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Jazz History Proficiency Exam

This exam is given by appointment at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters for undergraduates who would like to test out of MUJS 4470, History of Jazz (undergraduate) and graduate students who need to test out of MUJS 4470, which is a catalog prerequisite for MUJS 5440, Introduction to Research in Jazz Studies.

The exam has two parts. To receive proficiency credit, students must pass parts 1 and 2 with a score of 85% or above on each part. Students who do not pass will need to take MUJS 5430, which meets with the MUJS 4470 class and has different syllabus requirements from those for the undergraduates (example: longer research paper).

Part 1. A 100-question short-answer test on the origins of jazz, the musical style and major figures of each period of jazz history, and connections between jazz and American history in the 20th century. The questions will ask for a term, name, date, phrase, or sentence and will use fill-in format, not multiple choice or true/false. A good way to study for this part is to read any high-quality recent jazz history textbook, such as Jazz by Scott DeVeaux and Gary Giddins (Norton), which is the current textbook for MUJS 4470/5430, or Mark Tucker's article, "Jazz," in New Grove II, which is available in Grove Music Online via the Music Library's electronic resources. To use this online via the UNT library, EUID authentication is required. New students won't have the proper level of EUID authentication until they are registered for classes. See if you can locate the article in print in New Grove II (the multivolume Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians, not the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz) or online via your present university.

Part 2. A 20-question listening test, with examples drawn from all periods of jazz history. The questions will ask for the artist, title, and approximate date of the example, and a specific comment on its style and historical significance. A good way to study for this part is to review the contents of Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology. Exam listening examples will be selected from this anthology.

For further information on this exam, or on course requirements and prerequisites for jazz history, analysis, and research courses, contact John Murphy. Last updated 2015-10-27