What is the course about?
Exploring the history, context and practice of the mid 20th-century electronic music studio and the wider discipline of musique concrète. You will explore the techniques in a practical way using software emulations and pre recorded tape loops to create your own musique concrète pieces.
Please note that City Lit also offers a related music history course
Introduction to electronic music, where you can learn about the wider historical context of this kind of music.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• analysis of early electronic music and key musique concrète compositions
• the components that make up a musique concrète studio
• techniques employed in musique concrète composition.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• understand the principles of musique concrète composition, relating these to historical context
• Use the components of an early electronic studio (oscillators, envelopes, filters, white noise generators and the mixer and tape loop techniques) to create original sounds
• create your own compositions out of tones generated by oscillators, tape loops, envelopes and noise generators.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn how to put this exciting technology to creative use. You need basic understanding of musical concepts and IT skills (e.g. file management).
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor demonstration and explanation, class discussion, followed by practical work. You will present work in progress and receive feedback and support from your tutor and peers.
You will make best progress if you can work on your projects between sessions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You need a computer running the BERNA software, which simulates 1950s electronic music studio equipment. Available only from its developer Giorgio Sancristoforo [external website: scroll down to BERNA 2].
You can download and try for free, but the software only runs for 8 minutes at a time until you pay for your licence: €12 (pay by Paypal). There is a demo video [external website] so that you can see the basic functions before you purchase.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Visit our Music technology courses: overview blog to see the wide range of courses on offer, from music production and home recording to live electronics and sound art. If you already know what you are looking for, go straight to the listing of currently available course dates and times.
For further advice email the Music office.
Music also offers a wide range of instrumental, singing, ensemble, music theory, musicianship, songwriting and composition courses.