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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS5632M Electronic & Computer Music Practice

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Ewan Stefani

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

- Willingness to independently develop knowledge and experience of computer programming;
- Proficiency in the use of a range of computer music and digital audio applications;
- Grounding in theory relevant to computer music and music technology at undergraduate level.

- Previous experience of computer programming and/or use of electronic musical instruments;
- Awareness of contextual praxes and discourses relevant to computer music and/or music technology.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

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.


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.

Learning outcomes
1. Complete a directed practical assignment with guidance from module tutors
2. Develop an ability to contextualise methods and reflect critically upon practical work
3. Develop an aesthetic, cultural and technical understanding of technologies relevant to the study of electronic and computer music, and to be able to apply this understanding to the creation of a folio of directed practical work
4. Develop a sophisticated approach to the realisation of practical work that demonstrates independence and creative thinking
5. Present practical work, together with relevant documentation of the work, to a high standard

Skills outcomes
Electronic music practice. [practiced and assessed]
Computer music practice. [practiced and assessed]
Manipulation of sound synthesis and signal processing hardware and/or software. [introduced, practiced]
Development and/or analysis of computer software applications. [introduced, practiced]
Audiovisual analysis techniques as appropriate for the study of electronic and computer music. [introduced, practiced]


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 may include:
- 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

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours33.00
Private study hours250.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Independent contextualisation of practical work: background listening and reading of existing works and texts related to this work; 4-6 hours per teaching week: 55 hours.
Development of practical skills in one or more areas of electronic music practice; 6-8 hours per teaching week: 77 hours.
Development of an individual approach to the documentation of practice (will vary according to complexity and nature of documentation); estimated to require 32 hours.
Preparation of examples for seminars and tutorials; 2 hours per teaching week (excluding week 1): 20 hours.
Preparation of practical assignment materials for assessment (estimate): 33 hours.
Preparation of presentation materials for assessment (estimate): 33 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Opportunities for formative feedback will be available in four group tutorials distributed throughout the course. Students will be encouraged to bring draft versions of practical work and presentation materials to group tutorials.
Additional time for individual formative feedback will be available via staff drop-in / office hours (published or bookable online).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationAudiovisual presentation (15-20 minutes)50.00
PracticalPractical work equivalent to 4000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

A resit of the presentation and practical assignment will be available following the same rubric as the original tasks.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 13:25:05


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