangement, 1 x 32 bar form
15% Week 12 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3

Assessment summary

  • Weekly Homework Assignments: Homework Assignments, due in various weeks, different topics based on content covered in class. There will be 10 weeks of homework tasks, each worth 1.5%. They will be simple and short activities focusing on the learnings of that week’s class.
  • 3 Larger Arranging Assignments: Three larger assignments throughout the semester delivered in Week 2 (due Week 5); Week 5 (due Week 6) and Week 6 (due Week 8). Each assignment will be 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: handwritten short score of small band arrangement from given lead line.
  • Final exam – ear training module: Final Exam will consist of a written exam in which the student will be asked to identify and transcribe exercises performed on the piano by the examiner.
  • Class tests: class test will consist of a written test in which the student will be asked to identify and transcribe exercises performed on the piano by the examiner

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.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

Absent fail

0 - 49

When you haven’t completed all assessment tasks or met the attendance requirements.

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
Weekly Ear training class Online class (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Jazz harmony and arranging class Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

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 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 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. recognise intervals within two octaves
  • LO5. identify all chord qualities including eleventh chords, with possible alterations of the 9th and 5th
  • LO6. identify 7th chords in all inversions
  • LO7. transcribe short melodies
  • LO8. transcribe 8 bar chord progressions – including chromatic passing chords, non-functional bass movement and modulations.

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.

Focus on full ensemble Big Band arranging skills toward the end of Semester is included reflecting feedback from last year.

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.

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