The degree programme Sound Studies is a professional qualifying postgraduate course, conveying the necessary expertise for entry into the professions of Sound Designer and Sound Consultant in the fields of new media, design, art, music, communication and media studies, and architecture. It should put students in the position of being able to recognize, assess, and shape an acoustic environment.
The course of study encompasses the following seven subjects.
Theory and History of Auditory Culture
Experimental Sound Design
Auditory Media Design
Auditory Culture: Research
Responsible: Prof. Dr. Sabine Sanio
"Theory and History of Auditory Culture" provides essential theoretical and scholarly skills for working with sound. The key objectives include developing the ability to interpret specific phenomena through placing them in an historical and social context. The requisite knowledge and skills, from the point of view of contents and methodology, are developed through current theoretical concepts of culture and socials sciences.
Methodologically, the "Theory and History of Auditory Culture" is indebted to the interdisciplinary approach and the comprehensive understanding of culture as propagated by Cultural Studies. A central role is played by current approaches used in Media Theory and Media Esthetics (particularly in the fields of audio media and audiovisual media), coupled with theoretical approaches taken from systematic musicology (music psychology, psychoacoustics, general cognitive psychology, sociology of music) as well as historical anthropology, in particular physical, sensory, and performance theories.
Responsible: Caroline Siegers
The field of "Auditory Competence" teaches how to evaluate, describe, and?if so desired?to alter the spectral and spatial characteristics of a sonic occurrence. As well as developing acoustic sensitivity, there is a particular focus on teaching the relevant technical terms and fluency in their proper usage. These fundamental skills are to be consolidated and expanded through numerous exercises. Students will gain the ability to reliably and competently communicate in the fields of acoustics, psychoacoustics, and auditory perception.
Responsible: Prof. Hans Peter Kuhn
The subject " Experimental Sound Design" is focused on the design and realization of acoustic interventions. First of all, the concrete development of artistic works is in the foreground. In parallel, students learn about the artistic positions and approaches of individual guest artists. The history and aesthetics of the relevant context will also be discussed: electro-acoustic music, radiophonics, Ars Acustica, and sonic art.
Responsible: Mike Daliot
The subject "Auditory Media Design" provides a technical basis and design principles for creative work with sound and music in media. Methods for the synthesis and transformation of sound are presented and their respective characteristics, potentials, and limitations are discussed. Technological processes are viewed from a results-oriented perspective. "Auditory Media Design" is concerned with music, especially as a complex sounding rhythmic gestalt, as well as its structure and form, and the resulting implications for the use of music in media. A further significant aspect of "Auditory Media Design" deals with the emotional impact of sound and music in different media contexts, questioning and discussing the practice of using sound and music to achieve specific emotions. Based on this knowledge, the use of sound and music in various media such as film, theater or games will, on the one hand, be investigated, thereby pursuing a result-oriented approach. On the other hand, new approaches to the design of sound and structure of the complex interaction of technical media will be presented and discussed, thereby opening up a technological and innovative perspective.
Responsible: Marcel Kloppenburg
The subcejt "Auditory Design" deals with the conceptually founded use of sound in functional contexts. These include auditory branding, interface design, game design, and product design. Basic concepts, approaches and models in branding and communication theory, research on impact and efficacy, and the various application areas will be taught. In addition, an introduction to the topics Sonic Interaction Design and Sonification will take place in this module.
Responsible: Dr. Alex Arteaga
The subject "Auditory Architecture" is an artistic and scientific discipline that deals with the study and design of sonic environments. Thus, "Auditory Architecture" can be defined as the theory and practice of drafting and designing architectural and urban sonic environments. This discipline is oriented towards space as it is experienced and embodied auditorily. Thus, the discipline forms a necessary extension to architectural and urban design practice. The orientation obtains its urgency through the fact that the auditory element is an essential constitutive element of how architecture is experienced, despite the fact that it has, up to now, not been systematically taken into account in architectural design.
"Auditory Architecture" is understood as an intersection between spatial design disciplines (architecture, urban, regional, and landscape planning), social sciences (phenomenological sociology, social anthropology, ethnology), as well experimental sound design and cognitive science with a focus on embodied and situated cognition.
The theory in this subject is aimed at students, on the one hand, working creatively and artistically with space that is experienced auditorily. On the other hand, students who want to deal intensively with the theoretical background to this discipline. Students learn about strategies, tools, and methods, with the aid of which auditorily experienced space is cognitively accessible and can be systematically shaped as an integral component of architectural design practice. Students can further develop these strategies, tools, and methods for their field of interest. The close ties between the Sound Studies module "Auditory architecture" and the research centre of the same name at the University of the Arts Berlin makes a direct involvement of students in project-based research possible.
Responsible: Prof. Dr. Sabine Sanio
This elective subject will be taken by students seeking a theoretical/scholarly study of auditory culture.
The central objectives of "Auditory Culture: Research" include developing the ability to interpret specific phenomena delimited by an historical and social context. The necessary substantive and methodological knowledge and skills are developed in the examination of current theoretical concepts of culture and social sciences.