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Jazz, Spontaneous Composition & Improvisation Minor

The Jazz, Spontaneous Composition and Improvisation Minor (hereby: "Jazz Minor") focuses on the study of the history, theory, and performance of jazz and other improvised musics. In addition, students may be introduced to musical styles that have had profound influences on the uniquely American art form of jazz: folk and popular musics of Africa, Europe, South Asia and the United States and Western classical music. The Jazz Minor is limited to students who have sufficient performance proficiency to pass auditions for entry into the jazz ensembles.

Students from all majors are encouraged to pursue the Jazz Minor! However, there are certain restrictions for Music major interested in pursuing the Jazz Minor:

  • The Jazz Minor can be added to the Music B.M. degree, and to the Western Art Music concentration of the Music B.A. degree, but it cannot be added to the Global Musics or Contemporary Practices concentrations of the Music B.A. degree.


Jazz Minor Requirements:

1. MUSC 11B: Intro to Jazz

2. MUSC 14: Beginning Theory & Musicianship II (may be satisfied by placing into Music 30A via the Theory Placement Exam)

3. MUSC 30A - Theory, Literature, and Musicianship  (plus associated Ear Training, Musicianship, & Keyboard Labs)

4. Take one of the following courses:

  • MUSC 74: Beginning Spontaneous Composition and Improvisation,
  • MUSC 75: Jazz Theory I,


  • Two quarters of MUSC 3: Large Jazz Ensemble

5. Take one of the following courses:

  • MUSC 174: Intermediate Spontaneous Composition and Improvisation, OR
  • MUSC 175: Jazz Theory II

6. Take two of the following courses:

  • MUSC 105A: Music of the United States
  • MUSC 105C: Folk Music in California
  • MUSC 105I: Improvisation and Collaborative Practices in the 20th Century
  • MUSC 111B: Seminar in Jazz Analysis
  • MUSC 150I: Special Topics in Theory: Hindustani Music
  • MUSC 150S: Focus on Spontaneous Composition
  • MUSC 203B: Performance Practice in the Renaissance Era
  • MUSC 203F: Performance Practice in the 20th Century
  • MUSC 203H: Area Studies in Performance Practice

7. Take six quarters of performing ensembles.

  • At least three quarters of the six total must be MUSC 3: Large Jazz Ensemble, or MUSC 164: Small Jazz Ensembles
    • If a student took two quarters of MUSC 3 in place of MUSC 74/75, they are only required to do one additional quarter of MUSC 3/164, plus the three elective ensembles.
  • The other three quarters can be any performing ensemble offered by the Department.
PDF icon Jazz Minor requirements 10-4-2022.pdf69.12 KB