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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS5632M Electronic & Computer Music Practice

30 creditsClass Size: 12

Module manager: Dr Ewan Stefani

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module aims to introduce students to specific electronic or computer music topics within the field of academic practice-led research. Students will be involved in the development of practical work, as directed by academic staff. The content of each topic will be determined by current staff research or scholarship interests. Practical work may be linked to the exploration of performance practice and composition through electronic instruments, reconstruction of existing electronic music works, or other projects which explore interactions between electronic devices, computer software and musicians. Practical work is likely to explore different creative applications of sound synthesis, signal processing, analogue or digital electronics, or other forms of electroacoustic practice with the aim of increasing understanding of a specific research topic.


This module enables students to gain an in-depth knowledge of electronic and computer music practice through the creative application of advanced skills and through an understanding of relevant theory. Students may explore areas such as applied sound synthesis, realisation of existing works of electronic or computer music, exploration of analogue and digital electroacoustic techniques, or other topics as directed by module staff. The areas of electronic or computer music practice to be explored in the module will be linked to current areas of research or scholarship. The module will enable students to demonstrate a sophisticated approach to the realisation of practical work and the development of relevant advanced practical skills.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- complete a folio of directed practical work with guidance from module tutors;
- demonstrate an ability to reflect upon their practice, and contextualise their work using appropriate theoretical frameworks;
- demonstrate an understanding of theory relevant to the study of electronic and computer music, and to be able to apply the theory to the creation of a folio of directed practical work;
- demonstrate a sophisticated approach, independence, creativity and critical thinking in the realisation of practical work;
- present practical work and any relevant documentation (normally equivalent to 2000-3000 words) of the work to a high standard, and using appropriate scholarly skills and apparatus.


The course will be delivered by regular group seminars, which will be used to teach relevant technological skills, develop practical skills, and will introduce theoretical principles and contextual examples for each area of electronic or computer music practice. Students will be supported through group tutorials which will be used to monitor individual progress on the course and will allow students to make informal presentations of work in progress to module tutors.
Indicative topics covered by the module:
- exploration of sound synthesis techniques using electronic instruments, software or hardware devices
- sound design techniques developed with creative use of electronic hardware and/or software
- addressing the limitations and advantages of human-technology interfaces offered by electronic hardware instruments or digital technologies
- investigating the creative uses of transducers beyond conventional sound recording / reproduction
- exploring sound diffusion and spatialisation techniques with electronic devices and/or computer software
- exploring the interface between computer software and electronic hardware / instruments

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours283.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Indicative breakdown of self-directed study hours (283 in total): independent research to contextualise practical work (43 hours); independent development of practical skills in one or more areas of electronic music practice (160 hours); documentation of practice (40 hours); preparation for seminars and tutorials (40 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored via short oral presentations within group tutorials, email/online correspondence with module tutors, and verbal feedback on interim assignments as appropriate to the topic that will be set within seminars

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation10 minute oral presentation delivered in seminar10.00
PortfolioPortfolio of practical work (normally 4-6 items) with audiovisual or written documentation (normally equivalent to 2000-3000 words) as appropriate to the topic90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Indicative examples of portfolio content (typically 4-6 six items): software patches for specific musical applications (designed in environments such as Max/MSP/Jitter, SuperCollider, Reaktor, or similar), hardware modular synthesizer patches for specific sound design applications, audiovisual generative patterns / sequences (designed in packages such as Processing), and audio or video demonstrations of advanced electroacoustic (hybrid software-hardware) signal processing, audio sequencing, sound spatialisation, or other techniques designed for creative music-making, analysis, interaction, etcetera.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:38


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