Module code: TON1021

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

MASON RD Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 102

Lecture Hours: 48

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HOURS) 70

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

• None for Tonmeister students.

Module overview

This module is intended to introduce you to acoustics, psychoacoustics and computer systems using a combination of theory and application.

Module aims

To introduce you to theoretical and practical aspects of acoustics and psychoacoustics.

To provide a theoretical understanding and a practical working knowledge of computer systems, and their use in the control and processing of audio and MIDI data.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Explain the transmission of sound though a medium and around obstacles. KC
Perform calculations relating to sound pressure, power and intensity levels. KC
Discuss the acoustical factors relating to the perception of timbre. KC
Explain the mechanisms of sound production in a range of musical instruments and in the human voice. KC
Explain the behaviour of sound in enclosed spaces, with reference to free, near and diffuse sound fields; standing waves; sound absorption, reflection and transmission; and reverberation. KC
Recommend appropriate treatment to modify the acoustics of a given enclosed space. KCP
Explain why the decimal, binary, hexadecimal and two's complement formats are commonly used in audio engineering, perform simple arithmetic operations in each format and convert numbers between the different formats. KC
Explain the operating principles of a microprocessor-based computer system. KC
Explain the hardware and software principles of MIDI control. KC
Write computer code to perform simple MIDI processing tasks. KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The following is an indication of the likely topics to be covered:


• Acoustic fundamentals and the decibel.

• Musical acoustics and the human voice.

• Room acoustics and acoustic treatment.

• Number systems (decimal, binary, hexadecimal and two’s complement).

• Microprocessor-based computer systems.

• Computer-based audio and MIDI systems.

• The MIDI protocol, hardware and software.

• Basic software engineering and the MaxMSP programming environment.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: develop your skills and knowledge in

acoustics and computer audio systems, allowing modules in later semesters to build on this



The learning and teaching methods include:


• Two two-hour lectures per week

• In-class exercises

• Practical classroom demonstrations

• Guided reading

• Coursework assignments and feedback

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop subject knowledge (exam) and programming skills (coursework).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

•      Coursework – two programming tasks for MaxMSP (addresses learning outcomes 9– 10); and

•      2hr exam – written paper under exam conditions (addresses learning outcomes 1–8).

Formative  assessment

There are no formal formative assessment components for this module, but formative feedback will be given to you in tutorials as required, during the in-class exercises, and in the form of regular revision questions in lectures.


Written feedback will be given on your coursework.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)(CORE) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(CORE) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.