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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Algorithmic Composition and Signal Processing (MUSI10062)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFlexibility and the ability to combine various approaches, integrating the results of one system into another environment is the key to creative and constantly developing work in this field. Experience in real-time audio programming in Max/MSP is thus compared and contrasted with non-real time systems, in particular concentrating on the benefits of such and where and when to apply these non real-time techniques.

As well as gaining experience programming in these environments (which may include Common Lisp Music, Common Music, Common Music Notation, Supercollider, CMusic, CSound, CMix etc.) students will be exposed to general-purpose, text-based programming paradigms and their use in generating compositional structure. This experience of algorithmic composition will then be combined with synthesis/signal processing or in the generation of musical scores. The whole is aimed at enriching the composer's compositional palette, enabling them to assess different approaches and thus choose appropriate tools for future projects.
Seminars will develop the contextual and aesthetic background to computer music and take the form of discussion of set reading and listening.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Music 2D: Theory and Practice of Music Technology (MUSI08053)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Pair of good quality headphones would be advantageous.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 85 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two projects will be submitted, worth 35% and 50% respectively. Collaboration is not permitted on either project. 15% is allotted to attendance and participation in classes.
Project 1 (35%): A synthesis and/or signal processing assignment will be completed in a non-real time music programming environment. The result will be the generation of a short piece in the form of a sound file.

Project 2 (50%): An algorithmic composition project of the student's own choosing should be realised using any environment or combination thereof presented thus far. The project should be distinct from and clearly more ambitious and substantial than Project 1. The result may be an installation, score, sound file, CD or interactive computer environment. The project must be agreed in advance with the course organiser.

Both projects should be accompanied by a short (c. 1000 word) report detailing the project goals; the methods used to realise these goals; any problems or interesting points encountered along the way (with their solutions/incorporation); an appraisal/critique of the project; and suggestions as to how, with hindsight, the project may be been improved and how it could be developed in the future. The report should be written in formal academic language, using clearly defined sections; it should correctly reference articles and musical works relevant to the subject matter and include a full bibliography. A CDROM containing the patches/programmes/sounds used, as well as a recording of the project, should also be submitted in both cases.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
* An understanding and appreciation of the advantages of non real-time computer music systems and when to use them instead of real-time environments
* An ability to contrast and compare computer music-making environments
* A practical understanding of computer programming paradigms and their relation to and potential generation of compositional structure
* Insight into the history, theory, repertoire, and aesthetics of computer music.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Weekly 2 hour lectures and fortnightly 2 hour tutorials (tutorials in even weeks).
KeywordsAlgorithmic Composition; Digital Signal Processing; Computer Music
Course organiserDr Michael Edwards
Tel: (0131 6)50 2431
Course secretaryMiss Annabelle Evans
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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