MUSIC AND MACHINES
2016/2017, Semester 2
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Of Music)
Modular Credits: 2
This module examines the use of machines to create music in the last 70 years. It focuses on the topics of synthesis, signal processing, live interactivity, and computer-aided composition, and introduces important repertoire that uses technology from this time period as well as the composers who created those works. Students will work in programming environments designed for musical applications to create electro-acoustic and algorithmic compositions.
The module is mandatory for all BMus students majoring in composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. For those students, it should be taken during the second semester of study.
Week 1: Introduction to Module
Week 2: Electronic Music Before 1945
Week 3: Tape Composition and Fundamental Concepts of Electronic Music
Week 4: CNY
Week 5: Early Synthesizers and Experimenters
Week 6: Principles of Analog Synthesis and Voltage Control; Demonstration of Modular Analog Synthesis
-- mid-semester break --
Week 7: Mid-semester Exam; Introduction to MIDI
Week 8: Synths, Organs, Pianos, Pedal FXs, and More
Week 9: Early Computer Music
Week 10: The Micro Processor Revolution
Week 11: Sampling
Week 12: Advanced Digital Synthesis Techniques
Week 13: Review
Workload Components :
A: 2 lecture hours per week
B: 0 tutorial hours per week
C: 0 lab hours per week
D: 1 hour for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: 2 hours for preparatory work by a student per week
The module will involve readings, answering of guided reading questions, weekly lecture, and frequent quizzes to ensure that students are keeping up with the module content. In addition, listening to important repertoire and answering a set of reflection questions will be occasionally required. However, class time will also be used for listening and discussion.
By the end of this module, students should have gained broad introductory knowledge of the historical use of electronic instruments and computers in the creation of music over the last 100 years. They will know key figures who used or created these tools as well as important works of repertoire. In addition to this historical knowledge, they will gain technical knowledge of different synthesis techniques, sound generation techniques, and signal manipulation techniques. They will develop skills in critical listening and the ability to compare and contrast different types of electro-acoustic music.
Assessment will involve continual assessment throughout the semester as well as a mid-term exam, and a final project. The continual assessment will be executed through weekly assignments (largely Guided Reading Questions). The final project will be an essay comparing two important works of electro-acoustic music. Class time will be dedicated to reviewing Guided Reading Questions as well as listening to important works and discussing their features.
The weightage breakdown for the assessment in this module is as follows:
Class Participation: 15%
Mid-semester Exam: 30%
Final Project: 30%