Module WXK-3300:
Interactive Sound & Music

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

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

excellent

  • Comprehensive knowledge, understanding and synthesis of key principles
  • Comprehensive knowledge, understanding and synthesis of main topics
  • Excellent facility with different technological tools in combination
  • Excellent creative and imaginative thinking and application
  • Excellent independent thinking
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • High quality of presentation with excellent attention to detail

good

  • Good knowledge, understanding and synthesis of key principles
  • Good knowledge, understanding and synthesis of main topics
  • Good facility with different technological tools in combination
  • Well developed creative and imaginative thinking and application
  • Well developed independent thinking
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Good quality of presentation with excellent attention to detail

C- to C+

  • Basic knowledge, understanding and synthesis of key principles
  • Basic knowledge, understanding and synthesis of main topics
  • Basic facility with different technological tools in combination
  • Limited creative and imaginative thinking and application
  • Limited independent thinking
  • Basic problem solving skills
  • Basic presentation with some lapses of detail

threshold

  • Some knowledge, understanding and synthesis of key principles
  • Some knowledge, understanding and synthesis of main topics
  • Some facility with different technological tools in combination
  • Some evidence of creative and imaginative thinking and application
  • Some evidence of independent thinking
  • Rudimentary problem solving skills
  • Very basic presentation with significant lapses of detail

Learning outcomes

  1. to experiment with different tools of interactive sound and music

  2. to design and evaluate different forms of sound and music interaction

  3. to appraise and select principles of sound and music interaction

  4. to create interactive sound and music experiences

  5. to choose and employ appropriate technologies for specific interactive projects

  6. to design and develop creative forms of sound and music interaction

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.
50
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

25
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.)

25

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

11 weekly workshops of 1 hour each

11
Lecture

22 weekly lectures of 2 hours each

22
Private study

Individual work on designing and implementing projects

167

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)

Resources

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: