Electroacoustic Composition

The resound system

USSS supports:

  • Acousmatic composition (Adrian Moore, Adam Stanovic)
  • Live Interactive (Dorothy Ker)
  • Laptop, AV works, installation art
  • Composition Tools

Our musical history continues to expand at a rapid pace. Aesthetic boundaries are stretched to their limits yet we must always question our compositional methods. At USSS, composition with technology is about understanding how it works and (most importantly) why it works.

Composition is about placing your aesthetic within a vibrant tradition. Adrian Moore composes mainly acousmatic music in stereo or multichannel formats. Adam Stanovic also composes acousmatic music and is an active member of the Composers Desktop Project. Dorothy Ker works with mixed media, often combining instruments and electronics.

The University of Sheffield Sound Studios has a thriving postgraduate community: Masters in Sonic Arts, PhD Composition and PhD Music Technology. This latter option is increasingly popular as it affords an opportunity to develop a broad portfolio including compositions, installation art, visual music, software and a substantial written contextualisation (35-40K words).  

Why should I do an MA in Composition or Sonic Arts at Sheffield?

There is a small but significant difference between the MA in Sonic Arts and the MA in Composition at Sheffield. The MA in composition (electroacoustic) is very much oriented to making music for sound diffusion and placing this within a social and cultural context (through short dissertation). You learn techniques but use them from an early stage to make sound. The MA in Sonic Arts is more focused upon techniques, offers a greater variety of software and caters for a variety of creative submission (installation, online, app etc.) The similarity of the degree programmes affords a degree of flexibility and collaboration. 

Why should I do a PhD in electroacoustic music composition at Sheffield?

We have two highly experienced electroacoustic composers on the staff. Visit the home pages of Adrian Moore and Adam Stanovic and listen to their music. A PhD is about growing research through a sharing of ideas. Moore and Stanovic are well respected in the acousmatic tradition and both have CDs in the public domain.  Listen to our music. If you feel you can develop your own voice alongside their work and find their comments, guidance and enthusiasm for this increasingly popular form of music composition useful, please come and visit and apply online. 

USSS is extremely well equipped with stereo and 8 channel studios. They are fully proofed and have excellent acoustics. They will keep you challenged for a full three years. Moreover, much of your work may be theoretical, working in the lab with other composers and students. It is expected that all electroacoustic composers undertake training in programming and alongside their own original composition work, complete a full review of current research in the domain (including music and texts). If you are considering a career in academia, possessing this full spectrum of skills and experiences is the only way to make it to interview.