Sound Design and Audio-Based Composition - CMAT6180

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Aki Pasoulas checkmark-circle


The module explores advanced audio design techniques and critical listening skills demonstrated and applied in specific music contexts. Students will develop the ability to discern and analyse sound characteristics, record and sculpt sonic events to create original sound design, and produce advanced creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound processing and arranging techniques. Students will look into works of significant composers in the field, and will be taught through a series of interactive seminars, studying both the aesthetics and the technology of audio-based composition and sound design.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Assessment for Level 6 students:

Portfolio (100%): Audio Exercises (25%) and a 3-min Miniature Stereo Composition (60%) with 600 words written report (15%).
Level 6 students will be given separate coursework briefs which refer to more advanced compositional theories that the student is expected to engage with in their work.

Reassessment methods
Like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Cox, C. and D. Warner (2007). Audio Culture - Readings in Modern Music. Oxford: Bloomsbury.
Emmerson, S. and Landy L. (eds) (2016). Expanding the Horizon of Electroacoustic Music Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Landy, L. (2007). Understanding the Art of Sound Organisation. Cambridge.: MIT Press.
Moore A. (2016). Sonic Art. Oxon: Routledge.
Roads C. (2015). Composing Electronic Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smalley, D. (1997). 'Spectromorphology: explaining sound-shapes'. Organised Sound, Vol. 2, pp. 107-126.
Wishart, T. (1996). On Sonic Art. Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module Level 6 students will be able to:

1) recognise and demonstrate a critical awareness of key facts, and evaluate and comment on concepts, principles and theories relevant to contemporary music technology
and audio production;
2) demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of contemporary audio technologies and their associated uses;
3) produce advanced creative work that uses a wide range of tools, techniques and equipment, including specialist software.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module Level 6 students will be able to:

4) demonstrate a systematic understanding of theoretical and aesthetic systems of thought and to relate theory to practice;
5) synthesize and deploy accurately inputs (knowledge, materials, information) in order to generate outputs in written, aural and practical format;
6) manage time, resources and own learning effectively, plan and set priorities.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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