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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Non Real-Time Systems (MUSI11019)

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
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, e.g., Max/MSP is thus compared and contrasted here with non-real time systems, in particular focussing 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 slippery chicken, 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 may then be combined with MIDI/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 As the majority of the work on this course is project-based, teaching will consist of targeted lectures/seminars and tutorials concentrating on the various technologies to be understood.

In addition, there will be three seminars concentrating on assigned reading and listening. Students will be expected to make presentations and participate in 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/seminar.

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 Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Experience in composition and/or programming/digital Music Technology systems.
Additional Costs Blank CDs, tapes as required
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesExperience in composition and/or programming/digital Music Technology systems.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, 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 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, worth 35% and 50% respectively. Collaboration is not permitted on either project. 15% is allotted to attendance and participation in seminars.

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 of music in the form of a sound file.

Project 2 (50%): A short algorithmic composition project of the student's own choosing should be realised using the computer music system presented. 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.

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 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.

Assessment will be based on the student's proficiency, as displayed in their submissions, in what is assumed will be various new working environments. The ability to quickly assimilate new and challenging techniques may not result in comprehensive new works at this stage but nevertheless substantial competence and a grasp of the potential of these techniques is expected to be displayed. The musical success of the projects, as well as the degree of individual progress made, will be taken into consideration for assessment.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the advantages of non real-time systems and when to use them instead of real-time environments.
  2. Develop an ability to contrast and compare computer music-making environments.
  3. Evidence a practical understanding of computer programming paradigms and their relation to and potential generation of compositional structure.
  4. Demonstrate an enriched compositional palette.
  5. Offer 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 normally held in even semester weeks.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tom Mudd
Tel: (0131 6)50 2808
Course secretaryMiss Remi Jankeviciute
Tel: (0131 6)51 5773
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