The 2nd cycle academic Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging represents the top level of academic education (the equivalent of a Master’s Degree), the first one in Italy to have a small and a big band available for the performance of the 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 orchestra ensembles (from the Small to the Big Band), and by precious subsidiary subjects such as Score Reading, Forms Analysis and 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



HARMONY Modal Harmony 30 4 Contemporary Jazz Harmony 30 4
ARRANGEMENT Big Band Arrangement 1 40 5 Big Band Arrangement 2 40 5
Large Ensemble Arrangement 1 40 5 Large Ensemble Arrangement 2 24 3
Strings and mixed ensembles Arrangement 1 30 4
COMPOSITION Jazz Composition 1 20 12 Jazz Composition 2 20 12
EAR TRAINING Stylistic Ear Training and orchestra scores analysis 1 30 4 Stylistic Ear Training and orchestra scores analysis 2 30 4
Forms Analysis 1 25 4 Forms Analysis 2 25 3
SCORE READING Score Reading 1 25 6 Score Reading 2  25  6
 HISTORY  Jazz History and aesthetics 1 20 5 Jazz History and aesthetics 2 20 5
CONDUCTION PRACTICE Conduction Practice 1 20 3  Conduction Practice 2  20 3
SOUND TECHNOLOGY Music Notation 1 10 1  Music Notation 2 10 1
ENGLISH/ITALIAN   English/Italian Language 1 30  2  English/Italian Language 2 30 2
 Electives 6  Electives 6
total hours 1st YEAR 320 60 2nd YEAR 290 60



  • 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
  • Interview

    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