FD (Arts) Music Performance Technologies

Music composition, production, performance and coding play a huge role in today’s creative industries, which in turn accounts for 9% of the UK’s export market. Most creative music jobs surface from a variety of disciplines and genres (and their intersection).

This course is designed to bring the worlds of performance, coding and technology together as a cohesive subject. Not only will students have to opportunity to learn vital skills in songwriting/composition and production, they will also have to opportunity to create their own software and hardware tools to aid them in a performance environment, whether to support a recital, add to a VJing visualisation, sonify data, or create a soundscape adopting original sonic processes as well as multichannel streaming.

At present, this course is one of very few in the UK to offer this ‘cross-collaboration’ discipline between conventional performance and coding technologies. Moreover, this course directly connects with and enables students to interact with the emerging musical interface industries. These industries look to enable many end users to interact with music (within production and performance settings) regardless of skill and disability. As a result, student will get the opportunity to pitch their new invented products to experts in these industries within the Final Major Project Showcase module.

The course encourages an independence of thought and an entrepreneurial mindset through deep integration of cutting-edge technical skills and a focus on the developing music performance landscape. A range of assessment methods are used at both levels 4 and 5. These include:

- Performances
- Written reports
- Literature and book reviews
- Presentations
- Practical portfolio
- Reflective blogging activities

Assessments at level 4 are geared towards providing a robust foundation from which to develop the skills required by level 5. In addition to the above, students will take part in the following:

  • Individual or group student presentations to develop oral presentation, negotiation and
    communication skills;
  • Other forms of small-group teaching and learning in which students have the
    opportunity to work together as a team (for example, when developing software or hardware elements);
  • One-to- one interaction, particularly supporting the development of self-direction, intellectual independence and research skills through analysis and individual projects;
  • Corporate activity, developing teamwork and leadership skills;
  • Workshops and masterclasses, normally addressing the acquisition of creative skills
    and techniques within a group context, and often benefiting from the experience of visiting specialists
  • Writing (essays, learning journals) as a means of developing research techniques, acquiring knowledge, and presenting ideas and arguments in written form
  • Practical exercises, usually connected with the development of creative, analytical and
    aural skills
  • Independent learning, whether as directed reading and listening related to essay-writing or project work or as practice for developing creative skills

Module outline:

Year 1

  • 4MU048 Behind the Glass
  • 4MU062 Introduction to Music Computing
  • 4MU064 Sound and Audio Fundamentals
  • 4MU065 Composition: Applied Music Theory
  • 4MU063 Performance Interface Design
  • 4MU066 Music Production Practice

Year 2

  • 5MU065 Synthesis and Live Processing
  • 5MU066 Performing with Technology
  • 5MU048 Review & Prototype
  • 5MU063 Algorithmic Composition & Sonification
  • 5MU064 Live Audiovisuals
  • 5MU067 Final Major Project Showcase