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Sound Recording Techniques & Aesthetics - MUS00104C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jez Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module develops technical and stylistic listening skills and practical recording skills.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

To develop an understanding of the history and practice of sound recording for western art music (WAM).

To provide experience in individual recording work. Students will build a portfolio of productions that demonstrates an understanding of recording aesthetics for WAM and ability in the relevant recording techniques.

To develop technical and critical listening skills appropriate to WAM productions.

To develop presentation skills and to provide students with experience of making formal/prepared and informal/spontaneous contributions.

Module learning outcomes

Understand the major developments in sound recording technology, techniques and aesthetics and their effects on WAM over the last 150 years (particularly since the advent of consumer stereo).

Be able to solely devise and undertake production and post-production of acoustic WAM and reflect on the outcomes.

Be able to make meaningful and useful observations on technical and aesthetic aspects of acoustic recordings.

Be able to make informed and relevant contributions to discussion and peer listening seminars.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 90
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 10

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 90
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 10

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their work within 20 working days of submitting their portfolio.

Indicative reading

Rink, John, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Nicholas Cook, and Eric Clarke. The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Cook, Nicholas. Beyond the Score: Music as Performance. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Katz, Mark. Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music. Berkeley: University of California Press 2004

Culshaw, John. Ring Resounding: The Recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen. London: Pimlico, 2012.

Zagorski-Thomas, Simon, Katia Isakoff, Serge Lacasse, and Sophie Stévance. The Art of Record Production: An Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field. London: Routledge, 2012.

Burgess, Richard James. The History of Music Production. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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.