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You are here Postgraduate Structure > Semester 1

Semester 1 – 30 credits

1 Compulsory & 5 of 7 Option Subjects (6 * 5 ECTS = 30 ECTS)
  1. Psychoacoustics 1
  2. Electroacoustic Composition 1
  3. Contemporary Composition : Theory & Practice 1
  4. Synthesis & Sound Design
  5. Creative Coding
  6. Visual Music 1
  7. Audio Engineering
  8. Introduction to Max

Click title links of modules below for more information on each module description.

Psychoacoustics 1

Dermot Furlong

Psychoacoustics 1 is a one-semester course taken by all Music and Media Technologies (MMT) students. It addresses the details of auditory perception in relation to the experiences of loudness, pitch and timbre. The module is intended to develop an understanding of the relationship between physical parameters and the perceptual experiences that are related to them. This inevitably requires the development of an appreciation of physical, and physiological contributions to auditory experience. The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the experienced phenomena of auditory perception, particularly in relation to music and recorded sound.


Electroacoustic Composition 1

Enda Bates

This first electroacoustic composition module is intended to enable students to compose and produce their own original electronic compositions using software such as the DAW Reaper, Audio Editors like Adobe Audition, Portable Recorders, MIDI, and software synthesizers. Students are encouraged to explore innovative and experimental approaches to electronic music though the creation and presentation of original compositions of soundscapes and acousmatic music. Students will be introduced to different styles of electroacoustic music through a discussion/analysis of works by a wide variety of composers, and by listening to numerous landmark works over a multichannel loudspeaker system. Aesthetics such as acousmatic composition, soundscape composition, spectral music, electronica and glitch music are presented in conjunction with practical demonstrations and exercise work in related recording, MIDI and synthesis techniques. 


Contemporary Composition 1

Ann Cleare

This module is intended for those interested in gaining an understanding of the key developments and compositional techniques from significant figures in Twentieth Century Composition, working within the fields of electronic music as well as acoustic. This module seeks to encourage the exploration of music aesthetics, and to enable participants to come to a greater awareness of composition principles through analysis of works from a wide number of genres. Based on a familiarity with work, approaches and techniques covered in the module, this module is in preparation for the following semester - Contemporary Composition 2: Practice, where students are encouraged to develop their own approach and style in creating compositions incorporating the creative use of technology.


Synthesis & Sound Design

Dermot Furlong

The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to digital synthesis techniques. On successful completion of this module, students should be able to address: audio synthesis using the Csound programming language and synthesize musically interesting tones using various audio synthesis algorithms, together with their implementation details in Csound.


Creative Coding

Dermot Furlong

Creative Coding is a one-semester course taken by M.Phil. students. It covers introductory concepts for students without a programming background or those at the level of novice. The course is intended to enable students to develop programs in the Processing language - a streamlined version of Java originally designed to teach coding fundamentals within a visual context. The focus is on writing code for creative and/ or artistic applications; interactive sketches with graphics, animation and sound.


Visual Music

Maura McDonnell

The visual music module is an arts practice module that introduces students to the historical and contemporary practice of visual music expression in multimedia art works in which the combination of music with projected moving imagery is the main type of output sought. Students do not need prior knowledge of creating images. However, it is beneficial if the student is interested in extending their understanding and expression of music to include a visual component. The practical work that the students will create are based on working with the adobe creative suite of software. Students will be taught skills in using digital image and video editing and effects to create visual music art works. Students are encouraged to engage with the aesthetics of visual music expression and its historical evolution, and to engage in approaches to arts practice research as well as producing work and to develop their own artistic interests in this context.


Audio Engineering

Jimmy Eadie

This module aims to provide students with theoretical grounding and practical skills central to audio engineering practice. The student will be exposed to industry standard procedures and technology for the recording and reproduction of audio. On completion of this course the student will have the ability to competently manage a recording session.


Introduction to Max

Stephen Roddy

This module introduces the Max/MSP/Jitter graphical programming environment and equips students with a knowledge of MIDI programming, audio effects processing, sound synthesis, programming for algorithmic/generative music composition and performance, image processing and interface design. Students acquire a thorough familiarity with many canonical concepts and strategies in these use contexts and develop the ability to identify appropriate programming strategies, and to design and critique new solutions for particular projects in their own creative practice. The overall aim of the module is that students gain fluency in Max/MSP/Jitter and develop confidence and problem-solving skills that enable them to independently bring creative projects from concept to implementation.