Syllabus

Electronic Music

Instructor
Dr. Mark Snyder
msnyder3@ju.edu
Fine Arts 207
(904) 256-7665
Office Hours M 2:30-4:00 PM, TR 2:30-4:30 PM, and by appointment.

Readings

Schrader, Barry (1982). Introduction to Electroacoustic Music. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 

   (This is out of print but the pdf lives on Blackboard)


Additional Materials

  • High Quality Headphones
  • Memory Stick or Hard Drive for storing projects

Course Goals

Students taking this course will:

  • Explore the history of electronic music.
  • Create compositions using techniques that span the history of electronic music.
  • Learn about composers, instruments, trends & techniques in electronic music

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the different types of synthesis.
  • Recognize Compositional styles of important periods and composers.
  • Record and edit digital audio for creative purposes.

Class Participation & Attendance

Education is partially experiential and therefore class attendance is critical. This course is lecture/discussion, listening, applied techniques and a great deal of project based learning.

Absences and Excuses

Each student is directly responsible for absences and for making up missed work.

Assignment Descriptions

Homework

In addition to the readings and lab work, there are 10 graded homework assignments for Electronic Music. These consist of drafts that demonstrate your progress on the project. You will post these on http://electronicmusic.marksnyder.org each week and your posts will include evidence and integration of course readings. You will also be required to comment on each others drafts and projects.

Projects

There are 3 Projects that will demonstrate what you have learned about the techniques and aesthetics of electronic music. These will be completed and uploaded to the blog for grading and then published for class critique. 

Concerts

In addition to having your first project programmed at this year’s Electroacoustic Barn Dance, you will be required to produce a concerts this semester as a class. The times will be agreed upon in class by the students and will be held in Terry Concert Hall or the Black Box Theater. This is an experiential component and their is no grade per se since some of you may not be able to make it due to class or work conflicts. All students are expected to create a bio, program notes and help with making the programs, posters and publicity.

Tests

There are 3 tests that cover class lectures, techniques and the readings.

Critiques

Students are expected to participate in the critiques of the projects that occur when these projects are played in class. Failure to do so will lower the grade of your project. Critiques are designed to offer insights, suggestions for improvement, support to encourage you to improve your work. 

 In addition to the above requirements, participation will be measured against the following criteria:

    1. Contribute original thoughts or ideas to the critiques.
    2. Give relevant reasons to validate points.
    3. Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
    4. Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
    5. Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.

Assessments 

The Projects will be graded by timeliness and the fulfillment of the requirements as well, but grades of A and B will be reserved for students going above and beyond the requirements and overall quality. Blog post and comments will be graded on completion, details provided about the work and how it was influenced by the reading and when they are turned in.

Expectations

Students will be expected to spend an average of 6 hours per week in the lab working with the software and creating music. All work will be completed and turned in on time. Readings need to be completed before that week of class, not during.

Schedule

January 9 & 11: Introduction to the course

This Unit will introduce you to what we will be doing in the course and we will go on our first sound walk.

 Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 1-15

January 16 & 18: Early History & Musique Concrète

The Great Opening up of Music to All Sounds

Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 16-38

    Start working on Mini-Project I

    Start listening to the musical examples for Exam I

    Blog post with your sounds/critiques

January 23 & 25: Early History & Musique Concrète (continued)

Expansion of the Tape Music Idea

Physical Properties & Human Perception of Sound as a Waveform Phenomenon

Assignments:

    Read Huber Chapter 2

    Continue working on Mini-Project I

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam I

    Project I Draft/Critiques blog post

January 30 and February 1: Early History & Musique Concrète (continued)

Out of the Studios

Organized Sound, the Art of Noise, and the Origins of Electronic Music Esthetics

Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 39-58

    Continue working on Mini-Project I

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam I

    Project I Draft 2/Critiques blog post

February 6 & 8: Early History & Musique Concrète Review

Section Review and Test

Assignments:

    Review and Prepare for the Exam

    Project I is due and will be performed at the Electroacoustic Barn Dance

February 13 & 15: Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments

Early Electronic Music Instruments & Early Electronic Studio Tape Music

Assignments:

    Start working on Mini-Project II

    Start listening to the musical examples for Exam II

    Blog post Festival Review

February 20 & 22: Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments (continued)

Pioneers of Analog Synthesis (Moog, Buchla, etc.); Basic Principles of Sound Synthesis

Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 61-69

    Continue working on Mini-Project II

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam II

    Project II Draft/Critiques blog post

February 27 & March 1: Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments (continued)

Subtractive & Additive Synthesis

Early “Classics” of Electronic Tape Music, Analog Synthesizers, and the RCA Mark II

Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 75-119

    Continue working on Mini-Project II

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam II

    Project II Draft 2/Critiques blog post

March 6 & 8: Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments (continued)

More on Electronic Sound Synthesis Techniques

Assignments:

    Read Schrader: pp. 122-159

    Continue working on Mini-Project II

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam II

    Project II Draft 3/Critiques blog post

March 20 & 22: Basic Principles of Electronic Sound Synthesis/Early Electronic Instruments Review

Section Review and Test

Assignments:

    Review and Prepare for the Exam

    Project II is due

March 27 & 29: Digital Audio, Digital Sampling, Computer Synthesis Techniques, Other Uses for MIDI

Intro to Digital Audio / Direct Digital Synthesis

Assignments:

    Start working on Mini-Project III

    Start listening to the musical examples for Exam III

April 3 & 5: Digital Audio, Digital Sampling, Computer Synthesis Techniques, Other Uses for MIDI (continued)

Csound, SuperCollider and Basic FM synthesis

Assignments:

    Continue working on Mini-Project III

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam III

    Blog: Festival Review

April 10 & 12: Digital Audio, Digital Sampling, Computer Synthesis Techniques, Other Uses for MIDI (continued)

More Basic FM synthesis, Intro to MIDI: history & origins, technology standards, applications, MIDI controllers

Assignments:

    Continue working on Mini-Project III

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam III

    Final Project Draft/Critique blog post

April 17 & 19: Digital Audio, Digital Sampling, Computer Synthesis Techniques, Other Uses for MIDI (continued)

More Digital Audio (granular synthesis, analysis, and re-synthesis, etc.)

Early “Classics” of Direct Digital Synthesis, Computer Music, & recent live/electronic music

Assignments:

    Section Review

    Continue working on Mini-Project III

    Continue listening to the musical examples for Exam III

    Final Project Draft 2/Critique blog post

April 24: Final Exam & Project

Grading

Homework/Critiques/Drafts 20%
Projects 20%
Exam I 20%
Exam II 20%
Final Exam 20%

Academic Honesty
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online  JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.

Student Support Services 
Students at JU are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Refer to the information on academic integrity and misconduct found in the online 2015-16 JU catalog, p.101. Academic dishonesty will be handled appropriately by the instructor.