Global Opportunities

MUS2071 : Jazz Today: Tomorrow Is The Question

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


- To provide students with a thorough working knowledge of how Jazz has evolved as a global culture since 2000, combining a critical study of the music’s developments in the USA, Europe, Africa and the Far East with the experience of making music in ways that relate to lecture content.

- To give students the opportunity to apply the insights and understandings from lectures, seminars, screenings and personal research on literature and repertoire to a hands-on practical encounter with challenges defined by cultural, socio-economic and political dynamics of the contemporary music context.

Outline Of Syllabus

- A series of 10 lectures introduce students to the recent history, repertoire and criticism of Jazz as distinct from the manner in which its music and culture have been subject to a deeply engrained systemic racism that trivialises its meaning and purpose through the reinforcement of crude stereotypes and diverts focus away from the music’s vital contemporary relevance and ongoing influence.

- The lectures are supported by seminars in small groups where key elements introduced in lectures are discussed in greater depth and critical scrutiny alongside a weekly requirement for seminar participants to report on one new/newly discovered work from the repertoire of 21st century Jazz.

- The module as a whole is supplemented by non-mandatory Wednesday evening screenings, fortnightly, in the Culture Lab cinema space; alternate Wednesday evening improvisation sessions are also open to students on the module as potential means to further apply what they have learned in class.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00PiP. If necessary these can be delivered asynchronously online.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Drop-in surgery. PiP. Can be delivered synchronously online if required.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Seminars. PiP. Can be delivered synchronously online if required.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00Interdisciplinary seminars. PiP. These can take place synchronously online if required.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1152:00152:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Through an innovative approach to combining historical-cultural, critical-theoretical study, discussion and research (lectures and independent study) with the experience of applying their accumulated insights and understandings to actual playing in groups, students will gain a much more thorough grounding in the aesthetics and meanings of contemporary Jazz and how they relate to key political contexts (including Black Lives Matter, class conflict and the global rise of populist right wing politics) in a post-imperial, post-colonial world. Rationale for exceeding 33 contact hours relates to the practical, performative engagement element in this module.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The final essay assessment will reflect the extent to which the student has engaged with the course materials as a means to developing more nuanced and informed insights into how Jazz functions today, its relevance to broader social and cultural issues and narratives and its relationship to its own roots and traditions and the wider culture.

The single essay (max. 4,000 words) requires the student to develop a question of their own, drawing on the various critical frameworks introduced and discussed in class and apply them to materials they select themselves.

Reading Lists