Software Systems for Music Technology - MUS00106C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Oliver Larkin
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This module will introduce audio software design and programming concepts for digital synthesis, signal processing and control systems. You will first be introduced to electronic music concepts and their historical and cultural context as well as gaining understanding and hands-on experience in modular synthesis. You will then be introduced to digital systems and computer music: this will include learning the basics about computer programming and the history of making music with early computers. We will look at the principles of computer programming. You will learn the basics of audio programming and you will design and build your own software systems for music performance, composition and production that will be demonstrated in practice at a showcasing event. This module therefore provides with various learning objectives that are valuable for your future: 1) it will give you an understanding of electronic and computer music principles and historical contexts, 2) you will start learning how to write computer code, which is a highly sought skill that can be transferable across many professions 3) you will have a better understanding of how computer music software works and how it is built, 4) you will gain practical and theoretical knowledge of sound synthesis and signal processing, 5) you will learn how to make your own software systems for performance, composition and production.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • provide an introduction to the state of the art in audio software systems for music technology, including the study of different approaches to software design, programming, and their historical context in computer music, popular music production and live electronic performance
  • describe and explain digital sound synthesis and signal processing techniques – how audio effects and synthesis techniques work and what factors influence their sonic character.
  • introduce control systems for music programming, for example those used in algorithmic composition.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the taught part of the project all students should:

  • understand the basics of digital audio synthesis and audio signal processing.
  • have the ability to design and program bespoke software tools for performance, composition and production within computer music programming environments.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Software
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Technical report
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar
N/A 10

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Software
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Technical report
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar
N/A 10

Module feedback

Written feedback within four weeks of assessment date.

Indicative reading

Russ, Martin (2009) Sound Synthesis and Sampling. Focal Press
Dodge, Charles (1997) Computer music: synthesis, composition, and performance. Schirmer Books.
Roads, Curtis (1996) The Computer Music Tutorial. MIT Press.
Puckette, Miller (2006) The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music. World Scientific Publishing.
Farnell, Andy (2010) Designing Sound. MIT Press.
Zölzer, Udo (2011) DAFX. Wiley.
Valle, Andrea (2016) Introduction to SuperCollider. Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH.



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.