Course description

This course explores some of the fundamental neurological underpinnings of artistic experience, and the broader ramifications such ideas may have for art. Through the examination of a wide range of genres, we explore the different musical tools employed, often to stimulate similar outcomes. Links across discipline, time and geography are used to challenge prevailing assumptions. These perspectives are then used to inform analysis of the students' own musical works, usually created within (but not exclusive to) the MIDI studio environment.

Objectives / learning outcomes / capability development

By the end of this course, students will:
  1. be able to successfully analyse compositional problems, choices and approaches across a wide range of styles
  2. successfully contextualise their own music, analysing its strengths and weaknesses, and become informed, astute and articulate when discussing basic compositional issues
  3. Consider and debate the value of biological/neurological and mathematical theories when studying the creation of, and the responses to artistic works
  4. Demonstrate the principles covered in class within their own arts practice

Overview of Learning Activities

Listening Program:
A series of listening examples will be analysed from a broad selection of musical styles including pop, industrial, ambience, lowercase, glitch, "classic" German electronica, noise, Plunderphonia, drill & bass, rock, postclassical, electronic neoclassical, Indonesian and Japanese classical, and metal. Relationships between these genres will be examined, the influence of developments in technology on the form will be analysed, and a variety of compositional approaches, potentially applicable to the students' own arts practice explored.

Overview of Learning Resources

Hardware and Software necessary for the course are provided in the Sound Design bays in the Sound lab (9.2.22), with each student allocated a minimum five hours a week access. Home recording, where viable, is also permissible through negotiation.
Wide listening is encouraged, with the campus audiovisual archives recommended as an adjunct to students' existing avenues.
Recommended texts are discussed in class, and students are expected to deepen their understanding and broaden their perspectives through access to material in the library, websites and discussion groups.
Students are able to make one-on-one consultation bookings on select mornings throughout the semesters to revise and seek further advice on the methods and processes covered in the technical Assessable tasks are chosen to hone both the students' technical skillset, as well as their compositional methodology. Projects are designed to allow the students opportunity to demonstrate many of the fundamental issues canvassed in class discussion, as well as to extend the fundamental parameters of their arts practice.
Assessment includes compositional exercises, class presentations, semester reviews and class participation.

Fine Art Project/Advanced Studio (2nd & 3rd years)
To further develop concepts and techniques explored in the Technology, Composition & Perception course area within specific projects devised in consultation with their lecturers & course advisers. Students have the opportunity to either cover a wide range of recording, compositional and/or programming skills, or focus on a single area. Areas include can include both electronic and non-electronic composition within or across any genre, live or studio practice, further research and written explorations of issues studied in workshops.

Course Coordinator details:
Darrin Verhagen
Ph: 61-(0)3 9925 3718

back to courses