Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module WXK-2300:
Interactive Sound and Music

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Andrew Lewis

Overall aims and purpose

This module focuses on working creatively with sound and music in the context of interactive technologies. It covered a wide range of interactions with sound, including basic sound design, sound in interactive games environments, music for live musicians with electronics, performance and control interfaces, sound installations and generative (automatic) music. It offers a blend of creative, practical, artistic and technological studies, across a range of disciplines, and provides a platform for more specialised study in the future.

Course content

The module involves practical experience in a range of interactive sound applications. Students will be encouraged to think creatively about the possibilities of interactivity in sound and music, and to work on producing their own examples. A variety of technological tools will be used, including Max, Jitter, Processing and Unity, as well as more basic sound editing and processing tools. No prior experience of these is required, but those with experience will be able build on what they already know.

Course content may include: sound design principles and tools; live processing of musical performance; performance and control interfaces; sound and image interaction; sound and music interaction in Games; sound installations; generative (automatic) music.

Assessment Criteria


  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of key principles
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of main topics
  • Excellent facility with technological tools
  • Excellent creative thinking and application
  • Fluency in linking together different topics and techniques
  • Excellent independent thinking
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • High quality of presentation with excellent attention to detail

C- to C+

  • Basic knowledge and understanding of key principles
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of main topics
  • Basic facility with technological tools
  • Limited creative thinking and application
  • Limited to link together different topics and technique
  • A basic level of independent thinking
  • Basic problem solving skills
  • Basic presentation with some lapses of detail


  • Some knowledge and understanding of key principles
  • Some knowledge and understanding of main topics
  • Some facility with technological tools
  • Some evidence of creative thinking and application
  • Some evidence of linking together different topics and technique
  • Some evidence of independent thinking
  • Rudimentary problem solving skills
  • Very basic presentation with significant lapses of detail


  • Good knowledge and understanding of key principles
  • Good knowledge and understanding of main topics
  • Good facility with technological tools
  • Well developed creative thinking and application
  • Good ability to link together different topics and technique
  • Well developed independent thinking
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Good quality of presentation with attention to detail

Learning outcomes

  1. to examine and employ principles underlying sound and music interaction

  2. to operate with the tools of interactive sound and music

  3. to test and evaluate appropriate technologies for specific interactive projects

  4. to demonstrate and appraise effective forms of sound and music interaction

  5. to compare and appraise different forms of sound and music interaction

  6. to construct interactive sound and music experiences

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Open project

Design and produce ONE of the following:

  • a composition involving one instrument/voice with interactive realtime processing, of 5 minutes duration;
  • a sonic art performance involving real time control of sound, of 5 minutes duration;
  • a game environment with at least 5 sonic object interactions and at least 3 music triggers;
  • an application to produce sound from moving images or vice versa (stereo sound, 1080p image);
  • a piece of never-ending and non-repeating generative music (indeterminate duration, stereo);
  • a sound installation with interactive or responsive elements (indeterminate duration, 2 to 8 channels);
  • a project combining two or more of the above approaches.
COURSEWORK Sound interaction in immersive environments

Design and produce a single immersive interactive scene in which the user is able to interact with at least three different sound making objects and/or trigger different three different musical segments. (Object interactions and music triggers may be mixed, adding up to at least three in total.)

COURSEWORK Live processing and control

Design/compose a performance piece which involves at least one human performer interacting with technology in real time to produce a creative sonic outcome


Teaching and Learning Strategy


11 weekly workshops of 1 hour each


22 weekly lectures of 2 hours each

Private study

Individual work on designing and implementing projects


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.
  • Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)


Resource implications for students

Students do not require their own resources, but may find it helpful to access to their own computer with Unity, Max and/or Processing

Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: