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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Music 1B: Instruments, Culture and Technology (MUSI08068)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMusic, and ideas about music, are shaped by technology. Long before the invention of the electric guitar or the iPod, instrument-makers created new opportunities for composers and performers, and enterprising publishers popularised the first song books. Surveying the interaction between musical culture, instruments, and technologies from early times until the present day, you will learn how such influences affect the conventions and creative possibilities available to musicians and society. You will study instrument design and acoustics, and the social histories of music printing and sound recording, among other topics. You do not need to be able to read or write music notation to take this course.
Course description This course explores the concept of music technology from acoustic, historical, material and cultural perspectives. It addresses a range of questions, asking first and foremost: what is a technology, when it comes to music? What, for that matter, is a musical instrument? How do the meanings of music technologies and instruments change in different historical and cultural contexts? What material and social relations do music technologies bring into play?

All of these considerations have an impact on what music is, how it is made, and how it is experienced. This course therefore provides a survey of the interaction between music, instruments, and technologies from early times until the present day.

The course is taught through two weekly lectures, and is supported by six small-group tutorial sessions. The first half of the course introduces you to the disciplines of acoustics and organology, considering in turn the case of stringed, wind and percussion instruments, and musical performance spaces. The second half of the course examines other practical and intellectual innovations which have influenced conceptions and realities of music-making in recent centuries, leading to a final session on cutting-edge, digital audio research.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 165 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 40%:

Students prepare and present an A2 research poster on a given topic, the grade to be peer-moderated with WebPA. Students receive an individual grade which reflects the success and quality of the poster presentation (evaluated by course team), and their contribution to it (evaluated by their peers).

Exam 60%
Feedback 1) All students will submit a poster presentation mid-way through the semester. Written feedback on this assignment will be provided within 15 working days of the hand-in date.

2) Students will receive oral feedback during fortnightly tutorials.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Music 1B: Instruments, Culture and Technology2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of technologies associated with musical instruments and performances spaces.
  2. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the principal features of organology and acoustics research.
  3. Critically evaluate ideas and information relevant to the cultural study of music and technologies.
Reading List
Arnold Pacey. Meaning in Technology. The MIT Press. 1999.

Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert & Richard Middleton, Eds. (2003). The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction. London & New York: Routledge

Roederer, Juan. The Physics and Psychophysics of Music: An Introduction. 4th ed. New York: Springer, 2008.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Independent and critical thinking.
2. Effective communication in group learning and visual presentation of ideas and information.

Course organiserDr Nikki Moran
Tel: (0131 6)50 2423
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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