Creative Music Technology

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Creative Music Technology fuses the exploration and use of technology through creative approaches to audio, composition and wider digital media. You will extend your individual creative voice, your technical knowledge, and develop a range of skills required by the creative industries.


Here's a brief look at our students at work and play

This course aims to develop creative and technically skilled graduates for employment within the new media, composition, recording and performance creative industries.

Intended for enthusiastic and creative users of audio technologies, the programme explores the use of music/sound/intermedia, and promotes creative outcomes enabled through current technologies. These are studied within the context of their creative applications. We do not describe music in ‘traditional notation’ terms. Though many students will have high levels of instrumental skills and accompanying theory, others will view software and hardware as their ‘instrument’.

You will be encouraged to question assumptions, work across media and formulate independent judgement in an environment that supports and values personal creative development.

Why study Creative Music Technology?

Music Technology has developed to become a powerful and widely available tool for a range of commercial, social and recreational users. Our programme is clearly focused on the creative application of technology within professional music, sound, broadcast and multimedia contexts. You will share a commitment to exploring and harnessing personal creative outcomes and enthusiasm for developing innovative approaches to your work. Our staff have wide ranging expertise and knowledge and their personal practice is embedded in their teaching.

You can see Programme Leader Nick Sargent talking about Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University here

Course structure

In the first two years, the modules are compulsory and create a shared content from which to navigate the final year. Year 3 offers several pathways from which you may select a specialised route, and you will be supported in managing a larger scale project of your choice.

 

Across a three-year trajectory, you will acquire a rich understanding of both music technology and interdisciplinary multimedia.

 

Year 1/Level 4 introduces, explores and measures ideas and skills considered fundamental to the programme. It is intended that each student develops the ability to articulate their own creative output and is able to recognise its relationships to the work of others. You will develop the specialist vocabulary and core tool set workstation-based skills in Synthesis and Sampling using a range of software. The Digital Audio Recording module ensures that the principles of recording and managing digital audio are clearly understood and underpin your creative work. You will explore intrinsic relationships of music and sound to picture in Introduction to Sound Design. Critical Theory will involve you in a wide range of critical analysis of relevant 20th and 21st Century music and art, and help you establish the language and conceptual frameworks to better describe creative work and its meaning - and ultimately shed light on your own individual process. Discussion and seminars furnish you with research, writing and presentation skills designed to support your submissions in this area and across all modules. Creative Practice uses your own work as a starting point and seeks to support its development and quality through managed thematic content and peer listening and review. Sound Design for Moving Image explores hidden languages across media and aesthetics in a practical module in which you work to sound solutions to given image materials.

 

In Year 2 (Level 5) increasingly you will be encouraged to consolidate wide-ranging technical and theoretical knowledge. Your creative work will be informed by exploration that is increasingly self-directed. Digital Audio and Multimedia modules build on fundamental knowledge encouraging a deeper level of inquiry that will further inform the creative management of digital audio and give you the opportunity to engage creatively with tools for visual as well as sonic media in the development of an interactive CD-ROM. Digital Signal Processing introduces concepts, techniques and applications by which we understand established and personal approaches to audio. Sonic Art: Theory and Practice offers a framework in which to broaden and contextualise creative and compositional strategies and focuses on the way in which technology has influenced, and become a tool for, composition in recent history. Professional Development provides views of the vocational opportunities that may be available, and guidance towards approaching them effectively.

 

Year 3/Level 6 is advanced level work and offers students the opportunity to engage in study and creative work that may explore the most recent technologies and ideas - many towards the edge of our discipline. At level 6, you are increasingly expected to direct your own studies, and to make intelligent choices reflecting your interests and strengths. The Professional Portfolio double modules allow students to elect to pathway options. These allow for a wide range of activities and outcomes - and at this level there is more explicit reference to preparedness for 'next destination' - graduation.

Audio Software Development aims to equip you both with the conceptual and practical foundations of C, and an insight into the programming methods and techniques which are necessary to develop audio software applications. Demand for people skilled with some degree of computer programming expertise is always growing. Even more in demand are specialist programming skills. Multimedia Studio will furnish you with the skills you need to create and publish high quality audio and visual media on the Web and other formats. Interactive Multimedia in Performance engages with the use of technology, image and sound in the context of user and audience interaction. Sonic Performance offers students the opportunity to explore and develop collaborative ensemble performance and creative work in a range of territories extending beyond recorded audio. Production Techniques will engage with high level studio and recording techniques, Audio Post for Moving Image places you in the role of dubbing mixers, creative director, foley artists or sound designer in a professional studio environment. Composer Project promotes in depth study and analysis of selected areas of the music technology repertoire and discussion of creative principles and compositional strategy at a personal and case study level. Composition for Broadcast Media develops a clear creative and pragmatic approach to delivering sound to 'media' briefs. If you wish to develop higher level knowledge of specialist audio/sound design/composition expertise within computer/video games you will select Game Audio as an option.

Devised Project is a compulsory module representing, for some students, the culmination of the creative strand of the programme. You are invited to research, devise and create to make a substantial piece of work in an area of your own choosing, across the whole teaching year.

Modules

The course needs to be seen across its three year trajectory. First and second year modules are intended to offer a firm basis from which to explore and develop the much more individualised and wider choices of the third year pathways. 

Year 1:

  • 20 credit modules:
    •  Creative Practice
    •  Sound Design for Moving Image
    •  Synthesis and Sampling
    •  Critical Theory
  • 40 credit module:
    • Digital Audio Recording

 

Year 2:

  • 20 credit modules:
    • Professional Development
    • Digital Signal Processing
    • Digital Audio Techniques
    • Multimedia Production
  • 40 credit module:
    • Sonic Art: Theory and Practice

Year 3:

  • Devised Project: Proposal, Context, Project - Compulsory
  • Professional Portfolio A - Compulsory
  • 2 of:
    • Interactive Multimedia Performance
    • Multimedia Studio
    • Composition for Broadcast Media
    • Production Techniques
  • Professional Portfolio B - Compulsory
  • 2 of:
    • Audio Software Programming
    • Game Audio
    • Composer Project
    • Sonic Performance
    • Audio Post for Moving Image
     
    Game Audio Pathway Symposium - Feb 2012

Course assessment

You will most often be assessed through a personal portfolio of themed work. This accounts for perhaps 75% of the assessment balance. Sometimes practical work is supported by written evaluation and in year 1 there are multiple choice style examinations in subject foundation knowledge. You will have the opportunity to discuss particular assessment style preferences with your tutors.

You’ll no doubt be obsessively interested in music technology. You’ll work and learn with students who are equally committed, and be taught by staff with very high levels of professional practice and expertise. You’ll have access to superb equipment and facilities, and you’ll be part of a larger vibrant community of students and staff collaborating across subject boundaries.

Teaching methods

In all three years, the programme delivery combines lectures, music lab workshops, seminars and directed study. The majority of staff/student contact is workshop-based, within which each student has individual access to his/her own workstation. The timetable allows for access to the equipment required for students to complete coursework and undertake directed and private study. Our facilities are specified and maintained to a high standard. At Newton Park, the School of Music and Performing Arts runs three labs offering 50+ Macintosh based workstations. There is a full range of hardware and software to support the curriculum content including ProTools, Logic Audio Pro, LIVE, MAX/MSP, GRM Tools, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Jitter and a full range of multimedia authoring packages.

We have three fully equipped ProTools HD recording studios for those projects that may require them.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please email enquiries@bathspa.ac.uk.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

280-320 UCAS Tariff points including A-level Music Technology at minimum grade B or equivalent award in Music Technology or a closely related subject.

Career opportunities

In the DLHE survey (2012) Creative Music Graduates from Bath Spa University were measured as having attained 97% graduate employment at a point six months after their graduation. We aim to develop creative and technically skilled graduates for employment within the composition, recording, entertainment and new media industries. We don’t consider ourselves a programme of ‘training’, but we encourage students to be clearly focused on developing a wide range of employability skills. Employment possibilities include

  • Production 
  • Performance
  • Composition 
  • Recording 
  • Software development
  • Game audio 
  • Mobile and web technologies 
  • Specialist publishing 
  • Education 
  • Retail

it’s a long and ever changing range of opportunities relevant to a mobile employment landscape in which self-employment and entrepreneurship are likely to feature strongly. Your second year of study includes a Professional Development module, the focus of which is investigation of, and insight to, employment opportunities in the related creative industries.

Since 2010, employers such as Apple Macintosh, Under the Bridge Studios, !K7 Records and Mirim Sound Production have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also moved into roles including Sound Designer, Audio Engineer, Musical Director, Art Designer for Festivals and Studio Engineer.

What students say...

Here are some of the ways in which our recent graduates reflect on their experience on this course:

"You were (and continue to be) a great inspiration to me. I was always hugely impressed by the quality of your lectures and workshops, as well as your dedication to supporting your students' work. As a lecturer myself I often think back to your teaching methods as an example of good practice. I am very grateful for the skills that you taught me... These skills have been invaluable to me." Email S.P 2011

 

"I moved out to Vancouver Island after the course and things have been going great. I have been working as the head of video production with a company in Victoria called MediaOne Multimedia. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. And thank you too. It was your course at Bath Spa that got me into video and helped me find something new that I really enjoyed... and changed my whole outlook on life really. Being able to help people and document important things using video is something I hope to do and develop for the next 20 years or more." Email MM 2012

 

[Re new job] "It's been going so well I thought I'd give you an update and say thanks again. I've gone from finding my feet... to becoming the lead editor of the company's action shoots which has been a fantastic role despite the workload and short deadlines! I'm now in the planning process of a film of my own documenting a week long road trip to a remote part of British Columbia." Email S.R. 2012

A Student overview of the course can be viewed here 

 

Examples of Student Work


Online Digital Audio Language
 
 
3rd Year Weekend Fest

Behaviour Ensemble
 
 
Music Technology