MUSIC AND MACHINES
2018/2019, Semester 1
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Of Music)
Modular Credits: 2
There are no prerequisites for this module. All NUS students (including YSTCM students) may take it.
This module examines the use of machines to create music in the last 100 years. It focuses on the topics of instrument creation, technological repurposing, synthesis, electrification, sound processing, and computer-assisted composition. It introduces important repertoire that uses technology from this time period and gives students strategies for analyzing these works so that they may participate in class discussions about music that may seem very unusual to them.
Weekly Meetings on Wednesdays from 2-3:45pm in Seminar Room 3, Level 1, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
All readings, aside from that for Topic 9, can be found via the NUS library in an e-text called
Electronic and Experimental Music
by Thom Holmes. Visit the link to download the relevant chapters. All readings should be completed before the class session addressing that topic.
Topic 1: Introduction
Topic 2: Early Inventors (Chapter 1: Electronic Music Before 1945)
Topic 3: The Record Player as Musical Instrument
Topic 4: The Tape Recorder as Musical Instrument (Chapter 5: Tape Composition and Fundamnetal Concepts of Electronic Music)
Topic 5: Making Studios (Chapter 6: Early Synthesizers and Experimenters)
Topic 6: Voltage-Controlled Synthesizers (Chapter 7: The Principles of Voltage-Controlled Synthesis)
Topic 7: Electrification
Topic 8: Computer-assisted Composition (Chapter 10: Early Computer Music)
Topic 9: Installation and Interdisciplinary Electronic Art
(Hacking, New Interfaces, and Live Electronics
Topic 10: How sound in made in a computer and why it's awesome
The semester will conclude with 2 week dedicated to student presentations on artists of their choosing, following final project guidelines.
Teaching and learning will largely take place in class through some presentation and significant usage of discussion. There may be some small reading or listening assignments given. The assessments will include a mid-semester paper of 1000 words (maximum) and a final group project that should demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast an unfamiliar piece of music to topics and specific works discussed throughout the semester. Additionally, students should be able to provide a general analysis of a work that addresses form, timbre, process, and/or material.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week