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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Jazz Composition 3
Module Code MC406
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ronan Guilfoyle
Semester 2: Ronan Guilfoyle
Autumn: Ronan Guilfoyle
Module TeachersRonan Guilfoyle
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

A module designed to familiarise learners with the history of jazz composition, and to be able to compose pieces in the traditional idioms of jazz, and in a wide variety of styles. To appreciate the importance of instrumentation, orchestration, form and structure in contemporary jazz composition. Adding to techniques studied in JCO2, this module will pay particular attention to the use of extended form strategies in the creation of cohesive longer form pieces. Other techniques explored will include using different octave divisions to generate chord progressions, use of counterpoint, and the creation and use of pentatonic scales. The music of Hermeto Pascoal will be explored

Learning Outcomes

1. Be competent jazz composers, conversant with the arranging and compositional skills required to effectively maximise the impact of a composition.
2. Be familiar with a wide variety of contemporary jazz compositional techniques and resources
3. Be able to realise ideas within the context of the instrumental forces available
4. Be able to engage on a deep level with questions of structure and form and to be able to use these elements in their own music.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture48Weekly, A two-hour weekly lecture-workshop
Independent Study77Writing and rehearsing original compositions
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Compositional techniques and approaches
Many compositional techniques and approaches will be covered including: ° Creating and using pentatonics as a compositional device ° Creating, developing and using motifs ° Creating a balance between the written and the improvised within a given piece ° Using different octave divisions to generate chord progressions ° Use of counterpoint ° Orchestration and formal considerations ° Extended form composition in jazz ° The music of Hermeto Pascoal Throughout the year there will be opportunities for learners to perform their compositions and discuss them during the lecture.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ParticipationEngagement with the subject during lectures, shown by participation, and having assignments prepared and rehearsed in time for performance during the lecture as shown on the roster20%Every Week
Music CompositionPerformance of two original compositions with an ensemble as part of the final recital undertaken in MC40780%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Ted Pease; edited by Rick Mattingly: 0, Jazz composition, Berklee Press ; c2003., Boston, MA, 0876390017
  • Ulehla, Ludmila: 2015, Contemporary Harmony – Romanticism through the Twelve-Tone Row, Advance Music,
  • Costa-Lima Neto, Luiz: 2015, The Experimental Music of Hermeto Pascoal and Group, 1981-1993, Conception and Language, Pendragon Press, 9781576472248
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
JZCMBA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Perfor

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