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The MA in Creative Music Technology enables you to work at the frontiers of the creative application of technology in composition, music production, sound design, screen music, audio-visuals and music software. The course is informed and inspired by successful creative practitioners and researchers, and balances creativity with critical-theoretical approaches; there is also the option of a work placement. Modules blending composition, technological development and performance enhance the programme’s flexibility, and its final project allows you to produce work in one or more areas of specialism (e.g., completing a portfolio of compositions, a technology project consisting of music software development, a live-performance using new technologies – or a mixture of these and other creative works).
Aims of the Course
The principal purpose of the MA in Creative Music Technology is to develop critical, artistic and technical creativity, equipping students with the tools to undertake independent ‘research’ (broadly construed) as composers, technology developers, theoreticians and performers, as well as providing students with understanding of a range of important issues in their chosen area(s). The Masters equips students for further study (for instance a PhD in composition, music technology development or performance practice) or employment through the generation of subject specific knowledge and transferable skills central to the pursuit of careers related to these areas and a much broader field of potential careers. These include broadcasting, recording, production, sound design, soundtrack creation, software design, song writing and performance, as well as original audio and audiovisual composition, studio work, and teaching; freelance sound design for games and video, sound technician, community musician or audio broadcast assistant; broadcast engineer, theatre stage manager, radio producer and multimedia specialist. The MA in Creative Music Technology provides students with higher-level research, analytical, technical and study skills necessary for students intending to pursue further academic research. It also provides students with the opportunities to enhance their oral and written communication skills, as well as their team working and individual organisational capabilities.
The MA in Creative Music Technology aims to equip students with the ability to:
- demonstrate a range of advanced creative, technical, performance and musicological skills appropriate to their level and particular areas of study;
- express (through writing, presentations, creative works and/or performance) their expertise in particular areas of music technology interest and specialisation;
- create critical perspectives on music technology’s theoretical, creative, practical and wider cultural dimensions;
- evaluate and shape debates and texts concerning the nature of music and its relation with technology in historical and contemporary contexts;
- analyse musical works and formulate critical perspectives of a work’s theoretical, aesthetic and technical backgrounds;
- demonstrate critical understanding of issues, debates and themes in the student’s chosen areas of study, including the theoretical, creative and technological underpinning of different research methodologies (practice-led and text-based) within Creative Music Technology;
- apply key methodologies and strategies in order to develop their own subject-specific interests and to undertake independent scholarship and research;
- manage time effectively, demonstrate communication skills (written, oral, compositional, performative, technology development), and express enhanced group work skills, as well as discussing and commenting upon, or demonstrating through practice, development and creative work, important issues in their areas of study;
- construct, develop, and write/compose/develop/perform an extended creative portfolio, software development or performance project based on independent research;
- understand the sources and resources available for the portfolio, development or performance project and of the methodological debates relevant to it;
- display project management skills including defining and planning projects, meeting deadlines, and recording and reflecting on outcomes;
- appreciate and respond appropriately to the ethical guidelines appropriate for work in Creative Music Technology and, more broadly, the humanities, especially those involving live subjects, together with an awareness of the professional standards adopted by disciplines.
High 2.2 or above
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The following is a list of indicative modules:
- Approaches to Music Research
- Contemporary Music Studies
- Advanced Audiovisual Composition
- Programming for Musical Applications
- Advanced Composing with ICT
- Advanced Real-time Sound Processing
- Music as Creative Practice
- Advanced Sound Design
- Music as Social Life
- Research Skills in the Humanities
- Creative Music Technology Portfolio
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught by the creators and researchers at Keele who have earned the University an international reputation as a centre for excellence in these areas: practice-led research in composition and technology, and text-based research in musicology. The music technology research group at Keele comprises a team of practitioners with worldwide reputations. All of our composers are active in music technology, but the music created at Keele is diverse, ranging from orchestral composition to acousmatic music, audiovisual works to digital interfaces for musical expression. The group continues to develop new forms of live processing, composition for multi-channel environments, and forms of motion capture, and the MA enables you to benefit from research-led teaching in such areas. You’ll also have access 24/7 to our purpose-built recording and project studios, practice rooms, a vast library of digital media assets and an extensive music library.
Modules are generally taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, small group discussions and individual supervision. There is a strong emphasis on independent learning and students are expected to work on their own to produce work. Assessment is diverse through the use of projects, essays, reflective diary, presentation, project outline. For full-time students, taught modules are completed by May, leaving the summer months for students to write their dissertation.
The pass mark is 50%. A merit will be awarded where students obtain 60% or over for the dissertation (or equivalent project or performance) and an average of 60% on their other coursework. A distinction will be awarded where students obtain 70% or over for the dissertation, and an average of 70% in their other coursework.
"The close ties between the music and music technology departments allowed me to leverage on the expertise and resources of both disciplines"