Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Music: Creative Music Technology

School of Arts and Media

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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Introduction

In a nutshell

As the first UK institution to offer pioneering and distinctive courses in Popular Music and Recording and Band Musicianship, our reputation for innovation and excellence within music education continues to flourish.

This course builds upon our long-standing reputation and offers a full specialisation in the field of music technology and has been ranked the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West and number two in the UK in the 2020 Guardian university league tables. Plus, overall satisfaction with the course among students is 94% (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data).

The Studio Recording and Production modules enable you to develop confidence in traditional studio skills, backed up by a solid academic understanding of historical developments and aesthetic considerations. Audio for Media trains you in the specific discipline of composing, arranging and producing audio for film, radio, television and gaming. Studio Composition covers a broad range of technical and genre viewpoints, from popular electronic music techniques to electro-acoustic composition. Thorough technical training and the study of acoustics underpin all of the creative work undertaken through the course.

Find out more about the course by visiting our Instagram at @SalfordCMT.

You will:
  • Study on the number one Creative Music Technology course in the North West (Guardian 2020)
  • Be able to take full advantage of the region's world-renowned music scene as both an active participant and an enquiring spectator
  • Study as an instrumental performer, receiving one-to-one tuition on your instrument in your first year
International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You want to access to industry-standard facilities

2.

You want to be part of a diverse and vibrant music department and benefit from numerous performing and showcasing opportunities in Manchester and beyond

3.

You want to be taught by practicing music technology professionals on a course well known for producing graduates who excel in their chosen careers

Course details

All about the course

Building upon our established reputation in music technology, the Creative Music Technology pathway offers a broad-based curriculum in Year One followed by the opportunity to specialise in music technology throughout Year Two and Three. Creative work is underpinned by technical training and study of acoustics. 

Year one

Fundamentals of Composition, Arranging and Technology

The core aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for composing and arranging music in a variety of styles. You will gain a working knowledge of the key aspects of instrumentation voicing, score layout, formal design and the manipulation of texture. The module also provides an introduction to location recording techniques, appropriate sequencing software, musical acoustics and their relationship to music technology.

Performance Studies

Continuing on from Musicianship Skills in Semester 1, this module consists of Individual Performance (weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition), Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (either Session Musicianship or Classical Conducting). Within the Ensemble component, you will have the opportunity to form your own Popular Music group (writing and rehearsing original material to be presented at a concert at the end of the semester), or join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, or Classical Choir.

Applied Composition and Technology

This module will provide you with a strong understanding of advanced diatonic harmony, melodic writing, and technical skills concerned with rhythm as applied to the broad field of composition. You will explore the creative uses of a range of microphones in relation to musical instruments and acoustic environments, and be introduced to techniques of sound synthesis using a range of hardware and software based synthesisers.

You will choose one of the following options for each semester:

Music and Society: Antiquity to Enlightenment

This module engenders a sense of history and an awareness of significant cultural epochs and the music associated with them. It relates performance styles, compositional techniques and musicological discourse to particular historical periods.

Popular Music Style and Genre

This module introduces a methodology for the analysis of style in popular music, problematising the concepts "style" and "genre" along the way.

Music and Society: The Modern Era

This module explores the continual interaction between “art” music and “popular” music, demonstrating the relationship between musical techniques/practices, ideology and historical contingency. You will be introduced to a broad range of repertoire and explore the historical development of competing canons in relation to social class, available technologies and prestige.

Interpreting Popular Music

This musicology module investigates meaning in popular music texts by introducing a method of semiotic analysis specifically designed for popular music texts and supplementing that with a range of theoretical perspectives aimed at understanding popular culture's place in 21st century Britain.

Year two

Studio Composition

You will be introduced to the creative use of sound and a range of hardware and software interfaces. This module instils a flexible and considered approach to musical interface by covering various sonic installation possibilities and a range of studio composition techniques including synthesis, sampling, interactive and generative.

Audio for Media

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the creative use of sound and music within a range of media. You will explore techniques for recording stereo drama in a recording studio; sound and image synchronisation techniques; and how to apply and develop audio digital editing techniques.

Studio Recording and Production

You will explore the ways in which the needs and demands of technology and performing artists can best be reconciled. This module will enhance your working knowledge of sound mixing consoles, audio recorders, signal processing equipment, digital audio workstations and software audio applications. You will develop strategies for analysing existing recordings in order to appreciate and utilise the technology involved in the recording process.

Professional Development in the Creative Industries

Focusing on current economic structures and potential development, this module provides an in-depth examination of the UK creative economy. You will explore concepts of copyright, authorship and ownership and gain an understanding of the processes involved in successful personal development planning.

Advanced Studio Composition

This module is designed to build upon the techniques explored in the level 5 module Studio Composition (sequencing, synthesis and sampling / editing) and introduce students to composing for and within a 5.1 / 7.1 surround environment. There will be an exploration of electroacoustic compositional techniques around the themes of spectromorphology, abstract and abstracted synthesis, landscape and narrative and a historical analysis of how this practice relates to popular electronic music compositional practice. The module explores the concept of compositional interface, encouraging students to become deeply aware of how the technology they engage with shapes their compositional output.

 

Advanced Studio and Location Recording

This module is designed to develop existing skills in the studio environment (building on the L5 module Studio Recording and Production), working towards the completion of ambitious multitrack projects of a releasable quality. The module includes an investigation of mastering processes and places emphasis on the engineer / producer nurturing the best possible performances from the musicians involved. The module will also introduce the practice of recording live public performances, covering a wide range or acoustic and amplified ensembles, on location.

Advanced Audio for Media

This module builds on introductory concepts from Audio for Media, requiring you to now develop advanced creative audio techniques for application to film, tv, radio, animation and video game soundtracks. This will include spatial audio mixing techniques, post production practices including ADR, sound effect design, audio for both linear and non-linear formats (e.g video games) and mixing to specific delivery requirements.

Year three

Project Scope

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Arts Administration, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

 

Negotiated Major Project

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Arts Administration, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

Professional Practice

By broadening your work experience in areas requiring a leadership and/or team role, this module gives you the opportunity to further develop your own professional practices. You will gain experience in one of the following areas of professional practice: music events management, sound reinforcement, business enterprise, and community music in its broadest sense.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I Be Doing?

Lectures are enhanced with audio/visual material. A lecture on a topic is followed up by a relevant seminar. You will be encouraged to prepare materials in preparation for seminars, where you’ll contribute to discussions.

  • Masterclasses - Visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music industry
  • Supervision both individualy and in groups
  • Individual Instrumental Tuition to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary
  • Ensemble Tuition in order to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary in an ensemble setting
  • Workshops to explore concepts and develop research techniques within a workshop environment, mixing class-based discussion and activities with library and archive work, providing you with the opportunity to develop creative ideas and to interact with leading scholars in the field Virtual Learning Environment(VLE) – 'Blackboard', supports every module within the course.

 

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.

Recording Studios

The Music Programmes are supported by an exceptional technical team and facilities housed predominantly in the New Adelphi building.

Recording Studios:

We have six main recording studios, all of which are large enough to accommodate both bands and chamber classical / brass ensembles. The studios share common technical architecture, centred around Audient ASP 8024 HE analogue mixing consoles. Full patch bays offer extensive routing possibilities between live room, isolation booths and the control room. In addition, multiple studios can be networked via Dante interfaces.

All our studios contain an excellent provision of analogue hardware, analogue tape machines and a diverse array of software platforms; Logic X; Protools and Ableton being the primary DAW’s. Studio 6 is attached to our largest performance space, the Band Room. This space comfortably accommodates our brass band, big band, wind band, choir and contemporary music group. The studios are staffed throughout the day time, evenings (5pm - Midnight) and weekends (9am – Midnight).

The studio facilities office houses our exceptional and extensive microphone collection as well as a large selection of analogue synthesizers, drum machines and effects processing possibilities.

 

Other Facilities

In addition to the six large studios, our students have access to:

Voice Acting Studio – This facility is designed predominantly as a recording environment for radio drama or video game production. It is possible to achieve a range of capture, from foley recordings in the acoustically flexible ‘live’ room to extremely dry spoken word in the ‘dead’ room.

Computer Suite

Our computer suite contains twenty-six workstations (iMac; audio interface; controller keyboard; headphones) equipped with licences for all of the software we teach. The current software provision comprises: Logic X; Pro Tools; Ableton; Max MSP; Sibelius; Soundtoys; GRM Tools and a huge selection of Universal Audio and Waves plug-ins. This software is also available across all studio spaces.

7.1 Mix

A teaching space designed for mixing in 7.1 and 5.1 surround. The space is used extensively in the teaching of our Advanced Studio Composition and Advanced Audio for Media modules.

Studio 9 – Composition Lab

This studio facility is equipped with an impressive range of hardware including many synthesizers; DSI OB6, Korg MS20, Roland Juno 106, Moog Sub Phatty, Korg Volca FM, Vermona DRM Mk3 accessed through a full MIDI interface / patchbay. The space is acoustically treated and equipped for 5.1 mixdown. 

Rehearsal Facilities

The New Adelphi Building houses twenty-six rehearsal spaces designed to facilitate popular and classical ensemble rehearsals, individual practice, one-to-one instrumental tuition and ensemble teaching. The rooms are well specified with a wide range of carefully chosen and well-maintained equipment including drumkits from DW, Sonar, and Yamaha; Keyboards from Nord and Roland, guitar amplification from Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender, Orange and Marshall and Bass amplification from Ampeg, Mark Bass and Aguillar.

One-to-one Tuition / individual practice spaces are equipped with well-maintained Yamaha acoustic pianos, a selection of classic keyboards and Bluetooth amplification for playback. All performance spaces have natural light and have been acoustically treated (absorbent and reflective) to suit discipline.

Performance Spaces

Performance assessments, public concerts and masterclasses take place across a number of spaces on and off campus. We operate a high quality modular PA system which is employed across:

Peel Hall

A three-hundred seat concert hall with an excellent acoustic. The hall is used extensively by our large ensembles and houses the BBC Philharmonic Red Brick Sessions.

New Adelphi Theatre

The 350 seat theatre features flexible seating configurations to suit a range of events and performances and is equipped with a range of intelligent and generic lighting, a highly adaptable EM Acoustics PA system, and a high-powered Christie projector.

Atmosphere

Our Student Union bar and venue hosts a number of both staff and student led performances throughout the year.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Salford’s music courses are renowned for producing graduates who excel in their chosen professions. Our graduates have forged careers as signed recording artists, professional performers, studio producers/engineers, live sound engineers and freelance composers/arrangers. Many have become events organisers, promoters and entrepreneurs while others have developed successful careers in music education as teachers, lecturers, senior administrators and educational advisors. Those who continue their studies at a postgraduate level find themselves well-equipped to cope with the academic and technical demands of a higher degree.

A taste of what you could become

Producer

Sound Engineer

Musician

Composer

Arranger

AND MORE...

Career Links

We have direct links with professional institutions such the BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as well as the ‘Sounds from the Other City’ festival. We have a good working relationship with many venues in the local area including Islington Mill.

Requirements

What you need to know

You should be able to sight-read, have a good understanding of chords, scales, rhythms and harmony, and have the ability to transcribe ensemble performances.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

 

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred. Maths at grade C/level 4 or above is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A level

104-120 points. Applications can be considered without a Music A level.

UCAS tariff points

104-120 points 

BTEC National Diploma

DMM to include music
 

Access to HE

Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 104 – 120 including Music

Scottish Highers

104-120 points including Music

Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points including Music

International Baccalaureate

31 points, to include 5 (Higher Level) in Music

 

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including Music

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,240per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships. 

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID W374

Institution S03