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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUS3024 Module Title: SOUNDSCAPE STUDIES
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MU3.SSCAE
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: SANSOM M Dr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Qualifying Condition(s) 
  • Audio CD with no more than a total of 40 minutes of work (50%) Assessment is based on the artistic intent and its realisation.
  • 2500 word essay (50%) Assessment is based on the application of theoretical aspects of the module to the submitted audio component.

Module Overview

None for D course; permission from convenor and Programme director and Music Technology 2 for other programmes

Module Aims

To develop a practical ability in and conceptual understanding of the use of location and field recordings in compositional and artistic practice. 

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module, you should be able to:
  • Contextualise soundscape compositional practice
  • Successfully engage in soundscape compositional practice
  • Relate practical work to the relevant theoretical and contextual knowledge
  • Demonstrate an understanding of formal and aesthetic dimensions of soundscape compositional practice
Module Content
  • Theory and aesthetics (including the work of Schafer, Truax, López, Toop, Chion, etc.)
  • Repertoire, techniques and artists (including the work of Schafer, López, Watson, Quinn, Ximm, Cusack, Cardiff, etc.)
  • Compositional practice supported by group-critique and discussion
Methods of Teaching/Learning
  • 5 two-hour lectures and 5 two-hour group discussions
  • A combination of lectures and reflective discussions (based on student ‘work-in-progress’) will introduce and apply theory, aesthetics, repertoire and techniques to developing practical work.
Selected Texts/Journals
Required reading:
Bull, M. & Back, L., eds., 2004: The Auditory Culture Reader (Berg Publishers)
Cox, C. & Warner, D., eds., 2004: Audio Culture: readings in modern music (Continuum)
Norman, Katherine 2004: Sounding Art: eight literary excursions through electronic music (Ashgate)
Schafer, R. Murray 1992: ‘Music, non-music and the soundscape’ in Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought, Vol. 1, Paynter, J., Howell, T., Orton, R., & Seymour, P. (ed.’s) (Routledge)
Sterne, Jonathan, 2003: The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke University Press)
Suggested reading:
Schafer, R. Murray 1993: The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (Destiny Books)
Truax, Barry (ed.) 2000: Acoustic Communication (Greenwood Press)
Optional reading:
Drever, John Levack, 2002: ‘Soundscape Composition: The convergence of ethnography and acousmatic music’ in Organised Sound, Vol. 7, no. 1. Cambridge University Press, p. 21-27.
Schafer, R. Murray 1975: The Rhinoceros in the Classroom (Universal Edition)
Schafer, R. Murray 1974: New Soundscape (Universal Edition)
Schafer, R. Murray 1973: Music of the Environment (Universal Edition)
* Students will be required to provide their own portable sound-recording equipment. A list of suitable equipment is available from the Module Convenor.
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