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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUS1010 Module Title: THE SCIENCE OF SOUND
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MU1.SCISOUND
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: BROOKES TS Dr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Spring Semester

Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment
Percentage weighting
One essay of 2000-3000 words.
A 90-minute paper.

Module Overview

None for BMus Students

Module Aims
  • to introduce musicians to some fundamental aspects of acoustics and music technology
  • to provide a suitable grounding for further study in music technology.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this module you should be able to:
  • explain the meanings of basic acoustical terms
  • describe the principles of tone production in a range of musical instruments
  • describe the relationships between timbre, spectrum, envelope and waveform
  • explain the processes involved in human auditory perception
  • summarise issues relating to hearing impairment
  • discuss the effects of room acoustics on sound
  • discuss the use of electronic systems for synthesis, capture, storage, processing and reproduction of sound
  • discuss the influence of technology on musical composition
  • outline the history of electronic and electroacoustic music in a number of different musical styles


Module Content
Methods of Teaching/Learning

10 one hour lectures, to include demonstrations and student participation.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential Reading:
Brookes, T.S., 2005: ‘Science of Sound Lecture Notes’,
Schwartz, E. & Godfrey, D., 1993: Music Since 1945 (Schirmer Books): Chapters 3, 8 and 17
Recommended Reading:
Holmes, T., 2002: Electronic and Experimental Music, 2nd edition (Routledge).
Kettlewell, B., 2002: Electronic Music Pioneers (Pro Music Press).
Rossing, T.D., 1990: The Science of Sound (Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley).
Rumsey, F.J., 1997: Sound & Recording: An Introduction (Oxford: Focal Press).
Suggested Reading:
Anderton, C., 1986: MIDI for Musicians (New York: Amsco).
Angus, J. & Howard, D.M., 1996: An Introduction to Acoustics & Psychoacoustics (Oxford: Focal Press).
Manning, P., 1985: Electronic and Computer Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Moore, B.C.J., 1989: An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing (London: Academic Press).
Rumsey, F.J., 1994: MIDI Systems & Control (Oxford: Focal Press).
Rumsey, F.J., 2004: Desktop Audio Technology (Oxford: Focal Press).
Wishart, T., 1996: On Sonic Art  (New Edition).
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