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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Real-Time Performance Strategies and Design (MUSI11018)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFunctioning as an introduction and exploration of the Max/MSP real-time computer music environment, this course will provide detailed insights into the capabilities and potential of this system as well as examples of how to approach and code effective real-time music projects in general.

Apart from learning the skills and gaining the basic knowledge necessary to work effectively with Max/MSP, you will be encouraged to think creatively and solve the problems inherent in realising a musical project from the very inkling of an idea right through to its implementation and performance. In particular, an approach of problem analysis, division into modules, and eventual solution will be encouraged that together result in good programming practice.

In addition, classic and current synthesis and signal processing algorithms will be introduced along with methods to implement and combine them. Always taking a practical approach, the aims of the course will lead to a harnessing of the various technologies in a well planned, coordinated, and executed performance environment.

Seminars will develop the contextual and aesthetic background to computer music and take the form of discussion of set reading and listening.
Course description As the bulk of the work on this course is project-based, teaching will consist of targeted lectures and tutorials concentrating on the key skills necessary for advancement.

In addition, there will be three seminars concentrating on assigned reading and listening; students will be expected to make presentations and contribute to discussions at these sessions. Except when students are working on assessed projects, a non-assessed assignment will be set at the end of each lecture.

In contrast to the assessed work, and in order to maximise exchange of ideas and knowledge reinforcement, students are expected to work on non-assessed assignments in collaboration with each other.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Blank CDs, tapes as required
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 1
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 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two projects will be submitted, each worth 35% and 50% respectively.
15% is allotted to Presentation and Seminar notes.

Collaboration is not permitted on either project.

Project 1 (35%): a fairly specific Max/MSP programming brief determined by the course organiser and involving real-time synthesis and/or signal programming.

Project 2 (50%): a project determined by your own interests but relating to the subject matter of the course. The project should be distinct from and clearly more ambitious and substantial than Project 1; it should result in the capturing of a short performance using a Max/MSP programme of the students' own design.

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.

Assessment will be based on demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the subject matter presented in the course as evidenced by the fluency and efficiency of Max/MSP programming. The student's ability to solve problems and implement their musical goals in well-functioning software is key to success in this course. In addition, creativity and success in both the musical and technological domain, as well as the degree of progress made, will significantly affect the outcome of assessment.
Feedback Written feedback will be provided via the electronic submission system. Students will be notified by class email lists once the provisional mark and feedback are available to view.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a proficiency in real-time computer music programming within the Max/MSP environment.
  2. Gain an overview of a range of synthesis and signal processing procedures that may be applied in real time.
  3. Acquire an ability to turn performance goals into well-structured, realiable ,and functional performance software.
  4. Evidence an awareness of the way in which computer music technology works at a basic level and how best to work with such systems.
  5. Gain an insight into the history, theory, repertoire, and aesthetics of computer music.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Tutorials are held in even semester weeks day and time to be arranged in the first lecture.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Martin Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 2333
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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