The 2nd cycle academic Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging represents the top level of academic education (the equivalent of a Master’s Degree). It is the first one in Italy to have a small and a big band available for the performance of scores and for conducting.

The contents of the degree range from harmonic to composition and instrumental techniques, arrangement for small ensembles, big bands, strings and mixed ensembles.

The course is supported by real experiences in concerts where the students will conduct and orchestrate their personal arrangements in various orchestral ensembles (from the small to the big band), and by precious subsidiary subjects such as Score Reading, Forms Analysis, Jazz History, Leading Practice, and a modern lab of stylistic ear training with transcriptions and analysis of arrangements and sections.

The candidate can gain access to the two-year 2nd cycle academic degree upon audition. The candidate who believes that he/she has an adequate knowledge and who already attained a 1st cycle academic degree or a three year University Degree, can sit the audition, which will include arrangement and harmony tests.

On the basis of these auditions a ranking will be published and the students will be admitted on the basis of the ranking; respecting the number of available places.
Admissions criteria:

  • 1) Academic or University 1st Cycle Degree
  • 2) Specific knowledge of jazz harmony and arrangement to pass the admission test


HARMONYModal Harmony304Contemporary Jazz Harmony304
ARRANGEMENTBig Band Arrangement 1405Big Band Arrangement 2405
Large Ensemble Arrangement 1405Large Ensemble Arrangement 2243
Strings and mixed ensembles Arrangement 1304
COMPOSITIONJazz Composition 12012Jazz Composition 22012
EAR TRAININGStylistic Ear Training and orchestra scores analysis 1304Stylistic Ear Training and orchestra scores analysis 2304
Forms Analysis 1254Forms Analysis 2253
SCORE READINGScore Reading 1256Score Reading 2256
HISTORYJazz History and aesthetics 1205Jazz History and aesthetics 2205
CONDUCTION PRACTICEConduction Practice 1203Conduction Practice 2203
SOUND TECHNOLOGYMusic Notation 1101Music Notation 2101
ENGLISH/ITALIAN English/Italian Language 1302English/Italian Language 2302
ELECTIVE STUDIESElectives6Electives6
total hours1st YEAR320602nd YEAR29060


Arrangement Test

10 hours closed exam, 5 or 6 voices arrangement portion of a given tune, with the possibility of using a computer with a music software

Harmony written test

Relations between chords and modes of the Major scale / Compatible extensions / Avoid Notes / Harmonic substitutions: diatonic an tritone ones / Secondary dominants in major tonality and relative substitutions / Extensions (9th, 11th and 13th) choice selection, on the basis of the chords structure and function / 4 parts disposition in fundamental state of the chords themselves (9th, 11th and 13th) / Melody harmonization with extended 4 parts chords / 7th diminished  Lʼaccordo di 7a diminuita: caratteristiche strutturali e funzionali Relazione con lʼaccordo di 7a(b9) Lʼaccordo diminuito di passaggio in tonalità maggiore Criteri di scelta ed utilizzo delle estensioni nellʼaccordo diminuito in base alla tonalità Dominanti secondarie in tonalità minore Sostituzioni armoniche in tonalità minore Relazione tra i modi delle scale minori (arm. e mel.) e gli accordi relativi: Le estensioni compatibili (riepilogo) Le “Avoid Notes” Le scale relative alle dominanti secondarie in tonalità magg. e min. (riepilogo delle estensioni compatibili e delle “Avoid Notes”) Tecniche di armonizzazione di una melodia senza accordi dati: criteri di scelta degli accordi Voicings a 5 voci (parti strette); uso della doppia estensione Voicings a 5 voci (parti late): Tecnica del “drop” Lo “Spread Voicing” Successioni armoniche con accordi a 5 voci I rivolti degli accordi estesi Il “Blues Minore” (schema armonico di base) Il “Rhythm Change” (schema armonico di base) Le scale “Ottofoniche” simmetriche (T/S e S/T) ed i relativi accordi e voicings simmetrici Adattamento tonale della scala T/S in relazione allʼaccordo diminuito Le possibili risoluzioni dellʼaccordo di 7a di dominante Riepilogo delle scale relative agli acc. di 7a di dominante e relative contestualizzazioni Pedali armonici (di tonica e dominante) e pedali melodici Gli “Interscambi Modali” I modi relativi agli interscambi modali e le opportune estensioni


Discussion of the works, oral check of competences in jazz harmony, check of piano skills, evaluation of possible works of composition and/or arrangement created by the candidate over the last years.


The admissions tests for International Students are held in Mid July and Early September every year. The precise dates will be communicated once the interested students apply for the Courses and , in the case of the Pop and Jazz Course, pass the pre-selection phase.

The APPLICATION PERIOD runs from January 8th to April 30th every year.

Therefore the Deadline to send the Application Form and the pre-selection video is April 30th. Late applications will be singularly considered, at the Direction’s discretion, on the basis of possible available places and/or renounces.

For further details on the Admission Procedure and to fill in the Admission Web-form, please visit the dedicated web-page:

info: international@slmc.it