MUSGEN 3001 - Free Improvisation 3

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course is a systematic study of and practical introduction to free improvisation as a mode of contemporary musical performance, education and research. The course will examine improvisatory practices from an historical point view within the Western musical tradition (Baroque and Classical performance practice), popular music (jazz, blues, rock), and non-Western music (classical Indian music, West African drumming.) The course will focus in particular on the emergence of free improvisation in Western music in the 1960s (free jazz, free improvisation groups such as The Scratch Orchestra, AMM, MEV) and the work of composers and musicians who have contributed to this development (Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cornelius Cardew, John Zorn, Derek Bailey). The underlying philosophies and methodologies of various approaches to free improvisation will be examined, as will the use of digital technology in improvisatory situations. Intensive practical tutorials will enable students to develop their own skills in free improvisation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSGEN 3001
    Course Free Improvisation 3
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible GENMUS 3030
    Restrictions Available to BMus students only
    Course Description This course is a systematic study of and practical introduction to free improvisation as a mode of contemporary musical performance, education and research. The course will examine improvisatory practices from an historical point view within the Western musical tradition (Baroque and Classical performance practice), popular music (jazz, blues, rock), and non-Western music (classical Indian music, West African drumming.) The course will focus in particular on the emergence of free improvisation in Western music in the 1960s (free jazz, free improvisation groups such as The Scratch Orchestra, AMM, MEV) and the work of composers and musicians who have contributed to this development (Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cornelius Cardew, John Zorn, Derek Bailey). The underlying philosophies and methodologies of various approaches to free improvisation will be examined, as will the use of digital technology in improvisatory situations. Intensive practical tutorials will enable students to develop their own skills in free improvisation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Stephen Whittington

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Develop ability to think creatively
    2. Develop ability to work collaboratively with other musicians
    3. Develop ability to solve practical and logistical problems associated with musical performance
    4. Develop ability to analyse and articulate the concepts and techniques applied in the student’s own work
    5. Develop ability to research topics related improvisation
    6. Develop ability to engage in critical thinking

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    4,5,
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3, 6
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    An extensive collection of readings, web links and musical examples are available online. Students are expected to read and listen/watch this material as an integral part of the learning process.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    A series of 3-hour seminars and practical workshops directed towards:

    (1) understanding the nature of creativity and spontaneity in music
    (2) the idea of game-playing and how it relates to music
    (3) the role of chance in spontaneous music-making
    (4) Improvisation in a variety of historical and cultural contexts
    (5) Psychological and aesthetic aspects improvisation;
    (6) Strategies and approaches to improvisation;
    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Class activities include workshopping and preparing improvised performance, discussion of different approaches to improvisations (often with guest lecturers), listening to recorded improvisations and critically evaluating them.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary


    (a)     Journal (35%): (2000 words). A reflective weekly journal detailing and evaluating class and extra-class improvisatory experiences and discussions. The journal can be submitted either electronically or in a hard-copy format.

    Course Objectives: (1), (2), (3)



     

    (b)     Performance assessments (30%): Three in-class performance assessments in Weeks 5, 9 and 11
    (10% each). Course Objective: (3), (4), (5)

     

    (c)     End of Semester performance (35%):

    Course Objectives: (3), (4, (5)

     

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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