Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module MUSI51930: The Development of Music Technology

Department: Music

MUSI51930: The Development of Music Technology

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to the primary technical and musical developments in electroacoustic music from its birth to the present day.


  • The study of the technical and musical antecedents cira 1900 to 1945.
  • The development of analogue technology and associated repertory for both concrete and electronically synthesised music circa 1945 to 1960.
  • New horizons in studio design; the birth and development of live electronic music and its relationship to parallel developments in traditional studio-based composition.
  • The introduction of commercial technology during the 1960s; its functional characteristics and music significance.
  • The early development of computer music, circa 1955 to 1970.
  • The introuction of micro-processor-based technology during the 1970s and its subsequent impact on the design and use of digital synthesis systems, commercial and institutional.
  • The development of digital signal processing hardware and associate software and its growing significance for contemporary composers of electronic music.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:

        Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

        Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

        Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
        Preparation and Reading
        Total 300

        Summative Assessment

        Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
        Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
        Essay 1 2500 words 50%
        Essay2 2500 words 50%

        Formative Assessment:

        Weekly reading and listening assignments.

        Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University