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Course Description

A History of Sonic Art examines the historical, theoretical and aesthetic bases of sound, noise and music in modernity. The course will take as its point of departure the development of mechanical media following the stages of industrialization in the early twentieth century. Roughly chronological, the course will trace the early European Avant-Garde through to post-war experimentation, and then onto postmodern sampling, laptop culture, and the acceptance and expansion of 'sound art' within the institution of art. While following a timeline, topics, issues and theories presented will nonetheless often be transhistorical and interdisciplinary, addressing concerns that have persisted within the production of culture since the fundamental change to it through the development of recording technologies. Parts music history, sociology and aesthetic theory, History of Sonic Art will provide students the historical context and conceptual framework from which to articulate their own practices. Regardless of whether or not a student works with sound, it will be a very thought provoking class.Non-SMFA students and MAT Art Education students will receive a letter grade.

Affiliated With:

  • School of Arts & Sciences