Sonic Art Aesthetics & Criticism MUSIC5052

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Students will be guided in developing a portfolio of critical writing centred on short reviews of recordings, live performances or exhibitions.


2 hour seminar followed by fortnightly half hour guidance meetings, Semester 2

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements: Standard entry to Masters at College level and entry to the MMus Sonic Arts

Excluded Courses



Students will create a portfolio of critical sonic art reviews, of 4-5000 words in total. Normally reviews will be between 300 and 1000 words (i.e. review length).

Course Aims

The overall aim of the course is to develop students' awareness of writing about sonic arts practice for the purposes of critical review. In particular the course aims to:


■ enable students to develop flexible, genre-specific skills in writing critical reviews of sonic arts practice

■ enhance students' critical acuity in relation to sonic arts, and awareness of its cultural contexts

■ encourage students to engage critically with a broad range of sonic arts practice

■ enable students to build a portfolio of different forms of critical writing, to publication standard, in print or via the web

■ widen students' communication skills, enhancing employability

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Articulate insightful and well-informed critiques of sonic art (recorded or live)

■ Adapt their writing style for a range of different readerships, including both scholarly readers and the wider public

■ Write stylish, accurate, publishable prose

■ Retain clarity and fluidity whilst writing in a condensed form

■ Write criticism that articulates a clear point of view, supported with evidence drawn from attentive listening

■ Demonstrate critical openness across a range of practice

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.