Module WXK-2235:
Acousmatic Composition

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Andrew Lewis

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To compose acousmatic 'sonic art' using sound as the creative medium, and digital studio technology as the means.

  2. To encourage bold artistic experimentation and the development of musical ideas beyond conventional notions of 'music'.

  3. Through composition, to explore the possibilities of a variety of innovative digital technologies and to become adept in their use.

  4. To study the compositional techniques of a variety of acousmatic composers, and to apply the lessons learned to the composition of original musical works.

  5. To consider aesthetic, philosophical and musicological issues of relevance to acousmatic composition, and to explore the implications of these through the act of composing.

  6. To contribute to the personal development of student composers through the development of their creativity as individuals.

Course content

The word ‘acousmatic’ describes something we can hear but not see. Acousmatic Music is experimental sonic art which uses sound as its raw material, and multiple loudspeakers as its mode of delivery. It has been described as the art of projected sounds which is “shot and developed in the studio, projected in halls, like cinema”.

This module aims to develop your skills in acousmatic composition. It has a creative emphasis, and seeks to equip you with the basic technological, compositional and aesthetic knowledge and understanding necessary for acousmatic composition

Assessment Criteria

threshold

The composition displays some limited creative imagination, with restricted control of musical materials, and minimum understanding of the capabilities of acousmatic resources. There is scant evidence of a generally intellectual approach.

good

The composition displays a good level of creative imagination, with good control and elaboration of musical materials, based on technical competence in use of acousmatic resources. There is also evidence of intellectual acumen.

excellent

The composition displays a high level of creative imagination, with emergent individuality of compositional voice, skilful control and elaboration of musical materials, and technical mastery of acousmatic resource. There is also evidence of high level of ability at conceptual thought, penetration of issues, originality of approach and/or insight.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to work effectively with sonic materials and resources.

  2. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to work with the tools and techniques of the composition studio.

  3. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to critically evaluate their own work.

  4. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to compose with a degree of creative independence.

  5. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to apply an understanding of acousmatic music theory and concepts to creative work.

  6. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to compose acousmatic music which could offer an engaging listening experience.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Coursework 1 - Recording and Developing Sources 25
COURSEWORK Coursework 2 - Gesture, texture and articulation 25
COURSEWORK Main Assignment - Acousmatic Composition 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

11 weekly studio-based lectures of 1.5 – 2 hours. Other classes coinciding with an acousmatic concert or the visit of a composer or ensemble may also be arranged as appropriate.

22
Private study 156
Seminar

11 weekly studio-based seminars of 1.5-2 hours.

22

Transferable skills

  • 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
  • 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

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: