Term 1: Foundation (60 credits)
Contemporary Production Techniques
The Contemporary Production Techniques discipline is designed to provide you with the necessary skills to be able to manage, execute and deliver the practical production aspects of the course. You will explore the essential tools and techniques associated within modern production environments, as we analyse the approaches deployed within the production process of several creative recording sessions.
Study of relevant tools within the software landscape, alongside recording techniques and microphone deployment, plays a large part of this module.
Composing and Arranging
The Composing & Arranging discipline focuses on the use and application of musical concepts and techniques. Designed to embed music composition skills for technical professionals from the production idiom, the study includes critical analysis of commercial composition techniques, case studies, genres and the practical evaluation of your own original works.
Alongside this, you will begin to examine the theoretical framework of composition and explore its relationship to practice, including; chords, melody, harmony, countermelodies, musical hooks, harmonic and melodic rhythm and other rhythmic structures and arranging.
The Music Industry: Landscape
The module focuses on the interconnected and collaborative stakeholders and activities undertaken in the production, distribution and marketing of commercially released music. It begins with a mapping and critical evaluation of label, publisher and creative artist management in its historical context along with an analysis of how that landscape is evolving and adapting to competitive dynamics.
The module continues with an audit of those key creative management entities, roles functions, budget and timeline variables. It also details all of the music and entertainment industry legal and contractual points covering recording, publishing, management, live, digital, synchronisation and brand licensing, new tools, techniques and case studies in the physical and digital worlds. Case studies used will be based in the UK and the wider international music scene, and will include both major labels and independents.
Students are assessed on the formulation of a professional campaign for an independent music artist of your choosing, presenting a detailed analysis of key stakeholders, campaign timelines, budgets and marketing strategy
Term 2: Development (60 credits)
Mixing Techniques and Sound Design
You will continue to extend your knowledge and theoretical understanding of commercial music production through the study of Mixing Techniques.
You will be guided through the process of mixing a track and experiment with signal processing techniques to adapt and incorporate these methods in your own work.
Sound Design and Creative Media Technology
This discipline explores the attributes and protocols associated with the application and deployment of synthesis, sampling and sound design techniques within the hardware and software landscape.
This discipline includes analysis of instrument creation, physical computing, micro controllers and creative coding for musical professionals.
Writing to Brief
You will extend your knowledge and theoretical understanding of commercial composition through the study of writing to a commercial brief. This discipline explores the nature of, and routes to, delivering commercial briefs from record labels, music publishers, film and TV productions, advertising agencies, games developers, corporate audio branding, multi-media convergence events and large scale government or local authority projects.
The Music Industry: Marketing
A conclusion of The Music Industry discipline, Marketing provides a critical evaluation and analysis of the principals and practices of marketing, both physical and digital, with specific reference to entertainment, youth, media and campaign driven marketing case studies.
Term 3: Creation (60 credits)
Creative Production Project
This module is the culmination of your Masters level studies and an opportunity for you to plan, research and ultimately create a major creative production project. The nature and scope of the project you undertake is entirely at your discretion and is an opportunity for you to combine theory and practice into a single portfolio of work.
Throughout the module, you will enhance your skills as both a researcher and music producer practitioner, through the design of a body of work that is based on a sound theoretical framework and linked to your main areas of production interests.
The module is supported by an initial series of classes in academic research methods, critical and reflective analysis and project management techniques. You will also be allocated an industry mentor for the duration of the module who will help guide the development of your work. Meetings with your mentor will take place through a balance of regular Skype meetings.