Master by Project (Music Technology)

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  • Objectives
    The focus of an MA by Project is a self-originated substantial body of independent work. The research project may be practice-based, or developed as a thesis. The project may involve the development of design(s), artwork(s), craftwork(s), artifact(s), article(s), musical instrument(s), or research on existing examples of the above, or processes for the production or development of the above, submitted as a body of practical work with accompanying reflective and critical report. Alternately, the research can be written up and submitted as a dissertation. It is undertaken by proposing a project and then carrying it through within a supportive and structured framework. The course welcomes applications for projects developing designs or exploring aspects of the development of furniture, its production, and market. Other suitable projects include research into aspects of furniture design practice, materials, processes, history or theory.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants are expected to possess an honours degree in applied art, design, fine art, music technology, or restoration and conservation. However, applications are considered from those who possess degrees in related disciplines, and those with related professional or BTEC qualifications. Consideration will be given to those without standard entry qualifications, who have gained non-certified experience through prior learning, provided evidence is given that this is commensurate with entry qualifications for a postgraduate course.
  • Academic title
    MA by Project (Music Technology)
  • Course description
    Course structure
    TTe Musical Instrument Technology section of the Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media, and Design is unique in the United Kingdom. Research strengths include the history of woodwind, string and keyboard instruments, late Medieval and Renaissance instrumental music, and the development of new instruments. The Music and Technology Research Group runs a regular Music and Technology Research Seminar to which staff, research students and visiting scholars contribute.

    The course is based on a commitment to independent study at postgraduate level.

    The course involves thinking and working through what is entailed in the project, and locating it in appropriate contexts. The research methods module and research seminars are designed to open up a range of approaches to the analysis and discussion of research methods and strategies, in order to foster analytical, reflective, and evaluative skills, and the ability to locate practice within critical, theoretical, and cultural contexts.

    You follow a core programme of research seminars, and an agreed course of independent study monitored by a negotiated learning agreement. During the first semester both full-time and part-time students develop their initial ideas into a fully worked-out project proposal. This is put before the examination board for approval before progress on the course can continue. Completion of the MA requires that your project proposal is developed into a body of practical work of the required standard with a critical report, or developed into a body of research written up as a thesis.

    Types of Projects
    -research into old and extinct musical instruments through their reconstruction
    -related historiography
    -research into ancient musical instrument making tools and workshop practices
    -the development of new instruments for new music
    -acoustical analysis of instruments

    The course is able to offer access to a wide range of specialist workshop provision including specialised workshops for string instrument making and laboratories for acoustical analysis. The library is well-stocked with the history of design and manufacturing, construction and science of instruments and of early instrumental music. The periodical holdings include many of the main musicological and art history journals useful for the study of musical instrument technology.

    The integrated learning resource unit provides facilities for media support, open access computing (Macs and PCs), and specialist library stock including slides and videos.

    Lewis Jones is Convenor of the Music and Technology Research Group and Director of the Centre for New Musical Instruments. The Music and Technology Research Group also includes Javier Garavaglia (composition and new technologies), Terry Pamplin (bowed instrument history), and Allan Seago (acoustics and synthesis). Edward Cooper is a specialist in the history of string instruments.

    Career opportunities
    With the course emphasis on self-management, communication, and analytical skills, entry into a wide range of careers is possible. The course is also designed as preparation for study at MPhil and PhD levels.

    Attendance & duration
    -Full-time: one year, day or evening sessions
    -Part-time (day or eve): two years, flexible

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