MUSONIC 3310 - Computer Music Composition 3
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020
General Course Information
Course Code MUSONIC 3310 Course Computer Music Composition 3 Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 4 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites MUSONIC 1000 Course Description This course examines of the link between human-computer interaction and the creative and technical practice of sound and music making. This course will develop a theoretical and practical understanding of computer music composition. Focus is placed on acquiring programming skills for implementation of compositional algorithms. Students will engage with a number of topics, including conceptual frameworks, contemporary practices and practitioners; complete readings and listening; and perform practical exercises that promote investigative learning and research. The course has the following learning objectives: facilitate new understandings and exploratory approaches in sonic arts practice; extend knowledge and develop new artistic and technical skills in human computer interaction and sound and music; and promote a learning process and reflexive skill set with regard to future practice, thus enabling students to adapt to the ever expanding and rapidly changing area of sonic arts and related areas of computer music.
Course Coordinator: Mr Christian Haines
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
- to develop an awareness of the historical context in which computer-assisted composition evolved and its development to the present day.
- to allow students to explore creative methods using computers, leading to the creation of software andthe composition of musical works.
- to develop an understanding of the underlying principles of computing and music viewed as formal systems.
- to develop an understanding of the various ways in which computers can assist in the process of musicalcomposition.
- to enhance problem solving skills in the field of computer composition.
- to allow students to explore creative methods using computers, leading to the composition of musical works.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,2 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2,3,4,5 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3,4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
6 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
6 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
- USB Stick or portable hard drive with enough capacity to store files associated with the course and formatted as Apple OSX HFS+.
- Stereo headphones with a 6.5mm male adaptor.
- Note – students must bring both their USB storage and Headphones (with adaptor) to university, as they are required for various classes and for using laboratories and studios.
This course may require using spaces where a dB meter has been installed. If you exceed the set dB limit for the space, the lights will flash. Students found exceeding these levels will have their booking privileges revoked for two weeks, and repeat offenders may have their booking privileges revoked for the remainder of the academic year.
In order to minimise risk in noise-prone situations, the Conservatorium makes both reusable gel ear-plugs and disposable foam ear-plugs available to students and staff free of charge at all times. Students and staff are also urged to consider purchase of customised personal hearing protection.
For more information regarding sound levels, hearing and hearing loss please refer both to the full content of the O'Brien Report and to the excellent publication by Canadian audiologist/academic Marshall Chasin, entitled Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians both available here: http://music.adelaide.edu.au/hsw/documents/
Collins, Nick. Introduction to Computer Music. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA21127003320001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Elsea, Peter author. The Art and Technique of Electroacoustic Music. A-R Editions, Inc., 2013. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA51160812510001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Essl, Karlheinz. Algorithmic Composition. Cambridge University Press, 2007. doi:10.1017/CCOL9780521868617.008. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_cambridge_s9781139001762_xml_CBO9781139001762A013&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Manning, Peter. Electronic and Computer Music. New York: New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746392.001.0001. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_pq_ebook_centralEBC279803&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Miranda, Eduardo Reck editor, and John Al editor Biles. Evolutionary Computer Music. Springer London, 2007. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA51145939090001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Miranda, Eduardo Reck editor, and Eduardo Reck editor Mirando. A-Life for Music : Music and Computer Models of Living Systems. A-R Editions, 2011. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA51160811030001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Nierhaus, Gerhard editor. Patterns of Intuition Musical Creativity in the Light of Algorithmic Composition. Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 2015. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA51165782100001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Pareyon, Gabriel, Silvia Pina-Romero, Octavio A. Agustín-Aquino, and Emilio Lluis-Puebla. The Musical-Mathematical Mind : Patterns and Transformations. Cham: Cham: Springer, 2017. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47337-6. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_pq_ebook_centralEBC5110777&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Roads, Curtis. The Computer Music Tutorial. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA21135454450001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
———. Microsound. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA21135474220001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
———. Composing Electronic Music a New Aesthetic. Oxford University Press, 2015. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA51218625730001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Rowe, Robert. Machine Musicianship. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA21103654120001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Taube, Heinrich. Notes from the Metalevel : An Introduction to Computer Composition. London: London: Routledge, 2004. doi:10.4324/9781315078182. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_pq_ebook_centralEBC1501473&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.
Wilson, Scott Nov, Nick Collins, and David Cottle. The Supercollider Book. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011. https://adelaide.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ALMA21114403960001811&context=U&vid=SUA_NEW&lang=en_US&search_scope=Everything.Websites
- SuperCollider. 2019. 18 July 2019. <https://supercollider.github.io/>.
Students can listen to musical works through the library's Naxos subscription (see library catalogue, search using Naxos as the title and limit search to ‘electronic resources’. You will be prompted to enter your uni ID number and password to access the Naxos catalogue). There is a wealth of material available for listening (but not downloading). The link to the Naxos catalogue is as follows:
The Music Collection is located in the Barr Smith Library (Level 1 South) and is an excellent source for music, literature and recordings: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/collections/music-collection
Bibliography and references are to be cited according to the Music Referencing Guide: http://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/music_referencing
MyUni is a crucial part of this course and will provide students with access to assessment and learning materials, such as quizzes, discussion boards, slide presentations, readings, links, sound and video. Materials will be provided on a topic-by-topic basis over the semester: http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
The course structure and content is delivered through a range of classes and materials. The classes in this course consist of lectures and workshops.
- Lectures will deliver a specific topic each week. The topic will consist of ideas and concepts; technologies; and practitioners in the field. Students must view the lecture prior to the attending the workshop.
- Workshops will explore a wide range of practical aspects of the course and its associated topics and concepts.
- Students will be set regular practical tasks as part of their portfolio assessment and maybe required to present their work during the workshop.
- Although workshops will from time to time contain presentations from the instructor, the workshop will largely be an opportunity for students to obtain assistance with their practical and creative development and practice. Students need to actively and on a week-by-week basis maintain their practical and creative development, using the workshop to raise issues and solve problems.
- Finally, the workshops provide a forum by which students can begin to explore their own ideas and practice using lecture materials as inspiration and points of departure.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
This course consists of up to 32 hours of online or direct contact or structured non-contact where students will play an active role in the practice, refinement, consolidation and extension of their knowledge and understanding. This includes lectures: 1 hour per week over 12 weeks & workshops: 2 hours per week over 10 weeks. In addition students will spend a minimum of 124 non-contact hours over the duration of the course on self-initiated learning and research, reading, writing, practice and assessment in order to pass the course, making the minimum workload 156 hours.
Learning Activities Summary
- Machine Music
- The history of programmable machines (Jacquard looms, automata etc);Babbages Difference and Analytical Engines;Turing machines; universal computers; the limits of computation; indeterminacyand incompleteness; the Turing test applied to music.
- Music and mathematics; music, mathematics, geometry and logic as formalsystems or abstractsystems of thought; logical operations; weird computers; symmetry and form;group theory; pitch and temporal symmetry; the symmetry of scales.
- Probability and random processes: randomness and pseudo-randomness;probabilitydistributions; conditional probabilities; John Cage and I Ching computation.
- Simple algorithmic procedures applied to composition; deterministic andprobabilisticalgorithms.
- The physical and psycho-acoustic foundations of tuning; frequency vs. pitch;pitch as adimension of timbre; quantum indeterminacy and the limits of tuning; theimplementation of tuning systems in synthesizers and comput
- Composition as process: rule-governed composition from ancient models to themodern era.
- The early history of computer music composition. Early programminglanguages: MUSIGOL,MUSIC IV, MUSIC V; Lejaren Hiller: Illiac Suite. James Tenney: Stochastic Quartet. Charles Dodge: EarthsMagnetic Field. Xenakis: SMP (Stochastic Music Program.)
- Markov models in computer music.
- Generative grammar in computer music.
- Artificial neural networks and artificial intelligence in computer music.
- Knowledge of the historical context of computer music
- Ability to analyse formal systems and apply them to music
- Ability to apply algorithmic methods to musical composition
- Ability to write programs to realise compositions with algorithmic structures
- Ability to solve problems in programming and implementation
- Ability to distinguish between technical and aesthetic aims, and to be able to articulate both aspects of a project
Specific Course RequirementsEMU Facilities Access Provisions
This course will involve using the resources of the Electronic Music Unit (EMU). This includes facilities such as studios, recording spaces and digital audio workstations.
In order for students to complete the course they must gain ongoing and permanent access to EMU. Access and use of EMU is based upon completing the EMU Access Test. More information can be found here: https://music.adelaide.edu.au/emu/intranet/emu_guide/ (university login required).Other Expectations
Except where otherwise indicated by the lecturer or workshop instructor – mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, recording devices and other similar technology must be switched off before lessons or classes begin, and kept off for the duration .
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Name Description Due %
Type Portfolio Creative Programming Exercises are progressive exercises developing skills in specific programming techniques which will be completed weekly throughout the semester. Ongoing 30 4,5 Summative Creative Project The major project will be a composition implementing ideas presented during this course. It should be realised using the SuperCollider programming language. The composition must demonstrate a clear understanding of major concepts, and include both the use of algorithmic composition procedures, and the use of a tuning system other than equal temperament. Week 14 35 1,2,4,5 Summative Research Paper The research project will be an essay on a topic relevant to this course. The project may be related to a composer, an approach to computer-assisted composition, a specific example of computer music, or to a philosophical topic related to computer music. It is expected that this research will also inform the major project composition. Week 15 35 1, 3, 4 Summative
Specific information regarding due dates is provided on myUni.
Classes will contain embedded formative assessment tasks that may include student presentations, discussions, practical exercises, demonstrations and out-of-class work that will enable students to engage with the practical and theoretical concepts presented in order to complete their summative assessments.
Assessment Related Requirements
All students must complete the requirements under “SPECIFIC COURSE REQUIREMENTS ‘EMU Facilities Access Provisions’”. Students who fail complete these items have failed the course.
All students must complete and submit all assessments. If a student fails to complete and submit all assessments by the due date and fails to produce the appropriate medical or compassionate certificates, the student may be deemed to have failed that course, irrespective of assignments previously completed. Further, the student will be deemed ineligible for supplementary assessments. Students should consult their respective lecturer, tutor or demonstrator for further information.
Attendance Expectation & Penalty
Students are expected to attend all classes. If a student fails to attend at least 70% of tutorials or workshops in a course the student is deemed to have failed that course, irrespective of assignments previously completed. In the instances where a student has a reason for being absent they should contact the course coordinator within 7 days. Students who arrive 10 minutes or later after the start of a class will be marked as absent.
Assessment DetailRefer to “ASSESSMENT SUMMARY”
SubmissionAssessments and Exams
Students must be available during the identified University teaching, academic and examination periods. Students are not entitled to sit an examination or submit an assessment at another time, nor are they entitled to any other concessions if an examination or assessment conflicts with a planned vacation or special event. Results from assessments and examinations are usually sent to students via email and/or myUni.Late Submission
Assignments where late submissions are permitted and that are submitted after the due date and time will incur a 2% penalty (from the assignment total of 100%) per day (24 hour period) for a maximum of 7 days (including weekends and public holidays ).Example:
- an assignment that is 3 days late: raw score of 80% - 6 marks lateness deduction = 74% final mark.
- typically this does not apply to assessments where the assessment is conducted at a fixed time and location, such as an exam, workshop, practical test, performance or presentation – please refer to the individual assessments for further information.
- for work with a formal extension, these penalties will apply from the extended due date.
There will be a cut-off date for each assignment 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) after the original due date unless otherwise stipulated on MyUni. Work will not be accepted after the cut-off date, and a mark of zero will automatically be awarded for the assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
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