Since the inception of the computer in the 1940s, music and sound have historically been in the vanguard amongst the arts in making use of the computer as a tool for exploring algorithmic structures, digital signal processing, perception, generating of new sounds, developing ways of distributing sound in space, and constructing real-time interactive systems. And, because of music and sound’s characteristic relationship with other media forms, it has deep interdisciplinary connections to areas as diverse as interactive media, performance art, installation art, and virtual environments.
Sound is perhaps the most pervasive of time-based media, a material which weaves seamlessly into a variety of creative and theoretical practices found within the Department of Media Study as well as across the entirety of the Arts and Sciences. In addition to recognizing the contribution of sound to extending the scope and impact of screen-based, interactive, and user interface experiences, the Department offers the opportunity to research the aural media landscape more in depth, focusing upon sound as a material in and of itself, exploring its intrinsic properties and affordances. Introductory courses guide students through the physical and psychological aspects of sound, while techniques for capturing, manipulating, and diffusing sound through both physical and telematic space are presented. Historical and theoretical components provide a critical language and vantage point from which to discuss ways in which sound compliments both traditional and emerging media, laying the ground work for explorative practices in experimental music, sound art, installation, generative audio, radio, and performance.