Course Title: Experimental Sound

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Experimental Sound

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Chris Henschke

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9829

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Prerequisites for this course within the program

  • Production Skills       
  • Spatial and Acoustic studies    
Other useful courses include   
  • Writing and Performance       
  • Design Studio 1       
  • Media, Technology, Culture and Society

Course Description

This course is designed to develop your critical appreciation of experimental sound design and develop an understanding of the language, history and limits of constructed sound. This will be through lectures, class discussions, critical listening, research, and a high level of practical engagement. You will examine key works in the history of sound recording, construction and manipulation, and the state of contemporary experimental sound. This course will also skill you in the application of the concepts through ’noise-industry-relevant’ digital audio editing software to record, manipulate and produce sound for use within and outside of a given framework. It also provides practical skills in the use of sound within a variety of other applications resulting in projects that may cover such areas as sound installation, interactive works, live performances (byo earplugs), audio visual works, and sound compositions.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Capabilities and Course Learning Outcomes

Develop and explore linear and non-linear spaces through spatial and aural mediums

  •     Identify different compositional structures
  •     Construct different compositional structures
  •     Experiment with linear and non-linear compositions through traditional and contemporary structures
Apply, manipulate and combine media
  •     Collect audio materials from various sources
  •     Prepare audio materials
  •     Experiment with traditional and contemporary audio, visual and constructive materials
Investigate problem identification and innovative creative solutions
  •     Respond creatively to project briefs
  •     Explore and experiment with multiple possible outcomes
  •     Research alternative spatial & aural solutions to problems

Develop an understanding of the languages and structures developed in historical and contemporary experimental sound design
Develop an understanding of the tools and techniques used in contemporary and historical experimental sound design
Further develop production methods in order to transcend methods so as to actively incorporate the concepts and processes discovered in this course

Overview of Learning Activities

Studio classes are delivered via a week-by-week series of lectures and tutorials progressively enabling you to assimilate the necessary technical and conceptual skills for completion of this course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Many of the resources you will be expected to use are computer-based or computer peripherals and these resources will be provided in the school’s computer laboratories.

You may need to use digital content acquisition tools such as cameras and sound recording equipment: these will be available for student-loan; you organize the loan of such equipment themselves from the school’s equipment store.

You should make uses of wider university resources such as its libraries, their print and audio-visual collections and, if appropriate, the University’s Learning Skills Unit.

Some course components may be presented in lecture theatres. You will be advised of the time and lecture theatre location of such presentations.

Overview of Assessment

Research project  / composition 50%
Demonstration of conceptual analysis and development 20%
Group activities 10 %
In-class noises %10
Documentation, notes, papers 10%