Experimental Music Practice MUSIC4072

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to experimental music practices such as improvisation, socially-mediated composing and devising, interpretation of graphic and text scores, and extended instrumental and vocal technique. It considers the problems, challenges and opportunities arising from these practices, and encourages students to combine practical approaches with contextual research. It also provides opportunities for ensemble playing.


8 x 2 hour practical workshops plus 4 x 1 hour seminars as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Music and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

Contemporary Music Ensemble (MUSIC4012)




Semester 1:

research review: (1250 words) - 25%

10 minutes of recorded solo or ensemble performance - 25%


Semester 2:

Contribute to a 30 minute live performance - 25%

critical commentary (1250 words) - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ develop practical, critical and research skills relevant to contemporary music performance

■ examine relationships between composition, interpretation and improvisation

■ enable students to develop their own identity as creative musicians

■ introduce students to a range of approaches used in contemporary music-making

■ develop students' ensemble skills

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ devise experimental musical performances, both solo and in an ensemble context

■ listen critically to identify key features of relevant musical idioms 

■ undertake research to inform and transform their own musical performance

■ perform using a range of methods relevant in experimental music of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries such as improvisation, socially-mediated composing and devising, interpretation of graphic and text scores, and extended instrumental and vocal technique

■ contextualise, evaluate and critique their own performance in writing

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.