Music Theory Jazz & Pop 1

Module code
Curricular domain
Theory Classes
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 200-minute class per week
Total contact hours
100 hours
Study load
124 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the Bachelor's course.
See Competencies Matrix.
Students develop:
- their audiation (musical imagination) through a systematic approach;
- their insight into the building blocks, structures, manifestations and theoretical models of music in various styles;
- a scientific, inquisitive attitude towards music;
In addition, students learn how to apply their knowledge and skills in practice, both actively and passively, in some cases at call.
Relation to other modules
This module is related to the modules Music History, Tilt Band, Harmony at the Piano and Rhythm Lab. It also indirectly complements the performance modules.
Lessons are comprised of two parts:
- a warm-up aimed at training the students┬┤ audiation and ready knowledge of elementary musical structures.
- the study of music, involving both analysis and creation.
Students are strongly encouraged to contribute study materials related to their own musical activities, though the instructor has the final word on which topics will be discussed. The instructor aims to design an adequately balanced, comprehensive, and challenging lesson curriculum.
As such, a limited number of relevant aspects will be treated:
Analysis of a representative selection of materials mainly from the pop, rock, jazz, fusion, Latin and folk domains.
Common composition forms and their components.
- analysis of basic functional and modal harmony;
- harmonic vocabulary (modal interchange, Neapolitan chord, deceptive cadences, etc);
- notating three, four and five-part voicings with different approaches;
- recognizing and notating basic harmonic progressions by ear;
- harmonizing a simple melody.
Melody and rhythm:
- elementary melodic/rhythmic analysis (scales and modes, intervals);
- singing basic notated fragments;
- transcribing basic demonstrated fragments;
- reproducing scales, chords and chord tones and basic melodic elements through singing while naming each note.
Study of the most common jazz & pop instruments with regards to tone, construction and physical properties, playing, notation, range and transposition.
Mastering both the reading and writing of musical notation, including style-specific conventions.
Discussing musical/acoustic topics such as tuning, harmonics, timbre, frequency and spectrum.
Studying musical vocabulary in various languages.
In addition to the three modes of instruction (group discussion, lectures and exercises/training), students are expected to do various homework assignments.
Mode(s) of instruction
Group lessons.
Material & Tools
Materials chosen by the students, complemented by materials by the instructor(s).
Student activity

Examination and assessment

Mode(s) of assessment
A formative assessment at the end of the first semester and an oral and a written exam at the end of the second semester.
Students demonstrate that they have mastered the materials and skills pertaining to the topics listed under Content.
Pass requirements
The final grade is calculated as follows:
Aural Skills exams AND Harmony exam AND General Music Theory exam are graded each with 5.5 or higher.
In addition, the Aural Skills final marks may contain one partial grade (for melody, harmony or rhythm) lower than 5.5, but not lower than 4.5.
Examination procedure
The exam at the end of the fall semester is formative and designed by the instructor and may therefore vary from group to group. It indicates a student's progress in this module. The exam at the end of the spring semester is summative and co-designed by all of the instructors and therefore identical in contents and grading for all students. The oral part of the final exam is assessed by at least two instructors.
Resit options
See the Education and Assessment Plan.

Module summary

This module is intended to train and develop students' audiation (musical imagination).
They will also study fundamental musical building blocks and apply theoretical concepts, both in studying existing music and in creating original material or improvising.