Spatial Sound Design, Composition and Performance - CMAT5190

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Aki Pasoulas checkmark-circle


Spatial sound is a powerful tool for immersion and is fast becoming a must-have knowledge for many different media and technologies including cinema, theatre, sound installations, exhibitions, live performance and game sound. This module will explore spatial sound, multi-loudspeaker and surround sound formats, including an outline of the developments of spatial sound music and the work of significant composers in this field. Students will study both the aesthetics and technology of multichannel music, including live diffusion techniques, large sound distribution systems and multichannel sound installations. Students will be led to produce creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound spatialisation techniques, which will culminate in a live performance with the Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST) system.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Assessment for Level 5 students:

This module will be assessed by the following methods:
1) Multi-channel Composition (5 min) (70%), plus 400-word written report (10%)
2) Live Performance (3 min) (10%) and Diffusion Score (10%)

Reassessment Methods

Coursework 100%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Blesser, B. and Salter, L.-R. (2007). Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Born, G. (ed.) (2013). Music, Sound and Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ewan S. and K. Lauke (2010). 'Music, Space and Theatre: Site-specific approaches to multichannel spatialisation'. Organised Sound, 15(3), 251-9.
Landy, L. (2012). Making Music with Sounds. NY: Routledge.
Roginska A., and Geluso P. (eds) (2018). Immersive Sound: The Art and Science of Binaural and Multi-Channel Audio. London: Focal Press.
Rumsey, F. (2013). Spatial Audio. Abingdon: Focal Press.
Smalley, D. (2007). 'Space-form and the Acousmatic Image'. Organised Sound, 12(1), 35–58.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

1) recognise and describe the characteristics of multichannel sound in electroacoustic, computer-based composition and sound installation;
2) demonstrate a practical understanding of sound spatialisation developments and be familiar with suitable methods working in a variety of multi-loudspeaker formats;
3) work creatively with sound and space utilising some of the latest specialist technology.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:
1) assimilate theoretical and aesthetic systems of thought and to relate theory to practice;
2) synthesize inputs (knowledge, materials, information) in order to generate outputs in written, aural and practical format;
3) manage time and resources effectively, plan and set priorities.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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