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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Music Masters Final Project (MUSI11061)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryFunctioning as the final project for the MScs in Composition for Screen, Digital Composition and Performance, Sound Design and the MMus in Composition this course consists of a composition or sound design project, that may use digital sound technology as a significant part of the working process. It will be the product of individual working and will result in a score or scores, or a sonic artefact submitted in a digital format with or without accompanying hard-copy scores and/or other documentation, as appropriate along with a written report. All projects will go through an individual proposal and approval process in order to make sure that the work envisaged is suitable for the particular degree it forms part of.
Course description Aims of the Course:

To produce a final Masters project that is appropriate to the discipline and represents the culmination of knowledge gained and topics learned throughout prior coursework activities. It will involve technical, sonic, and artistic planning of a significant work, as well as the documentation of such through appropriate media but in particular via the project report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  60
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 578 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Where appropriate and technically feasibly, for contextualisation and showcasing purposes the work will be performed in a concert; this does not form part of the assessment process, however. Work should continue until the August submission date.

Composition for Screen students will work on a larger composition or compositional project with musical content (i.e. cues, scored materials) therein totalling of approx. 20 ¿ 30 minutes that includes collaboration with ECA filmmakers and animators, and/or external collaborators with a supporting written report approaching a single research question related to an aspect of technique and theory in project.. The projects often involve recording and working with live musicians in a performance or recording context; such recordings will generally be submitted. Most projects will make use of specialised Digital Audio Workstation software and mixing facilities, though they may consist of scored materials only. Submitted works will include the collaboratory elements (i.e. music to film, video or other medium) and may on special approval , consist of more than one single work.

Digital Composition and Performance students will produce a musical work lasting 20-30 minutes that has a significant digital music component. A significant amount of custom software development will also be expected and this must be of a standard equal to or exceeding that required in other courses. Students must have written confirmation from the Programme Director in order to be be excused from performance.

MMus in Composition students will work on a larger composition, or group of compositions lasting between 15 - 20 minutes. The work can be for conventional instruments, but may also include live or fixed electronic sound. In the latter case, all software and sound files, and the performance instructions for utilising them, must be included with the project.

Sound Design students define a single dissertation question that is answered by both the written report and a large-scale piece of sound-related design work. This can take many forms including a performance, system, game, installation, film, or radiophonic piece. Presentation before submission is encouraged for documentation.
Assessment of the project will be by independent double marking of the composition/sound design (which includes, where applicable, the software, score, instructions, and the recording: 60%) and written report (length 6,000 words, see also below: 40%).
For the purposes of assessment, composition/sound design (which includes, where appropriate, the software, score, instructions, and the recording: 60%) and written report (length 6,000 words see also below:40%)

For the purposes of assessment, composition/sound design includes all programming and other technical components. The composition/sound design component will be judged on the basis of its effectiveness and the extent to which it realises the goals set out. This may include some or all of the following:
- musical/sonic sophistication
- originality
- appropriate, expressive, and economic use of sonic/compositional materials
- appropriate use of instruments/technology
- where applicable, the content and presentation of the score and/or instructions for performance.
The written component will be expected to:
- show a knowledge of the relevant literature, both musical and textual, and be critical and reflective
- exhibit a good standard of presentation, organisation, and academic style
- coherently integrate accounts of the motivation, methodology, and execution of the project
- document technical aspects of the project as well as the relevant aesthetic and critical aspects
- include the original proposal and any approved amendments in the appendix
All project materials (including the report and, e.g., photographic, sonic, or video documentation of anything that does not exist in digital form) must be submitted digitally on two clearly-marked memory sticks, accompanying two bound copies of the hard copy report. All scores must be bound, formatted, and submitted as hard copy for performance use.. Submitted digital material should be checked thoroughly in advance for correct operation on departmental machines (both MS Windows and Mac), validity of links between files, and other things that may differ after copying to external media.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding and practical experience of the way in which a working composition/sound design project progresses from start through to completion.
  2. Demonstrate an appreciation of the role of information technology in current sonic and musical practices.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and practical experience in documenting a significant project.
  4. Demonstrate insights into how individual working practices and predilections connect with the work of other practitioners through comparison, research, and discursive context setting.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsComposition,Digital Composition,Sound Design,Composition for Screen,Film Music
Course organiserMr Martin Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 2333
Course secretaryMiss Laura Duff
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