Jazz and Popular Music (B.Mus.)

1. Overview of the degree program

Standard period of study 8 semesters (4 years)
Overall scope

240 credit points

155 semester hours in the compulsory modules

8 semester hours in elective compulsory modules

Admission requirements

University entrance qualification as per Art. 33 and 65 (1-2) of the University Act (HochSchG): General higher education entrance qualification or a discipline-specific admission qualification

In derogation from this, a general Certificate of Secondary Education (for example Realschulabschluss) does qualify to enroll if a candidate has passed the qualifying examination in his/her chosen artistic major subject with a score of at least “13” and has passed all the other parts of the aptitude test as well.

Successful completion of a qualifying examination

Candidates applying for the aptitude test, who have neither a German general qualification for university entrance nor a degree / graduation in a German speaking course of studies have to prove sufficient knowledge of the German language (comparable with level A1-GERR). This can be proven either through submission of appropriate test certificates or through a conversation with the Board of Examiners during the qualifying examination. If necessary, the Board of Examiners advices to take part in study-integrated German classes according to the respective language skills.

Entrance into the program only possible in the winter semester
Degree Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.)
Program objective The Bachelor's degree program in Jazz and Pop Music is a basic course of artistic study that leads to an academic qualification for a future career. The degree program prepares students for a career as jazz musician or artist in the popular music field.
Course structure and content

Corcerning possible combinations of major and minor subjects please see the annex of the Examination regulations.

The degree program encompasses 15 compulsory modules:

  • Artistic Training I
    • Instrumental/vocal major
    • Specialized project
    • Jazz forum
  • Artistic Training II
    • Instrumental/vocal major
    • Percussion
    • Specialized project
    • Jazz forum
    • Concert education / Stage presence
    • Final concert (=artistic performance final exam)
  • Instrumental / vocal minor I, II
    • Instrumental / vocal minor
  • Ensemble I to IV
    • Ensemble
    • Big band
    • Improvisation
  • Music Theory / Ear Training I
    • Jazz theory
    • Practical piano
    • Ear training
    • Notation software
  • Music Theory / Ear Training II
    • Jazz theory
    • Practical piano
    • Ear training
  • Music comprehension
    • Rhythmics
    • Jazz history
  • Music teaching I
    • Introduction to music education
    • Didactics of music
    • Ensemble didactics
    • Practical instruction
  • Music teaching II
    • Introduction to music education
    • Practical instruction
  • Processes of music production I
    • Music production
    • Songwriting
    • Music market analysis
  • Processes of music production II
    • Music production
    • Jazz arrangement
    • Jazz composition
  •  Internship
    • Career planing
    • Internship (two weeks at least)

and two elective compulsory modules

  • Music and media I
    • Media competency
  • Interdisciplinary studies / Context studies
    • Instructional sessions provided by the School of Music and its cooperation partners

All modules except Ensemble I, II, III, IV, the internship. the elective compulsory modules Music and media I, and Interdisciplinary studies / Context studies conclude with a module-specific examination.

(For more information see the annex of the Examination regulations relating to the respective course of studies and the module handbook respectively.)

Bachelor's examination

Module-by-module exams during the course of studies

Final concert (artistic performance final examination) (51 credit points)

2. Requirements for the qualifying examination

Major subject

Recital, approx. 15 minutes in length

Drum set: Performance of three pieces (standards or own compositions) with accompanying band, presentation of a simple solo transcription, presentation of a snare etude, sight-playing of a notated model. The pieces should be of different styles and tempos.

Other instrumental majors: Performance of three pieces (standards or own compositions) with accompanying band. The pieces should be of different styles and tempos. Presentation of a simple solo transcription, sight-playing of a notated model.

Voice major: Presentation of three pieces from the area of jazz and pop music with accompanying band. The pieces should be of different styles and tempos. Presentation of a simple solo transcription, sight-singing of a notated model. Examination duration: approx. 15 minutes

Minor subject

Recital, approx. 10 minutes in length

Piano: Presentation of an easy, notated model (roughly of the degree of difficulty of Chick Corea's Children's Song or Schumann's Album für die Jugend), presentation of a jazz standard (melody and harmonies), presentation of simple jazz cadence forms (such as I-VI-II-V-I) on request.

Drum set: Presentation of two jazz pieces in different grooves.

Other minor subjects: Presentation of two simple standards (without improvisation).

Applicants who have not selected piano as either a major or minor subject must demonstrate elementary knowledge of piano during the qualifying examination as a fundamental skill required for the subject of practical piano. This includes, for example, playing of a simple piano piece or a simple chord progression.

Ear training

Written examination, duration 1 hour

Intervals, three and four note chords, single voice melodic dictations, listening to and notating a rhythm, identification of scales and simple chord progressions. 1 hour.

Music theory

Written examination, duration 1 hour

Demonstration of fundamental knowledge of general musical theory, chord symbols, basic principles of chord-scale theory, completion of a melody as a piano part using chord symbols, harmonization of a short melodic section as a piano part or using chord symbols, completion of a melody based on its provided beginning, explanation of key musical terms.