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Live Performance Technologies

  • Module code: MU6005
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 modules or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module focuses on the collaborative development of a group performance project, and explores the technical skills necessary to stage a professional performance event. As well as performing in a group, students undertake both practical and theoretical work in live sound management and event production. The performances may be multimedia-based (which could involve dance and/or moving image), or might centre on live electronics, hybrid art-forms or the role of music technology in live performance. Individual groups may decide to focus on traditional acoustic or amplified electronic instrumentation; the specific agenda of each performance, and the technical parameters necessary, are negotiated with module tutors. The wording of the module title is intended to promote as broad, inclusive, and overlapping a definition of composition/performance/improvisation as is possible; students may utilise all relevant forms of repertoire, but significant emphasis is placed on creative interpretation. Summative assessment is through performance, critical reflection and peer assessment.

Aims

  • to facilitate and enable the collaborative creation of music or sonic art for performance;
  • to explore the technical skills necessary to stage a professional performance event;
  • to develop expertise in live sound management and event production;
  • to encourage creative interactions and cultivate the student's ability to work within a collaborative/group scenario.

Learning outcomes

  • demonstrate an imaginative and effective commitment to performance-based work;
  • demonstrate an active contribution to the working of a group and to the final creative outcome;
  • understand specialist live sound equipment and be competent in its operation;
  • prepare and present events involving mixed performance resources;
  • conceive and event manage an advanced multimedia project;
  • respond thoughtfully, creatively and flexibly to a given brief;
  • locate and situate their practice within the contemporary cultural context.

Curriculum content

  • small group work towards the realisation of a collaborative performance;
  • negotiating the nature of the project within an over-arching theme that will function as a stimulus; 
  • developing the focus and scope of the project;
  • managing live sound (microphones, mixing desks, public address systems);
  • mixing strategies (monitoring, dynamic processing, equalisation, effects);
  • creating multimedia productions (sound diffusion, projection mapping);
  • event management and logistics.

Teaching and learning strategy

Students work mainly in small groups under the guidance of a tutor; larger workshop and group sessions introduce theoretical skills and practical techniques.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures, seminars, and practical group work. 44
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment will consider the students ability to: 

  1. actively participate in a group performance;*
  2. actively participate, as part of a team, in the management of a separate live sound event;
  3. reflect on their performance practice and the development of relevant technological skills in response to an essay question (1000 words).

The assessment strategy aims to evaluate the final performance of each group and each student's contribution to the group. Peer assessment will be used to assess the working of individuals within the group.

Seminar/workshop sessions allow ample opportunity for formative feedback, further opportunities are also available via an ensemble showcase session towards the end of the module.

* In order to be included in a group, students must have 75% attendance on the module concerned by week eight of semester 1, i.e. if they miss more than two classes out of eight, the module tutor may require them to do a solo assessment. This will mean that the student cannot be marked on key aspects of all group-based assessment, participation and ensemble skills, so is likely to result in a lower grade. If the illness or situation causing absence is serious enough to mean missing more than 25% of classes the student should apply for mitigating circumstances.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) demonstrate an imaginative and effective commitment to performance-based work; Group performance
2) demonstrate an active contribution to the working of a group and to the final creative outcome; Group performance Live sound management
3) understand specialist live sound equipment and be competent in its operation; Live sound management
4) prepare and present events involving mixed performance resources; Group performance Live sound management
5) conceive and event manage an advanced multimedia project; Live sound management
6) respond thoughtfully, creatively and flexibly to a given brief; Group performance Live sound management
7) locate and situate their practice within the contemporary cultural context. Essay

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
PRC Group performance 60
PRC Live sound management 20
Coursework Essay 20
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Jaques, D. & Salmon. G. (2007) Learning in Groups. London: Routledge,

Stark, S., H. (1996). Live Sound Reinforcement: A Comprehensive Guide to P.A. and Music Reinforcement Systems and Technology. Vallejo: Mix Books,

Bibliography recommended reading

Bailey, D. (1993)Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press,

Cage, J. (1973) Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage (Connecticut: Weseyan University Press,

Collins, N. & d'Escrivan, J. (2007).Electronic Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Bailey, S.  (2003) Academic Writing. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes

Collins, N.(2006).Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking. London: Routledge,

Cox, C. and Warner D.  (2004)Audio culture: Readings in Modern Music. NY: Continuum,

Epstein, R. (2002)Critical Thinking. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning,

Howard, J. (1990) Learning to Compose. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,

Kahn, D.  (2001)Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Levi, D.  (2007)Group Dynamics for Teams. Los Angeles: SAGE,

Lloyd, W. & Terry P. (1993) Rehearse, Direct, and Play. London: Musonix,

Margulies, J. (2010) Ableton Live 8 Power!  New York: Alfred Publishing

Toop, D.  (2001) Ocean of Sound. London: Serpent's Tail

Vella, R.  (2003) Sounds in Space, Sounds in Time. London: Boosey and Hawkes,

Wishart, T.  (1974) Sun – Vol.I ‘Creativity and Environment'. London: Universal Edition,

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