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Music as Audio - MUS00065M

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jez Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • To study the techniques, technologies and aesthetics of audio production for acoustic art music, with particular attention on stereo capture of simultaneous performance within concert venues.
  • To engage with literature that discusses the effect of recording and reproduction upon this kind of music.
  • To explore methods for acquiring, storing, editing, processing and presenting audio signals in a professional manner (i.e. with optimal fidelity and in ways which retain and convey the meaning of the music). To explain how quality criteria can vary across musical and production styles.
  • To develop listening skills to assess the quality and nature of music signals and demonstrate how these can be applied in the studio environment.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content:

  • Students should understand the dominant approaches to capturing the sound of acoustic art music performances, and the effect of these approaches on the music itself.
  • Students should be able to competently capture, store, edit, process and distribute recordings of acoustic music and assess their degree of success in each of these.
  • Students should be able to evaluate and describe through listening recordings of acoustic music, as well as being able to suggest remedial or aesthetic changes.

Academic and graduate skills:

  • Working to a specific product brief
  • Autonomous task planning, research and implementation
  • Ability to advance individual knowledge and understanding
  • Inter-personal communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Commitment and motivation
  • Analytic skills
  • Self-management
  • Self-motivation
  • Organisation and planning
  • Time management and prioritisation
  • Engagement with the unfamiliar
  • Independent learning
  • Reviewing progress


Task Length % of module mark
Edited microphone recording
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Edited microphone recording
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Single-take stereo recording of a single instrument: Comments and breakdown of marks by end of term 1.
  • Edited stereo microphone recording: Comments and breakdown of marks by end of week 7, term 2.

Indicative reading

  • Katz, Mark Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music, University of California Press
  • Rumsey, Francis and McCormick, Tim Sound and Recording, Focal Press
  • Borwick, John (ed.) Sound Recording Practice, Focal Press
  • Watkinson, John Introduction to Digital Audio, Focal Press
  • Everest, F. Alton Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals, Course Technology
  • Borwick, John, Microphones, Focal Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.