MUSIC TECHNOLOGY and COMPUTERS
Music 51, Spring 2000
Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30-2:50pm
Tuesday, HIB, Room 335
Thursday, M&MB, Room 202
Professor Christopher Dobrian
211 Music and Media Building
Office hours by appointment, Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00-1:00pm.
Teaching Assistant: Piper Pack
A study of the influence of technology upon the musical culture and aesthetics of the United States in the 20th century, with particular emphasis on the role of the computer. This study necessarily involves many disciplines: music, physics and acoustics, cognitive science, computer science, electronic audio technology, and media criticism. This may include such topics as:
- What is sound? What is noise? What is music?
- Physical/mathematical definitions
- Traditional/cultural definitions
- Theoretical/philosophical definitions
- Representations of music: How do we describe music?
- Literary descriptions
- Recording methods
- Descriptive theories
- Generative theories
- Music epistemology
- What do we know as a fact about music? How can we prove it?
- What do we know about music only because we were taught it?
- Do we understand music "naturally"?
- Scientific method and musical thought
- Pythagoreas, Rameau, Helmholtz, Fourier, et al
- Instruments and technological progress
- Changes in instrumental technique and technology from one period to another
- The use and importance of amplification
- Effects of the Industrial Revolution
- Russolo and Futurism
- Antheil & Honegger
- Musique concrète, industrial, and noise music
- Compare the sonic environments of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries
- How are attitudes toward technology expressed in music?
- Mass media - mass communication
- Music as consumer commodity: the recording industry
- Music for the masses: radio and television
- Whose culture is it? Who owns it? Who produces it? Who consumes it?
- Do (all) musicians have freedom of expression?
- Do we live in a "global village"? Do we want to?
- Electronic music
- What attracted composers to electronic instruments?
- Does electronic music threaten performers?
- Music with computers
- Digital representation of audio and music
- Digital sound synthesis
- Digital signal processing
- Computer control of musical instruments and other devices
- Music by computers
- Systematic and automated music
- Artificial intelligence, heuristics, and models of human behavior
- Computer cognition of music
- Technology as a link between the arts
- What is "interactivity"? Can computers interact with others?
- Does "virtual reality" require "virtual music"? What is "hypermusic"?
- The future of music
Work will include lectures, readings, listenings, discussions, demonstrations, writing, and experimentation. Students can find a listing of upcoming assignments online.
- Participation in at least 90% of all class meeting time.
- Adequate preparation for class discussions and presentations: timely completion of reading, listening, and writing assignments.
- Attendance at two computer music events at UCI, and a one-page written discussion of the music presented in each concert.
- Four technical exercises in computer sound processing and synthesis, using the resources of the Music Media Center, Arts Lab, and/or other campus computing facilities.
- Midterm and final exams.
Grading for the course will be based on timely completion of all the course requirements. Since every requirement is considered a vital part of the educational experience of the course, serious and high quality work is expected at all times. Grading will be based in more or less equal proportion on the following activities:
- Active and informed participation in discussions held in class,
- Written summaries of reading and listening assignments,
- Concert and lecture series attendance and reviews,
- Technical assignments,
- Midterm exam (Tuesday, May 9)
- Final exam (Friday, June 16, 4:00-6:00pm).
Regarding Academic Integrity
Plagiarism of any kind is a violation of UCI policy on Academic Honesty, and penalties for plagiarism can be severe. In this class you will be expected to attribute due credit to the originator of any ideas, words, sounds, or work which you incorporate substantially into your own work. This applies particularly to citation of sources for quotes and ideas included in your writings and projects.
March 31, 2000