Credits: 3

Schedule: 07.01.2019 - 24.01.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Derek Holzer

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

III 2018-2020

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The student learns to become more aware of sound and observe how it functions in both acoustic and media environments, and to draw conclusions and interpret information from what is heard.

The student learns the basics of audio recording and audio editing both in theory and practice.

The student gains basic experience in constructing a simple, electronic sound instrument.

The student has general understanding of sound design in various contexts, and has tools for analyzing them for quality and content when dealing with sound design.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Sound surrounds us. We never stop experiencing it, even when we sleep.

But because we live in a very visually-oriented culture, we rarely stop to think how sound affects us in physical, cultural, and psychological ways. Nor do we always have terminology to describe these affects properly, which can be especially troublesome to artists and designers when trying to incorporate sound into their work.

This course aims to cover sound from a number of perspectives, and introduce ideas from the worlds of Sound Design, Acoustic Ecology, and Sound Art to help students get a better of understanding of what sound is and how it functions. We will read, hear, view, and discuss materials from a number of sources such as academic texts, sound art documentation, music, environmental recordings, and film sound.

A number of activities, including sound walks, deep listening exercises, audio recording, sound composition, and Do It Yourself electronics building, will reinforce topics from the discussions.

The course will end with a presentation of the compositions and sound instruments the students have created.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students must participate in at least 80% of the lectures, as well as complete the course assignments within the given schedule.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

24 contact teaching hours
57 h individual + small group work

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Study material, e.g. complementary readings, will be given during the course.
Students will need access to a computer with a basic audio editing software application installed. Free softwares include Audacity, Ardour, Reaper (60 day trial), Adobe Audition (30 day trial), Wavosaur, or Wavepad.

Students will need to bring their own set of headphones.

Required text (PDF available): Augoyard, Jean-Francois & Torgue, Henri (ed.). Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds. McGill-Queen's University Press. 2006

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course is open to BA and MA students from all departments. However, to ensure a diversity of backgrounds, there will be a selection process from the registered students. Please send a short motivation letter before the registration deadline to saying briefly why you are interested in taking this course, and also confirming that you can commit to at least 80% of the lessons. You will be contacted once the selection has been made. Registrations without a motivation letter will not be considered.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

WebOodi, NOTE! Motivation letter

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Maximum amount of students: 15

UWAS course selection criteria: Registration order is not the primary selection criteria for this course. In order to ensure that students from different programs and schools of Aalto University may take UWAS courses, the selection is also based on the variety of students' disciplines. Master's students are also welcome.


Registration and further information