Module code: MUSM045

Module Overview

This module introduces the theory and practice of free improvisation (both acoustic and digital) as a tool for creative musicianship.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HALL TR Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The following is an indication of the likely content of the module:

Overview of relevant repertoire, including 20th century classical (American experimental tradition and European avant-garde), jazz and other freely improvised musics.
Introduction to selected theory concerning musical creativity and free improvisation.
Workshops on the practice of group free improvisation.
Exploring the relevance of improvisational strategies to forms of creative practice (composition, performance, etc.)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000-WORD ESSAY 50
Practical based assessment PERFORMANCE 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Conceptual and practical understanding and engagement with the student’s particular domain of creative practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Essay (LO 1-3, 5)
Performance (LO 1-8)

Formative assessment and Feedback

There are no formative assessments for this module, but tutorials will allow feedback on students’ work in progress, both in terms of conception and practical execution.

Detailed feedback on the written commentary and portfolio of works are given (with a breakdown of strengths and weaknesses) in written format (as well as the option for a post-assessment tutorial) in order to enhance continuing creative practice.

Module aims

  • Enable you to develop your skills as a creative practitioner, technically and artistically.
  • Apply improvisational and collaborative working methods as appropriate to your area of specialism.
  • Realise an original programme of work across any combination of creative practice including, for example, composition, performance, improvisation, musical arrangement, studio and live-electronic production or mixed/multi-media production.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Contextualise improvisational practice. KC
2 Describe and explain theory associated with creativity and free improvisation. KC
3 Understand formal and aesthetic dimensions of improvised music making. KC
4 Successfully engage in freely improvised music making. KP
5 Understand the significance of free improvisation within other musical practices. K
6 Apply improvisational strategies to other areas of the musicianship.  PT
7 Work effectively with a member of a group as leader or member. T
8 Demonstrate independent and self-critical learning. T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop a student’s conceptual, contextual and practical knowledge of free improvisation (in both the  acoustic and digital donaibs) as a tool for creative musicianship.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Plenary sessions
Class Discussion
Instrumental Tuition (as appropriate to specialism)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for CREATIVE PRACTICE A :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.