Sound Studies

Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
373SS credit 2 2 seminar hours (45 min) of instruction per week, 32 to 42 hours of self-study English winter

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)


Course overview:

The course complements the sound practice of students by providing a theoretical underpinning for their work. This introduction to Sound Studies, both historical and contemporary, provides a framework for student’s cinematic works, video-art, and sound art projects as well as examining the literature and theories related to contemporary music, composition and recorded sound in the late 20th and 21st centuries.


The class is divided into emphasis on each part contingent on the cohort of student’s collective interests.1. The soundtrack, including all aspects of the soundspace of the film, focussed on traditional feature length narrative and documentary works. 2. sound and video art works. 3. music and music/sound composition. There is overlap between all of these subjects in the theoretical literature. Texts, musics, films and moving image and sound artworks serve as points of departure for discussion and understanding of sound phenomena.

example texts:

The Theory of Sonic Awareness in the Greeting - Pauline Oliveros

Timbral praxis: when a tree falls in the forest is it music? - Paul Rudy

Adequate modes of listening - Ola Stockffelt

Uneasy listening - Elizabeth Leguin

Sonic Warfare Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear - Steve Goodman

The Work of Reproduction in the Mechanical Aging of an Art: Listening to Noise - Stan Link

Music, Motion, and Subjectivity in ways of listening - Eric F. Clarke

Locative Media as Sonic Interaction Design: Walking through Placed Sounds - Frauke Behrendt

example art works:

Janet Cardiff - various works

Susan Philipsz - various works

Ryan Trecartin - video works

Richard Mosse - The Enclave (2012)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan - various works

Robert Morris – box with the sound of its own making

Felix Blume - video works

Maggi Payne – video works

example musics:

Fausto Romitelli - Professor Bad Trip

Alvin Lucier – I am sitting in a Room

Dick Raaijmakers – Intona

Cathy van Eck – song no 3

Daphne Oram – optical scores

Eliane Radigue – feedback studies

Pierre Henry – variations pour une porte et un soupir

Michael J. Schumacher - various multichannel sound works

Learning outcomes

Students become aware of the uses of sound/music in various media. Students understand how sound is used to furnish meaning in cinema and in media artworks. Students begin to understand how sound is received. Students become aware of the wide literature and current thought in the burgeoning field of Sound Studies.

Prerequisites and other requirements



ATTALI, Jacques. Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Minneapolis, Minn: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 1985. 196 pages,. ISBN 978-0816612871

AUGOYARD, Jean Francois. & TORGUE, Henri. Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. 2006. 230 pages. ISBN 978-0773529427.

CAGE, John., Silence: Lectures and Writings 50th anniversary edition. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press. 2011. 312 pages. ISBN 978-0819571762.

DEMERS, Joanna, Listening through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. 216 pages. ISBN 9780195387667.

HEGARTY, Paul. Rumour and Radiation, Sound In Video Art. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. 216 pages. ISBN 9780415904575

SCHAFER, R.Murray., The Tuning of the World. New York: Random House Inc., 1977. 301 pages. ISBN 978-0394409665.

STERNE, Jonathan. The Audible Past, Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham, N.C: Duke Univ. Press, 2003. 472 pages. ISBN 978-0822330134.

Evaluation methods and criteria

Students will be evaluated according to their attendance – min. 70%, participation, commitment and final essay.



Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans