DIGITAL IMPROVISATION 2 - 2018/9

Module code: CMT3004

Module Overview


You will develop your understanding of the theory, aesthetics and technical considerations of contemporary live electronic music. Topics will include the design and construction of electronic music systems and effective improvisational strategies and practice.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

MERMIKIDES MJ Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W390

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

CMT2004 (Digital Improvisation 1) is a pre-requisite for this module, or by approval from module co-ordinator.

Module content


The following is an indication of the likely content of the module:


Lectures on the history and contemporary execution of live electronic practice

Workshop sessions on the design and construction of electronic instruments and systems

Rehearsals and performances of electronic improvisational works

Design and use of effects and processing in performance

Design of effective mapping and control systems for live performance

Live looping

Creative manipulation of MIDI and audio data in live performance

Relevant performance, ensemble and improvisational models

The use of the computer as both ‘extended instrument’ and ‘additional performer’

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PERFORMANCE 1 30
Coursework PERFORMANCE 2 AND COMMENTARY 70

Alternative Assessment

None

Assessment Strategy


The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop new theoretical concepts and practical skills.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Performance 1 (worth 30% of the final grade): A solo or group performance demonstrating creative and technical skill in the technical design, aesthetic intent and real-time realisation of a digital improvisational performance. Learning outcomes 1T5.

Performance 2 (worth 40% of the final grade): A solo or group performance demonstrating a development of creative and technical skill in the technical design, aesthetic intent and real-time realisation of a digital improvisational performance. Learning outcomes 1T5, 7.

Commentary (worth 30% of the final grade): A 2000T2500 word essay showing how your work relates to issues of performance, sound art, philosophy and/or improvisation, including technical documentation, analysis and reflection on your creative practice in respect to the two performances. Learning outcomes 1T4, 6T7.

Formative assessment and feedback 

Students will be given a series of weekly performance and technical exercises.  These are not assessed but will provide students with formative feedback via Surreylearn and in class. These exercises can also be used as foundations for the summative assessments.

Module aims

  • To develop a theoretical understanding, and practical proficiency of contemporary live electronic music.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate proficiency and creativity in the design, construction and application of live electronic systems. KCPT
2 Gain aptitude in the use of software for live electronics, such as Ableton Live, Max/MSP, Audiomulch, Mainstage and Pure Data. KCPT
3 Display skill in the use of MIDI and audio technologies for live sampling and manipulation of musical material. KCPT
4 Construct effective generative electronic musical systems. KCPT
5 Develop the musical proficiency and aural awareness necessary for compelling digital improvisation. CPT
6 Show an awareness of, and contextualization of creative practice with, the aesthetics, history and relevant themes of digital improvisation performancE
7 Give and receive information and ideas clearly, and modify your material in response to group or tutor feedback. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning



Eleven 2-hour lecture/workshops.

Guided rehearsals and performance sessions.

Supporting material for each classroom session.

Tutorials.

Guided reading and technical study.

Production of a reflective essay, commentary and documentation of performances.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DIGITAL IMPROVISATION 2 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/cmt3004

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.