Sound Cultures

Macquarie University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sound Cultures

  • Host University

    Macquarie University

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Music (BA), Music Performance, Music Technology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    12 credit points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    It is rarely recognised that one of the most distinctive features of the modern world is its sonic environment. Since the late nineteenth century we have for the first time been able to store and mass-circulate sound, and produced a sonic environment that is louder, more dense and more heterogeneous than at any previous time. We are overloaded with sound, it is one of the fastest growing causes of environmental pollution. Today we inhabit multiple and overlapping sonic world in a way once unimaginable. We define ourselves and our space acoustically and some of our most profound experiences are sonic. But while scholars have long meditated on things visual, the invisible world of sound has been barely explored. We will examine various aspects of sound, including its relationship with power, violence, politics and technology. We explore what is unique about sonic experience; the history of sound (and the sound of history); sound and neuroscience; sound and music; sound and image; sounds; sounds and bodies and the sounds of bodies. We analyse the way sonic experience challenges fundamental assumptions that underpin cultural studies including the mind/body split and the cultural construction of identity. This unit will be of broad interest to filmmakers, musicians, sound recordists, listeners, writers and to anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of human communication.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.