Music 4130/5130:  The History and Practice of Electronic Music
Fall 2012 / Sec. #12185 /#12186 Mark Phillips, Professor
Tues/Thurs 12:00–12:55 p.m. Office: rm. 475B Glidden Hall
Music Bldg. Rm. 475A

This course is designed to give an overview of the history of electronic music (including representative musical compositions), a solid background understanding of its technology and terminology, and “hands on” experience with the equipment and software available in the lab.  Important components of the class will deal with MIDI, digital audio, and digital synthesis.  While not a requirement, most students in the class will have some prior experience using computers to create electronic music.

Class Packets:    Music 4130/5130: The History and Practice of Electronic Music 
                             > available in “.pdf” format at the course website.

Texts:    Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music, Joel Chadabe, Prentice-Hall, 1997.
                > available in bookstores and on reserve in the library. (strongly suggested)

               Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music, Barry Schrader, Prentice-Hall, 1982. 
                > out-of-print but available on library reserve. I use it primarily for its discussion of historical recordings.
                Modern Recording Techniques, Robert E. Runstein, Howard W. Smith & Co., (various editions available)
                 > on reserve: Chapter 2 suggested reading on sound waves

In addition to attending Tuesday/Thursday lectures students will work outside of class on lab projects, as well as studying, listening, and reading (an average of c. 4 hours/week according OU guidelines).

Class grades will be determined solely by the totaling your scores the following:

Exam I (25%) + Exam II (25%) + Exam III (25%) + lab projects (25%)
    •    No make-up exams will be given without prior arrangements.
    •    Academic dishonesty will result in a class grade of "F"

________________________________________ Course Overview _________________________________________

     I.   Introduction — Early History & Musique Concrète
            August 28 — September 20.  Exam I on (or near) September 20.  (ca. 100 pts.)

            Readings:    Schrader:  pp. 1-15,   16-38,   39-58        Chadabe:  Chapters 2, 3, & 4
                                Runstein:  Chapter 2 — suggested

            Listening:    Exam 1 listening — mp3 files available on course website

            >Lab work: mini-project 1 — musique concrète–style composition/soundscape (ca. 30 pts)**

   II.   Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments
            September 25 — October 25.  Exam II on (or near) October 25.  (ca. 100 pts.)

            Readings:    Schrader:  pp. 61-69,   75-119,   122-159    Chadabe:  Chapters 1, 6

            Listening:    Exam 2 listening — mp3 files available on course website

            >Lab work: mini–project 2 — analog-style synthesis project  (ca. 30 pts.)**

  III.   Digital Audio, Digital Sampling, Computer Synthesis Techniques, Other Uses for MIDI
            October 30 — December 6.  Exam III —  During Final Exam Week (ca. 100 pts.)
                • Thursday, December 13, at 10:10 a.m. (University scheduled final exam time)
                • Lab Projects due by 5 PM, Friday, December 14 — but early submission is recommended (40 pts.)**

            Readings:    Chadabe:  Chapters 5, 7, 8 & 9

            Listening:   Exam 3 listening — mp3 files available on course website

            >Lab work:    final project — digital audio/synthesis**

    ** See course website or class packet for details on lab project.

Course Outline (tentative lecture & lab topics — both subject to change!)

Week 1      Course Intro; Early History of Electronic Music & Musique Concrète
                  Physical Properties & Human Perception of Sound as a Waveform Phenomenon
                  Intro to E-A_Primer software

Week 2       Basic Principles of Human Hearing & Perception of Sound
                    Some Basic Audio Recording Terms & Concepts
                    Organized Sound, the Art of Noise, and the Origins of Electronic Music Esthetics
                    **lab: intro to mini-project 1 (musique concrète–style using DP4, Pierre’s Playhouse, etc.)

Week 3      Early Musique Concrète “Classics”  (Exam 1 listening examples)
                  **lab: mini-project 1 (continuation)

Week 4      Exam 1 Review and Exam 1
                  **lab: mini-project 1 (completed)

Week 5      Earliest Electronic Music Instruments; Early Electronic Studio Tape Music
                  **lab: intro to mini-project 2 (analog-style synthesis using E-A_MusicPrimer, etc.)

Week 6      Pioneers of the Analog Synthesizer (Moog, Buchla, etc.); Basic Principles of Sound Synthesis
                  **lab: mini-project 2 (continuation)

Week 7      More on Electronic Sound Synthesis Techniques:  Subtractive & Additive Synthesis
                  **lab: mini-project 2 (analog-style synthesis using E-A_MusicPrimer, etc.)

Week 8      Early “Classics” of Electronic Tape Music, Analog Synthesizers, and the RCA Mark II (Exam 2 listening examples)
                  **lab: mini-project 2 (continuation.)

Week 9      Review for Exam 2 and Exam 2
                  **lab: mini-project 2 (completed)

Week 10    Intro to Digital Audio; Direct Digital Synthesis (Csound, SuperCollider)
                  Basics of Linear FM synthesis (Chowning)
                  **lab: final project [digital audio, digital synthesis (e.g. FM, granular synthesis)]

Week 11    Intro to MIDI: history & origins, technology standards, applications, MIDI controllers, etc.
                  **lab: final project (continutation)

Week 12    Granular synthesis (RTGS); Max/MSP/Jitter (PD?)
                  **lab: final project (continued)

Week 13    More on Max/MSP/Jitter
Week 14    Analysis and Re-synthesis (Symbolic Sound’s Kyma system)
                  **lab: final project (continuation)

Week 15    Early “Classics” of Direct Digital Synthesis, Computer Music, & recent live/electronic music
                  (Exam 3 listening examples)
                  Review for Final Written Exam
                  **lab: final project (continuation)

Week 16    Exam 3: Thursday, December 13, at 10:10 a.m. (University scheduled final exam period)
                  Final Project:  Due Friday, December 14 at 5:00 p.m. — but early submission is recommended!

                  ** See course packet for details on lab projects.

ACCOMODATION STATEMENT:  Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. If you are not yet registered as a student with a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 740-593-2620 or visit the office in 348 Baker University Center.