Masters Program in Sound Studies [Berlin]

a6_ostkreuzsstlogokl_web_ger_eng.jpgSound Studies/Acoustic Communication Master’s Program Sound Studies :: Berlin University of the Arts.

Sound studies explore and form the acoustic dimensions of culture by using interdisciplinary methods. While applying a broader scale of theories and practices originating in art, cultural and social sciences, or design, sound studies aim at equally comprehensive and profound investigations of sonic phenomena, which then can be realized in diverse forms: as texts, as interventions, as works of art or as commercial projects. To cover all aspects, Sound Studies / Acoustic Communication at the Berlin University of the Arts are structured in four different fields: anthropology and ecology of sounds, experimental sound art and sound design, digital audio design, and acoustic conceptualization / brand communication.

Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication is a graduate program. It is designed to enable advanced students and professionals of other fields to work with sounds and sound environments in diverse contexts. In a compact study program of four semesters, Sound Studies / Acoustic Communication offers a comprehensive qualification for sound-related professions including sound designer/sound consultant in the fields of digital media, design, art, music, journalism or architecture. In this framework students receive individual coaching by experts of their fields: the visiting professors and lecturers of Sound Studies / Acoustic Communication.

The study program was developed with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research program from 2002 to 2005. The Master’s Program Sound Studies/Acoustic Communication was officially accredited by the European agency ACQUIN until September 2011.

Contents of the Master’s Program:

Anthropology and Ecology of Sounds

The theoretical fundamentals of sound studies are provided in this field, applying the methodology of cultural and social sciences. The topics include the cultural sensitization of listening, verbalization of listening and hearing experiences, phenomenology of sounds, cultural theory and history of listening, introduction to psycho-acoustics as well as to the phenomenological analysis of sound environments.

Experimental Sound Art and Sound Design

In this field students are introduced to historical and contemporary strategies, methods and forms in audio production beyond cultural conventions and mainstream media practices. Works of early media art, radio art, electro-acoustic music as well as sound works in digital networks and in multi-medial data spaces (e.g. internet, CAVE, GPS) are described and analyzed. Students are expected to realize and present their own experimental projects.

Digital Audio Design

Exploring and understanding underlying concepts, possibilities and limits of tools for sound manipulation and production. Interaction between the tools and the artistic results. Methods of sculpturing sound in music, film, games, interactive environments and performances. Insight in structures and workflows in contemporary sound production. Practical approaches to sound design for functional-,narrative-, and emotional sounds.

Acoustic Conceptualization / Brand Communication

The courses give a comprehensive introduction to a professional development of a sound environment. The main subject is the process of planning, communication and realization, while projects may include all media. The major applications include public and corporate communication, architecture, urbanistics, and landscape planning.

Structure of the Master’s Program: The study program is structured in four semesters. In the first semester students take introductory courses in all four fields, in the second they can deepen and apply their knowledge in project workshops. The second year is dedicated to specialization and professionalization, while each student focuses on one of the four fields (Anthropology and Ecology of Sounds, Experimental Sound Art and Sound Design, Digital Audio Design or Acoustic Conceptualization / Brand Communication). In the third semester every student realizes an individual or collaborative project, mostly in cooperation with a corporate partner or an institution. At the end of the fourth semester students are expected to finish their master thesis.

Up to 25 students are enrolled at the Master’s Program Sound Studies/ Acoustic Communication every year. The period of time within which students must complete their studies is 4 semesters starting in April each year. The language in which the courses are conducted is German. In successfully completing the program of Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication the students earn the academic degree Master of Arts.

Course Requirements: Applicants should hold a first (university) degree in one of the following fields: communication, arts, sociology, music, sound technology, architecture, literature, cultural anthropology or any other related subject.

Relevant practical experience in working with sounds and sound environments is a further requirement. Applicants whose native language is not German have to prove their proficiency in German. Tuition fee for four semesters: 9.600 EUR.

You can find the Academic Staff here:
For further information, contact:
Berlin University of the Arts
Master’s Program Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication
phone: (+49 30) 3185-2511

Dec 20, 2009
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