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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Music and Technoscience: Cultural and Historical Perspectives (MUSI10096)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe ongoing interaction between music, the sciences and engineering is emerging as a major concern in twenty-first century musicology and sound studies. In this course we will survey this vibrant and challenging new body of literature, covering topics from the renaissance to the present day, in order to understand why this interaction matters, and how it can inform our understanding of musical materials and musical ideas. The course will examine some of the ways that music has been treated as a object of scientific study, as well as the ways that music has been used by scientists and engineers to understand other aspects of nature, culture and society. It will also assess the degree to which science and engineering have contributed to the progress of musical aesthetics. Using case studies from the history of music, musical instruments and musicology it will also introduce key concepts in the philosophy and sociology of modern science. The course requires no prior experience with music theory or notation, and should be open to all students in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Course description We will be guided by a series of underlying questions:

How and why do scientists and engineers manipulate music as an object of experimentation or description?
What can music and musical practice tell us about nature and culture?
What is the relationship between scientific, technological and musical modernity?
How have science and technology contributed to our understanding of music's aesthetic and cultural values?
To what extent can we understand music theory and musicology as sciences?
How have changes in science and technology informed changes in musical practice, and vice versa?
Each week will cover a historically and conceptually defined topic based on set reading.
The student learning experience will consist of one two-hour lecture-seminar per week.
Lectures will be illustrated whenever possible by objects from the University's musical instrument collection.
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 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 167 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 85 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Presentation (individual or group depending on class size) of readings for class discussion (15%, throughout semester in class time);

Contribution to weekly collective lecture notes in wiki format (35%, c. Week 5);

Final essay of 3000 words analysing critical concerns and questions raised by a recent scientific study about music or a recent music technology (50%) submitted in the examination period.
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided in tutorials at which an outline for the larger essay will be discussed, and feedback on the presentations will be given within 5 days of each presentation.

Summative feedback will be provided in the form of written comments on all written submissions within 15 days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Apply core theoretical concepts and approaches in the philosophy and sociology of science and technology to case studies drawn from the history of music and musicology.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of key developments in the scientific study of music from 1600 to the present.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the conceptual and cultural history of music technology.
  4. Analyse the cultural and ethical implications of a range of approaches to music in the sciences and engineering.
Reading List
Suzannah Clark and Alexander Rehding, eds. (2001) /Music Theory and the Natural Order from the Renaissance to the Early Twentieth Century/. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
René Lysloff and Leslie Gay (2003) /Music and Technoculture./Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Paul Greene and Thomas Porcello, eds. (2005) /Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures./Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Thomas Christensen, ed. (2008) /The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory. /Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Alexandra Hui, Julia Kursell and Myles Jackson, eds., (2013) /Music, Sound, and the Laboratory from 1750 to 1980/. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critically review and consolidate knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the history of music research and music technology.
Present or convey, formally and informally, information on standard/mainstream topics in the history of music research and music technology to a range of audiences.
Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues in the history of music research and music technology.
KeywordsHistory of musicology,history of music technology,epistemology of music,musical instruments
Course organiserDr Patrick Valiquet
Tel: (0131 6)51 4268
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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