Aural Cultures - MUS00097H

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Federico Reuben
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

In this module, you will analyse current debates surrounding sound practices and aural cultures and develop work that responds to key contemporary aesthetic and cultural theories of sound.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

  • To develop an understanding of the current debates surrounding sound practices and the significance and contexts of sound in contemporary culture.
  • To become familiar with a variety of multidisciplinary approaches to studying sound in relationship to how it is captured, created, stored, manipulated, consumed and experienced.
  • To provide an overview of concepts and terms related to notions of listening and sounding culture.
  • To develop a portfolio of work that responds to key contemporary aesthetic and cultural theories of music and sound.
  • To participate in discussion and critical listening sessions within the seminar format.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand and interpret complex texts and ideas about various aural cultures and sound practices within the context of contemporary culture.
  • Identify different approaches and disciplines whereby sound can be studied and analysed by considering its creation, reproduction, reception and interpretation.
  • Be able to engage conceptually with different cultural theories of listening and the notion of expressing culture through sound.
  • Create a body of work that considers aesthetic and cultural aspects of contemporary sound and music practices.
  • Be able to critique work and make informed contributions through listening, writing and discussion.



Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Assessment will be via creative submission (90%) with commentary (10%). The submission and commentary will relate to an aspect of aural culture covered during the module. Examples could be a piece of sound art, a headphone work for promenade audience, an experimental podcast, a radio work or an environmental sound piece.



Module feedback

Written feedback within 4 weeks of assessment date.

Indicative reading

Aural Cultures – Jim Drobnick, ed. 2004.

The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies – Trevor Pinch, Karin Bijsterveld, eds. 2011.

Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music – Christopher Cox, Daniel Warner. 2004.

The Sound Studies Reader – Jonathan Sterene, ed. 2012.

Auditory Culture Reader (Sensory Formations) – Michael Bull, Les Back, eds. 2012.

Noise: Political Economy of Music – Jacques Attali, 1977.

Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound – Tara Rodgers, ed. 2010.

Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction – Caleb Kelly, 2009.

Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture – Paul D.Miller, ed. 2008.

Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life – Brandon LaBelle, 2010.

The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa – Evan Eisenberg, 2005.

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.