Masters degrees in Jazz equip students with the skills to analyse, interpret and compose a variety of Jazz performances and genres.
Taught MA and MMus (Master of Music) programmes are typical for the field. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Music.
A Masters in this field is an ideal way to boost your skills in musical Jazz techniques, as well as your overall knowledge of the historical and sociocultural influences of Jazz.
Through examinations of critical literature and performances, you will scrutinise a range of traditional and reformed Jazz styles, including blues, contemporary practices and ‘theatrical’ Jazz for stage performances and other art forms.
Consideration is also given to adaptations and interpretations of different styles into Jazz, across different time periods and cultures. You will usually interpret these adaptations into your own work, allowing you to appreciate the crossovers and similarities between different Jazz genres. You will also learn about the industry, particularly its global economic stance and historical development.
Careers can involve not only performance, but roles in theatre management and directing of live and recorded performances.
Founded in 1997, this unique program prepares people to do research, publishing and teaching; they rely on the renowned Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS), the largest public access jazz library in the world. While there are many bachelor’s and master’s degrees elsewhere in jazz performance, and a few in composition and pedagogy, this is the only degree at any level anywhere to focus on the history and research of jazz. As such, many of the courses are also not offered anywhere else.
(Please note: The degree is offered by the Department of Arts, Media and Culture, not at the Institute. The institute is a library archive where students conduct research; the degree is administered by the university.)
The required 12 courses cover such topics as historiography, the literature about jazz, music theory and analysis, archival research, interviewing techniques, as well as in-depth studies on individual musicians, and topics such as “jazz and race,” and “jazz and world music.” Many students choose to take private lessons and to play in the jazz ensemble in addition to the 12 courses (these usually do not count towards the M.A. degree, but performance classes taken at nearby colleges can count). Also, private theory study, one-day writing workshops and/or a semester-long writing seminar my be required, at our discretion, in addition to the required 12 courses. At the end of the coursework each student takes a final comprehensive exam, usually in their fourth semester while putting finishing touches on the thesis.
The GRE is not required at present. Applicants should have a Bachelors’ in any field and competence in music reading and performing. Non-musicians who wish to go for the degree are now also welcome! You will be required to audit a basic course in music reading/writing, or to study on your own with a recommended book and pass the exam for that course. You will also learn how to follow sheet music, and how to represent music on graph paper. You will be exempted from the advanced graduate theory course. In every other way your program will be identical with that of the musicians. As always our other graduate students range from well-known performers to amateur musicians.
There are currently 25 students in the program (including first year, second year, and part-time students), with about 7 to 9 graduating each year. Students range in age from 22 to 61, and have backgrounds in jazz performance, free lance writing, jazz radio, history, etc. While in the program, about half of the students have published chapters in books, liner notes for CDs, and articles for websites. Opportunities like these become available to students while enrolled in the program. They are also teaching at colleges and universities, and of course some often continue to perform and to teach privately. Some graduates are now part-time faculty at other institutions or are attending Ph.D. programs.
We're proud to have been awarded The Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2015 for ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience'. This represents one of the most coveted distinctions in UK Higher Education.
We have a thriving community of postgraduate musicians who receive regular individual tuition from staff who are recognised nationally and internationally in their chosen specialisms, and by a team of part-time instrumental and vocal teachers from regional and national orchestras, many of whom are distinguished solo performers.
You’ll have many opportunities to perform by taking part in directed ensembles, amongst which are the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Big Band, Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Brass Band, Choir, Chamber Choir, Opera Group, New Music Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, Folk Group, Samba Band, Blues Group, Improvisation Group, and A Cappella Choir, as well as various chamber music ensembles.
Our Live Music at the University of Huddersfield series features a range of weekly student concerts, as well as recitals and masterclasses by guest artists. Recent visitors have included Emma Kirkby (voice), Garth Knox (viola), Anton Lyakhovsky (piano), Neil Heyde (cello), Richard Haynes (clarinet), Jah Wobble (pop ensembles), Lore Lixenberg (voice), John Scott Whiteley (organ), Claude Delangle and Snake Davis (saxophone), Ensemble 360,vocal ensemble EXAUDI, and the instrumental group ELISION.
University of Aberdeen has been a creative hub of musicians since the Middle Ages. Music at Aberdeen was introduced by Bishop Elphinstone who founded the university in 1495. Since this time the University has provided the world with a wealth of global performers and composers of note, some of whom are in the current classical and other music charts and sought after globally with a packed diary. If you want to develop your musical interests at Master's level as a new graduate or returner, or if you want to improve and challenge your musical skills as part of your professional development the Mmus Music is an ideal programme of study for you. You are taught by known world renowned performers and composers within the music world including Professor Paul Mealor, and you are encouraged to start performing immediately to then start to specialise and find out what you most enjoy. If you are a highly creative individual with lots of talent this programme will ensure you progress and deepen your creative specialism.
Find out more about music at Aberdeen:
You can study orchestration and composing for choirs, and renaissance music, words and music, contemporary opera. These areas may help you advance your musical career within teaching, performing, advising and working for specific musical productions as a freelancer. Classical areas are also very useful for more contemporary approaches to musical creativity. You may decide to write music for choirs and help them perform your works or you may decide to work internationally within opera companies. With Words and Music you can study any composers and genres to then go on to work in the West End, a specific niche area of music or as an individual performer.
You develop your skills in composition, musicology and performance with further specialising to allow you to continue to develop research in the department. Career progression includes global musical outlets across the musical creative industries such as freelance performance work, composition, collaborations and more.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs
The programme expects to attract entrants who have a background in the subject or a related subject area, acquired through previous study (a bachelor's degree with honours or equivalent) and entrants who have acquired experience through work or other means that enables staff responsible for admissions to be confident of the candidate's ability to succeed in the programme.
Course will included a diverse curriculum including music industry analysis, business and enterprise, innovation in the music industry, professional skills development and a commercial project.
Facilities include professional recording studios, Pro Tools suite, creative suite, rehearsal rooms, showcase rooms and lecture rooms.
Music industry employment, self employment or running your own business.
A mixture of critical analysis, academic writing, performance, production and business planning. Final assessment will be a self directed commercial project.