Sound: Signals and systems 1

Course description Sound: Signals and systems 1
Year: 2016-2017
Catalog number: 5100KM54
  • Peter Pabon
Language: English
Blackboard: No
EC: 6.0
Level: 300
  • Yes Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class


What happens when space is examined in terms of frequencies, and conversely, how does our notion of sound reconfigure when it is broached in terms of physical sizes? This course focuses on examples where specific, and at times contrasting, attitudes towards the idea of sound-space within musical, architectural and artistic production. The course outlines particular spatial composition techniques, architectural perspectives on sound, and aesthetic challenges that arise from the implementation of an aural-spatial approach to cultural forms. Of particular interest to this course will be certain electro-acoustic compositional methods (as seen in the work of Iannis Xenakis), spatial musical approaches (such as the work of Alvin Lucier), and historic architectural anomalies (such as the British acoustic defense project). Classes will also cover a brief introduction to the physical properties of sound as well as hands-on experience with electro-acoustic spatial compositional tools (such as wave field synthesis); none-the-less, the emphasis will be on a theoretical discussion of the questions at hand. The course is structured as a one-year program organized around the themes of “echo”, “resonance” and “oscillation” aiming at providing tools towards a critical engagement with the contemporary sonic preoccupations.

Date, time and location

First and second semester 2016-2017.

Mondays from 10:30 - 13:00 hrs.
First class on Monday 19 September 2016.
Final class on Monday 19 June 2017.
PLEASE NOTE: no classes on: 17 October, 24 October, 31 October, 26 December 2016, and 2 January, 27 February, 17 April and 24 April and 5 June 2017!

Room SON 15 Varèsezaal, Royal Conservatoire, Juliana van Stolberglaan 1, 2595 CA Den Haag, 070 315 15 15

Teaching method:

Seminar and lectures.

Course objectives:

Students who have followed these classes have: – The ability to think of sound in terms of its physical presence (frequency in
terms of physical sizes) – The ability to implement practical approaches to sound spatialization – The ability to think critically in terms of spatial oriented musical works – Comprehend the relevance of sonic spatial practices in various disciplines – Comprehend the contextual and historical constitution of listening cultures – An understanding of historic paradigms of sound and space

Course load:

10 ects.

Time table:

First and second term.
Day/time/room: Information will be announced here shortly.
Course takes place at the Royal Conservatory, Juliana van Stolberglaan 1, Den Haag (near The Hague Central station ).


Register for this course via uSis.


Rogier Schneemann
Kees Tazelaar, e-mail: or

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