MA Sonic Arts

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We have expertise in everything from musicology and ethnomusicology to performance, composition and music management.

Studying a performance based masters in a university where there are experts in others areas is a great opportunity. Being able to address my performance with new perspectives as a result of cross-specialisation input has brought new ideas and freshness to my own approach as a musician.

Alison York, Postgraduate student in Department of Music

About the course

September 2016 start

Course description 2016

Study with experts at the cutting-edge of technical, creative and theoretical knowledge in this rapidly evolving area of study. The course focuses upon the relationship between technology and creative practice, training musical students to use software tools and enabling students with a solid music technology background to investigate creative opportunities.

Initial intensive training in the knowledge and methods of the field at the start of the course is followed by opportunities for increasingly independent research and exploration.

At the University of Sheffield we take a broad and inclusive view of the sonic arts; we embrace anything from sound installations to free-improvised performances, computer programming through to fine art practice, art in which sound is the medium through to that in which sound plays a supporting role.

Our influences are equally diverse; we embrace anything from the Intonarumori of futurist Luigi Russolo through to the cut-up techniques of William Burroughs, the concrete experiments of Pierre Schaeffer through to the abstract processes of Steve Reich, the high-modernist work of Stockhausen through to the ‘eyebrow’ moments of Zappa, from the sculptural works of Zimoun through to the ephemeral improvisations of John Zorn. There is no one comprehensive definition of sonic art – this exciting field is still in the process of defining itself, pushing into new territories and discovering new ways of being.

Course tutors – Dr Adrian Moore and Dr Adam Stansbie – are both highly experienced and internationally recognised composers whose work is widely performed, published and prized.

Sonic Arts course students

Course content

Module information on department website

Teaching

Teaching is informed by new technologies and methods of working. It takes place through:

  • Seminars
  • Laboratory-based demonstrations
  • Individual tutorials

Assessment

Assessment takes a variety of forms such as problem based assignments and the completion of a creative portfolio.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time
September 2017 start

Course description 2017

Study with experts at the cutting-edge of technical, creative and theoretical knowledge in this rapidly evolving area of study. The course focuses upon the relationship between technology and creative practice, training musical students to use software tools and enabling students with a solid music technology background to investigate creative opportunities.

Initial intensive training in the knowledge and methods of the field at the start of the course is followed by opportunities for increasingly independent research and exploration.

We take a broad and inclusive view of the sonic arts; embracing anything from sound installations to free-improvised performances, computer programming through to fine art practice, art in which sound is the medium through to that in which sound plays a supporting role.

Course tutors Adrian Moore and Adam Stansbie are both highly experienced and internationally recognised composers whose work is widely performed, published and prized.

Sonic Arts course students

Course content

Module information on department website

Teaching and assessment

The course is informed by new technologies and methods of working. There are seminars, laboratory-based demonstrations and individual tutorials.

Assessment takes a variety of forms such as problem-based assignments and the completion of a creative portfolio.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component.

Other qualifications may be acceptable depending on your background, for instance a degree in drama, psychology or another subject, equivalent life experience or a performance diploma from a conservatoire or academy.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Apply now

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Funding information on the Department of Music website

University and faculty funding is available each year. The closing date for applications is mid-January. The department has a small number of tuition studentships available. The closing date for these is the end of April. You can also apply for a small grant to support your postgraduate research project.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

E: music-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)114 222 0461

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.