LISTENING & PRACTICAL SKILLS - 2020/1

Module code: TON1030

Module Overview

This module is intended to develop your practical skills and both technical and musical listening skills. You will be given opportunities to reinforce some of the signal flow and microphone knowledge presented in other Tonmeister modules, and to encounter a wide range of recordings, repertoire and technical recording attributes.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HAIGH Caroline (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: J931

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

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Level 4 Audio Engineering & Recording Techniques 1

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Equalisation and frequency content

  • Compression and limiting

  • Reverb and mixing perspective

  • Stereo imaging and spatial audio

  • Noise, distortion and interference

  • Orchestral recordings and repertoire

  • Piano and chamber recordings and repertoire

  • Singer and choral recordings and repertoire

  • Musical theatre/big band and singer and repertoire

  • Jazz/folk/world music recordings and repertoire

  • Pop/rock recordings and repertoire 1960s to present

  • Practical microphone rigging skills

  • Practical signal paths in studios 1 and 2

  • Practical basic stereo microphone techniques on piano

  • Practical microphone placement for drums and voice/guitar duo

  • Practical basic pop mixing

  • Practical basic classical editing and production


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Continuous assessment (musical aural training) 30
Coursework Continuous assessment (technical ear training) 30
Examination Examination (2 hours) 40

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to work at your own level and demonstrate improvement in both technical and musical listening skills (coursework items 1 and 2). It is also intended to ensure that you are able to identify a range of common audio faults and features in order to support your practical recording skills at levels HE5 and HE6 (examination).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Coursework – two blocks of continuous assessment using aural training software (addresses learning outcome 8) and recording engineering software (addresses learning outcomes 3,4,5,6,7)

  • 2hr exam – aural and written exam given under exam conditions (addresses learning outcomes 1–7, 9–10).



Formative assessment:

Formative feedback from a member of staff will be given during all practical studio sessions where students will have opportunities to practice rigging microphones and explore basic techniques (addresses learning outcomes 11, 12, 13).

Class tests during the module will be used to give formative feedback on the student's existing skills and progress. Formative feedback will be given on the student’s use of the aural and audio engineering software packages at the end of the first semester.

Module aims

  • To develop your technical listening skills in order to support your practical recording work in HE5 Recording Techniques and HE6 Portfolio of Recordings
  • To develop your awareness of microphone techniques and signal flow in order to support your practical recording work in HE5 Recording Techniques and HE6 Portfolio of Recordings
  • To develop your awareness of recording styles and how they are used to enhance a wide variety musical repertoire in preparation for HE5 Recording Techniques and HE6 Portfolio of Recordings
  • To develop your music aural skills in order to support your music production work in preparation for HE5 Recording Techniques, HE5 Production and Score Studies and HE6 Portfolio of Recordings

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 Aurally identify analogue and digital distortion and its possible source KCP
002 Aurally identify analogue and digital noise and interference and its possible source KCP
003 Aurally identify problems in the frequency domain, the frequency range involved and the possible source(s) KCP
004 Aurally identify compression flaws such as pumping and breathing and identify the probable cause KCP
005 Aurally identify reverb characteristics such as pre-delay, prominent early reflections, reverb time, reverb tonal quality KCP
006 Suggest suitable reverb choices in terms of characteristics and balance depending on musical genre KC
007 Aurally identify problems and features of stereo and spatial imaging such as image width, stability, focus, panning, depth and perspective KCP
008 Aurally identify musical features such as melodic and harmonic intervals, rhythmic values and chord progressions KCP
009 Identify the common musical characteristics of a wide range of musical genres through classical western music, musical theatre, jazz, folk and pop KCP
010 Identify the important elements of common recording styles that have evolved to enhance the musical impact of a wide range of musical genres KCP
011 Correctly handle and rig microphones and cables so that they are safe P
012 Correctly rig a pair microphones to produce a useful stereo signal P
013 Correctly use an aux send and returns to make use of an external reverb unit P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 12

Independent Study Hours: 116

Lecture Hours: 2

Seminar Hours: 20

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to develop practical listening skills, knowledge, and listening experience across a wide range of repertoire and recording styles.

The listening skills will be introduced in weekly listening sessions in a critical listening environment in groups of approximately 15 which will allow for plenty of discussion and interaction.

The development of musical aural skills and technical ear training will be supported by regular use of software packages outside the weekly sessions.

Guided listening playlists will be provided to support the development of wider listening experience and repertoire knowledge.

Practical studio skills will be explored over 6 sessions in groups of 7/8.

The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Regular one hour listening sessions

  • Regular monitored use of aural software and technical ear training software which forms part of the assessment

  • Guided repertoire listening

  • Monthly two hour practical studio sessions


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 LISTENING & PRACTICAL SKILLS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/ton1030

Other information

N/A

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% 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 2020/1 academic year.