Theory and Electives Master Jazz

The theory component of the jazz master’s degree programme consists of a mandatory part and an electives part. In the course of the two years of the master’s degree programme, every student must earn up to a total of (at least) 20 credits in this music theory component. ‘Music Theory’ and ‘Composition - Creative Writing’ are mandatory. Together these courses amount to 10 credits.

For the electives part the student can choose courses from the electives list up to a total of at least 10 credits. Master electives are courses in music history, philosophy, music theory, analysis, arranging and composition. The study load is 5 or 10 credits per course.  

Students who wish to do an exchange programme in the first term of the second MA year should have earned at least 10 credits. 
Students who wish to do an exchange programme in the second term of the second MA year should have earned at least 15 credits.

Extra credits
Students who have earned extra credits may use those for individual credits. 

How to apply
All CvA master students will receive a registration form by e-mail. If you have any questions about the electives, please send an email to Barbara Bleij.

Jazz Master Electives 2023-2024

Mandatory Part

Creative Jazz Writing 
The Creative Jazz Writing course will help you to create your own music and will improve your composing skills. Different techniques will be discussed, and assignments will be given. However, your own work will always be the starting point. The lessons are taught individually, and in pairs on occasion.

Advanced Jazz Theory
Advanced Jazz Theory is a two-hour course on a weekly basis for all 1st-year master students. Its main topic is the analysis of jazz compositions, primarily contemporary, post-Real-Book jazz originals. The analysis focuses on tonal hierarchies, compositional strategies, and stylistic characteristics. Homework includes transcriptions and analyses of jazz recordings as well as composition assignments, most of them with specific requirements aimed at applying some of the techniques and ideas learned from the analysed material in your own work.

Electives Part

Critical Reflection: History, Analysis, Philosophy
Reading Black Music: Key Texts on African American Music and other Afro-Diasporic Genres Walter van de Leur
Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn Walter van de Leur
Super Nova: Wayne Shorter, Composer/Improviser Barbara Bleij
Freedom and Improvisation Joris Roelofs
Developing Creativity Sander van Maas
Textural Improvisation Amit Gur, Harmen Fraanje
Electives of the Classical Department open to jazz students
As Waters Rise: Musical Storytelling Kim Spierenburg
Creative Performance Lab Arnold Marinissen, Jorge Isaac, Jaco Benckhuysen
Electronic Music Jorrit Tamminga
Intercultural Engagements in Music Composition and Performance Harm Langenkamp
Musical Texture Amit Gur
Patterns of Performance: The Neuroscience of Improving Experts Beorn Nijenhuis
Technological Strategies in Composing and Performing Arnold Marinissen
Tuning and Temperament Jonas Bisquert, Andrea Friggi, Jorge Isaac, Jos Zwaanenburg