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Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Integrative Arts (INART)

INART 055 (GA) History of Electroacoustic Music (3) A history of electroacoustic music as a consequence of developments in culture and technology from 1880 to present.

INART 055 History of Electroacoustic Music (3)
(GA)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course focuses on the interrelationship and parallel development of technology, art and music from the earliest electronic devices to the current ubiquitous computer audio workstation and electronics dance music.

Electronica is a multi-faceted genre that borrows from a number of past innovators. Its artists routinely acknowledge the influence, for example, of musique concrete, Karlheinz Stockhausen and the theremin, yet their audiences are often unaware of the roots of the music that occupies much of their recreational time and social energy.

Electroacoustic music developed hand in hand with innovations in communications technology, which in turn influenced the way music was conceived and created. Too often, these correlations are not discussed. Both electrical engineers and musicians use filters, without necessarily realizing that they are both using the same technology for different purposes. FM synthesis revolutionized commercial electronic instruments in the 1980s, yet few people realize that this was the same form of modulation that was the basis of much radio broadcast technology. Many innovators in electronic music started out as inventors or engineers. The creation of electroacoustic music is one of the most fertile cross-disciplinary fields of the twentieth (and now twenty-first) centuries. It has affected the production and reception of music indelibly, and is now a vital component of digital multi-media art, a leading trend of the new century.

The course asks students to be aware of vital technological developments in audio (the evolution from the Edison phonograph to the CD player), electronics (the evolution from the spark gap oscillator to the vacuum tube to the transistor to the microprocessor), cultural movements (from Impressionism and Romanticism to modernism to postmodernism), and to become sensitized to the chief innovators in the field (the differences in the music of Schaffer, Stockhausen, Carlos, Chowning, and others). They are made aware not only of names and terms, but also taught to recognize differences in the different sounds of different composers and styles.

The course has been offered two semesters as a 297 offering. It is designed so that it may eventually be offered completely online. The text is online, and the listening assignments are also posted at the PSU Digital Music Library.

Grading will be based on weekly quizzes that ask for definitions and short answers, four tests that require essays and identification of listening examples, and two papers focused on different compositions/composers.

 


General Education: GA
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Arts
Effective: Summer 2012

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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