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You are here Postgraduate Structure > Semester 1

Module Name: Psychoacoustics 1 (compulsory)
ECTS weighting: 5 Credits
Contact Hours: 22 x 1-hour lectures
78 hours of independent study
Module Coordinator: Professor Dermot Furlong

Rationale and Aims
Psychoacoustics is presented as two related one-semester modules taken by all Music and Media Technologies (MMT) students. Psychoacoustics 1 addresses the details of auditory perception in relation to the experiences of loudness, pitch and timbre. The module seeks 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 module is to provide students with an understanding of the experienced phenomena of auditory perception in relation to music.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Identify and discuss the conceptual challenges of auditory perception.
• Address physical, physiological, and psychological factors that contribute to auditory perception of sound and music.
• Discuss the relationship between physical auditory stimuli and perceptual response.

Module Content
Sound waves, vibration, decibels, loudness and its dependence on: amplitude, frequency, and simultaneous sound presentation. Loudness processors. Pitch perception for simple and complex tones. Pitch and frequency dependency. Consonance and Dissonance. Tuning. Timbre and spectral dependency. Classical and Modern theories of timbre. Ear response, masking and perceptual compression systems.

Recommended Reading List
Stephen Handel: Listening - an Introduction to the Perception of Auditory Events;
David Howard and James Angus: Acoustics and Psychoacoustics;
B.C.J. Moore: An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning
The teaching strategy is based on lecture presentations. The format of lectures is conventional, but with much use being made of in-class demonstration material and informal student-lecturer interaction and discussion.
Each lecture overheads and audio are made available on a local server, together with relevant notes to provide background information.

Assessment Component Details
End Semester exam 100%