Critical Listening and Sound-Making - CMAT3130

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module will explore critical listening and sound within the wider framework of the environment as a whole, helping students to develop a comprehensive understanding of sound relationships, sensitise their hearing and enhance their expert listening skills. Students will learn to recognise structural elements of sound, they will learn new concepts and be introduced into novel areas of sound-making. The module will culminate in the production of a substantial piece of creative work and a detailed evaluation that links theory and contextual issues with practice, strengthening students' critical listening and sound-making skills.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main Assessment Methods

Sound Design Exercise and Written Evaluation (300 words) – 40%
Soundscape Composition Study with Written Evaluation (500 words) – 60%

Reassessment Methods
- Like-for-like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Corey, J. (2017). Audio Production and Critical Listening. Abington: Routledge.
Labelle, B. (2006). Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. London: Continuum.
Norman, K. (2004). Sounding Art: Eight Literary Excursions Through Electronic Music. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Schafer, R. M. (1977). The Tuning of the World. New York: Knopf.
Sonnenschein, D. (2001). Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema. Studio City, California: Michael Wiese.
Truax, B. (2001). Acoustic Communication. Stamford, Connecticut: Ablex.
Wrightson, K. (2000). 'An Introduction to Acoustic Ecology'. Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology. 1(1), pp. 10-13.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of sonic characteristics, their relationships and their meaning in nature and urban environments;
2 Demonstrate an understanding of sound-making and its cultural significance;
3 Appreciate the potential in sonic materials and work creatively with recorded environmental, processed and synthesised sound in the studio through the use of current
audio technologies;
4 Understand the methods needed to confront and explore unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires and creative practices.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Manage a project and carry it through to delivery;
2 Manage resources, including information sources;
3 Be open to alternative ideas and ways of thinking, demonstrate flexibility of thought;
4. Plan, implement, evaluate, and reflect critically on work in progress.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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