Digital Music Cultures (W3082)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

You will engage with current practices in contemporary musical media as relating to the production, distribution and consumption of digital music. You will explore the history of musical media from the perspectives of such approaches as musical materialities and media archaeology, tracing the development of musical ideas as expressed through technological means and the related effects upon the music industry. Engaging critically with the contemporary situation of sonic media through both theoretical investigation and practical experimental projects, you will investigate topics of sampling, collaboration, copyright and licensing, phonography, plunderphonics, glitch, field recordings, oral histories and the post-digital situation.

You will investigate the significant changes caused by online and interactive media, and learn how to compose and promote your work in the new media landscape. The topics explored in the module will be expressed through the experimental online sonic media you developed. Whilst the theoretical strand looks at the role of technology in contemporary music culture from various perspectives, the practical aspect aims to equip you with the technological skills needed in digital music, including interactive programming, audiovisual composition and performance system design.


50%: Lecture
50%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Portfolio, Presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: