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Unit of study_

JAZZ2624: Jazz Music Skills 4

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Sydney

Harmony and Arranging Module: Students learn big band orchestration including 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. Selected arrangements will be rehearsed and recorded by a Big Band. Students may study contemporary techniques encompassing elements of polytonality, serial composition, extended instrumental effects and textural voicings. This subject also deals with the harmonic concepts used in Jazz Improvisation. Aural Module: Consolidates all concepts from Jazz Music Skills 1, 2 and 3. By its conclusion, students will have systematically examined, over four semesters, aural concepts that are essential to creative musical interplay in jazz performance. N.B Both the Harmony and Aural Modules must be passed in order for the student to complete.

Unit details and rules

Unit code JAZZ2624
Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Andrew Robertson,
Lecturer(s) Andrew Robertson,
Matthew McMahon,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small continuous assessment Harmony Module - Weekly homework tasks
5 x weekly homework tasks
4.75% Multiple weeks 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO5 LO2 LO1 LO8 LO7
Assignment Harmony module - end of semester assignment
Big Band arrangement (3-5 min duration)
Due date: 10 Nov 2023 at 23:59
10-20 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO7 LO8 LO2 LO5 LO6
Small test Ear Training module - Class Test 1
Written test
9.5% Week 03
Due date: 18 Aug 2023 at 23:59
90 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO8 LO7
Small test Ear Training Module - Class Test 2
Written test
9.5% Week 07
Due date: 15 Sep 2023 at 23:59
90 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Harmony module - Week 7 assignment
Single chorus Big Band + vocalist arrangement
14.25% Week 07
Due date: 15 Sep 2023 at 23:59
6 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Participation Con Sings!
Participation in Con Sings event
5% Week 10
Due date: 13 Oct 2023 at 23:59
Throughout Semester
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Small test Harmony Module: End of Semester Class test
Summation of all Semester work
9.5% Week 13
Due date: 01 Nov 2023 at 23:59
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Small test Ear Training module - End of Semester test
Summation of all Semester work
28.5% Week 13
Due date: 03 Nov 2023 at 23:59
2-3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO5 LO2 LO8 LO7

Assessment summary

  • Homework assignments (Harmony): Homework assignments will cover different topics based on content covered in class. There will be 5 weeks of homework tasks.
  • Arranging assignments (Harmony): Students are required to submit two larger assignments throughout the semester and are designed to build skills toward the final assignment.
  • Class tests (Ear Training): Students will be required to complete a written test in which they will be asked to identify and transcribe exercises performed on the piano by the examiner. 
  • End of semester assignment (Harmony): Extended big band arrangement with a duration of 3-5 mins with full score, parts and recording with a Conservatorium big band. Students are required to submit an arrangement that successfully 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 Class Test (Harmony): Students will be required to complete a handwritten test covering all topic areas covered in Semester 2.
  • End of Semester Class Test (Ear Training): Students will be required to complete a written exam in which they 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

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

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Comprehensive and outstanding technical control and musical integrity in relation to developmental expectations. Musical individuality consistently projected to create a persuasive personal representation of the work. Performance flair indicative of soloist standard. A mark of 95 or above indicates extraordinary technical virtuosity and musical artistry.


75 - 84

Excellent technical, musical and stylistic achievement. Consistently coherent and expressive performance. Some personal interpretation of the work suggesting soloist potential. 


65 - 74

Confident technique with evidence of solid musicality and some stylistic achievement. Occasional lapses indicative of unresolved technical, artistic and/or stylistic issues. Projects potential for further development.


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of preparation and musical engagement. Some inconsistencies in musicianship, style and/or technique. Musical imagination and overall performance sense developing though some insecurity in this area.


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory technical achievement and/or unsatisfactory level of musical and artistic engagement. Limitations may be of such a scale and consistency as to call into question the student’s future direction in the programme.

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.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

As per University of Sydney guidelines

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 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 02 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 03 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 04 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 05 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 06 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 07 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 08 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 09 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 11 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 12 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 13 End of Semester Class Tests - covering all learning activities from Semester 2 Harmony & Arranging Module (Wednesday) Ear Training Module (Friday) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9

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/compostion 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.
  • LO6. compose full 3-5 minute Big Band arrangement incorporating advanced understanding of harmony, harmonic devices, structure and voicing skills
  • LO7. recognise all intervals within two octaves
  • LO8. identify all chord qualities including all extension and alterations up to 13ths
  • LO9. transcribe short melodies and chord progressions of increasing complexity including chromaticism, modulations and non-functional movement.

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.


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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