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BMus (Hons) Jazz, Popular & Commercial Music

If you are a music practitioner who is keen to work professionally in a variety of music styles and genres, then the BMus (Hons) Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music degree course is for you. On a modular basis, you will study a carefully selected range of core modules, complemented by a number of modules of your choice.

Course Content

The course offers you the opportunity to study professional musicianship at undergraduate level, developing practical, technical and theoretical expertise through intellectual discipline. This established course was one of the first to be developed for jazz and popular music in the UK and has produced many outstanding professional musicians over the years.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of music making, enabling you to understand and challenge the nature of the music industry and achieve success in a range of careers. You will be assessed through performance, written essays, musical scores, written and practical examinations, seminar presentations and practical assignments.

Our teaching staff are all professional musicians with established national profiles in the fields of jazz, popular and commercial music. Their experiences and expertise continuously informs the curriculum, creating a stimulating, vocational environment where you will encounter a journey of discovery, reflection and achievement. This nurturing atmosphere, combined with an inspiring curriculum, will encourage you to discover and realise your full potential in your chosen musical career. Tutors Paul Edis and Ian Paterson joined the tutorial team in 2015.

Described as a ‘brilliant young pianist’ (Alyn Shipton, The Guardian) and ‘a significant new voice in British Jazz’ (Brian Morton Jazz Journal) Dr Paul Edis has lead the BMus degree since August 2016. Originally from Chester-le-street, Paul regular performs at prestigious venues and festivals throughout the UK and has had his music played on radio in the UK, Europe and US.

Alongside Paul, Ian Paterson started working on the BMus degree in 2015. His CV includes performances at Glastonbury, on BBC Radio, recording for film and TV alongside regular tours throughout Europe, with bands including Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies, Nick Pride and the Pimptones and with touring shows including the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ theatre show.

This course has developed and extended links with external professional music practitioners, the music industry and professional organisations through ongoing consultation, visiting lecturers and masterclasses. Recent masterclasses have been delivered by Sting, Bill Frisell, Bill Bruford, Yellowjackets, Robert Glasper and Mark Knopfler.

You will have the opportunity to study modules such as:

  • Instrumental studies
  • Ensemble studies
  • Music Technology studies
  • Harmony and arranging
  • History
  • Keyboard studies
  • Aural and Critical studies
  • Performance
  • Production
  • Composition
  • Improvisation studies
  • Teaching studies