Music, Technology and Innovation MA modules
MUSM5001: Frontiers in Research and Practice (30 credits)
This module introduces students to the processes of research through creative practice in music and sonic arts. Students will be introduced to models of musical practice-based research as well as supporting processes such as data gathering, self-evaluation of creative practice, qualitative and quantitative approaches to gathering and coding research data, interviewing, and the evaluation of recent and historical electronic and literary sources. Contextual emphasis will also be placed on the way music reflects cultural diversity and different value systems in artistic practices and patterns of consumption. In parallel students will devise and develop a practice research project, realised in small groups (of 2-3), supported by lectures on technical and theoretical research topics in music and sonic arts.
Assessment: Practical project (50%), 20-minute group presentation with slides (40%) and evaluation (10%)
MUSM5002: Advanced Techniques and Ideas in Sonic Art (30 credits)
This module focuses on advanced techniques for the design, creation and processing of sound for musical purposes (such as spatial audio, creative sound processing, generative techniques, AI music tools, live coding, instrument-building and human-machine interaction). This will be integrated with investigations into the nature of sound as an expressive medium and the musical consequences of shaping sound with digital tools, further supported by study of the historical contexts and evolving ideas and practices in contemporary music and sonic art.
Learning is also supported by workshops, for sharing of work in progress, case studies and journal articles and presentations by visiting practitioners.
Assessment: Practical project (60%) and contextual commentary (40%)
MUSM5003: Sonic Arts Practice (30 credits)
Students will complete a practice-based project focusing on the realisation of a particular creative idea or the development of skill in a particular avenue of music production. The key aim will be to assist in deepening and/or broadening students’ understanding of materials and methods in musical composition and/or the application of electroacoustic technologies to music. Students will situate the project in relation to relevant analytical, aesthetic or the theoretical frameworks relevant to music and technology. The project will result in a standalone piece of practical work (which may involve presentation in performance) but may also be a testing ground for ideas that will lead to the final portfolio or dissertation. Study on this module will be carried out on the basis of a self-designed project, set out in a personal project plan at the start of week 2 of the module, with tutorial support or through class-based study around particular topics as may be offered by staff.
Learning is also supported by a regular creative colloquium, for sharing of work in progress, case studies and journal articles and presentations by visiting practitioners.
Assessment: Practical project (70%) and contextual commentary (30%)
MUSM5004: Interdisciplinary Studio (30 credits)
This module gives students the opportunity to work across disciplines or collaboratively within a discipline—to integrate sound design/musical skills with another artistic genre (for example in film music/sound design, game audio, music with dance, audiovisual creation, interactive technologies, installation art, live art, radio drama, text-sound, song writing), to collaborate with a technical discipline (eg computing), or to co-create musical work with other musicians where complementary skills are brought together. Collaborative pairs of groups will design a project with clear lines of responsibility and submit this within two weeks of the module’s commencement. Topical supporting lectures may address areas such as game-engine based audio, generative techniques, digital scores, interactive techniques, etc. Learning is also supported by a regular creative colloquium, for sharing of work in progress, case studies and journal articles and presentations by visiting practitioners.
Assessment: Practical project (65%), 10-minute presentation with slides (25%) and evaluation (10%)
Blocks 5 & 6 (summer)
MUSM5005: Final Project—Creative Portfolio (60 credits)
This module provides students with the opportunity for sustained, independently realised practice-based research through original creative work. It will involve the realisation of a composition, or cluster of compositions which may vary in duration/scope, employing electronic/digital technology in their creation and accompanied by a written commentary. The portfolio may also include original tools created by the student as part of the realisation of the work, which will be supported by a commentary in the form of a user guide. A project proposal will be completed prior to commencement of the module, in the closing stages of block 4.
Assessment: Creative portfolio (85%) and contextual commentary (15%)
MUSM5006: Final Project—Creative Portfolio with Short Dissertation (60 credits)
This module provides students with the opportunity to complete a substantial practice-based research project and to situate this work in a critical context through the completion of a short dissertation relating to the genre of the composition portfolio. A project proposal will be completed prior to commencement of the module, in the closing stages of block 4.
The work will be accompanied by a written commentary detailing the realisation of the portfolio.
Assessment: Creative portfolio (45%), contextual commentary (10%) and short dissertation (45%)