Course Title: Sound Cultures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sound Cultures

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr.Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2412

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

HUSO 2186 Art History and Theory 1OR HUSO 2213 Art History and Theory 2  OR Equivalent

Course Description

This course offers a study of sound culture and practice, and introduces ways of distinguishing between types of sound, noise & music through an analysis of concepts and practices that have informed and shaped the history of sound art and experimental music. This course will provide an introduction to a broad spectrum of sonic experimentation and research. The course locates these in relation to broader social, cultural and historical contexts, including their connection to other forms of art practice and relationship to philosophies and theories of sound.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:
• engage in autonomous and continued learning, apply new theories of practice and embrace new developments in cultural/artistic production
• develop a critically reflective arts practice, in order to continually develop, change and plan for a future that is both informed and improved by arts practice
• form, develop and implement a vision and philosophy of art as a profession, contributing to the positive development of culture in both local and international contexts

At the completion of the course you will be able to:
• Identify and distinguish between types of sound, noise & music through an analysis of concepts and practices that have informed and shaped the history of sound culture.
• Discuss and critically analyse a broad spectrum of sonic experimentation and research
• Locate and discuss sound culture in relation to broader social, cultural and historical contexts.
• Engage in independent research and appropriately cite your writing and presentations.
• Use terminology appropriate to the culture of sound.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will engage in a range of learning activities such as listening examples, lectures, reading and discussion of texts, critical and analytical thinking, group discussions and/or on-line forums, research and essay-writing. Key themes and concepts, including noise, silence, environment, minimalism, atonality, appropriation, improvisation, soundscape, musique concrète, electronic music and sound art, will be drawn upon during this course to analyse and discuss approaches to composition, exhibition and performance.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT University will provide you with a range of resources and tools to engage in this course. RMIT University’s online systems will also support your learning and you will have access to a wide range of online and hardcopy resources through RMIT University Library.

Supplementary notes, readings, sound examples and lists of works, guides about essay writing and referencing will be posted on Blackboard. A course bibliography will be distributed with a list of recommended readings.

Where relevant, students may be required to present copies of audio material with assessments.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the learning outcomes in this course and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include a range of written, oral and online presentations.
Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and staff members are available for individual consultation.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
An assessment charter ( ) summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc .