四虎影院

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The Musicology of Record Production - MUS00183H

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Liam Maloney
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Live music performances do not make up the majority of our listening. The most common way we engage with music is as a recording. Therefore, musicology as a matter of course should encompass recording, production and the studio process as a core part of its study. Yet, it is often left outside of the debate. Why do we make recordings and produce records in the way that we do? And what do recordings say about us? This module explores theoretical and critical perspectives that inform our production practice through a range of analytical listening perspectives. The module examines methods of analysing records in terms of their sonic structure and presentation, the impact recording history has had on music and how music has changed in response, and brings to bear many theoretical perspectives that inform the way we create and interpret music (e.g. Afro Futurism, technological determinism, historical research, unpleasant design, sonic fictions, transhumanism, conceptual collaborations etc.). The module also incorporates elements of critical theory, race, gender, queer theory, authenticity, EDI and ecological impact embedded within music production.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

  • To introduce the study of audio production and audio productions as musical activities and texts which have their intrinsic value and meaning as well as historical, cultural and technological contexts and impacts.

  • To develop analytical listening skills, and approaches to evaluation methodologies for identification and critique of audio recording and production styles.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you should:

  • be able to understand and communicate using both technological and musicological terminologies and concepts to assess production techniques, technologies and outcomes.

  • be able to develop their own analyses of existing audio productions that consider their wider context and impact beyond just the identification and description of production techniques and technologies i.e. social, artistic, political, and cultural resonances.

  • be able to link technique and technology to methodology and phenomenology in order to identify and describe production style within individuals, movements and cultures.

Third years: On completion of the module, in your independent work, you should demonstrate learning outcomes C7 and C12. /music/undergraduate/modules/learning-outcomes/

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark Group
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100 A
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100 B

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

A 4000 word essay (100%) on a topic agreed in consultation with the module tutor. This may be a study of an individual work, set of works, producer or group of producers, or of theories relating to the musicology of production.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark Group
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100 A
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 100 B

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

Indicative reading

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2014). The musicology of record production . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dockwray, Ruth and Moore, Allan, F. (2010). 'Configuring the Sound-box 1965-72’. Popular Music, 2010, 29 (2), pp. 181-197

Warner, T. (2003). Pop Music: Technology and Creativity : Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution. United Kingdom: Ashgate.

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2012). ‘The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s’, in Art of Record Production: an Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field, ed. Frith, S. and Zagorski-Thomas, S. United Kingdom: Ashgate.

Eshun, K. (2003). Further Considerations on Afrofuturism. CR: The New Centennial Review, 3(2), 287–302.

Williams, S. (2012). Tubby's dub style: The live art of record production. In The Art of Record Production: An Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field. (pp. 235-246). United Kingdom: Ashgate.

Schulze, H. (2020). Sonic Fiction. Bloomsbury Academic.

Albiez S, Dockwray R. (2016). Before and After Eno: Situating ‘The Recording Studio as Compositional Tool'. In: Albiez S, Albiez S, Pattie D, eds. Brian Eno : Oblique Music . Bloomsbury.

Maloney L, Schofield J. (2022). Records as records: excavating the DJ’s sonic archive. Archives and records. 43(3):244-266.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of 四虎影院.