Musicology: Doing Sound Studies

Course content

What is sound? What technologies of sound reproduction, what practices of listening and what sensory experiences shape our everyday life as listeners, as instrumentalists, as users of the usual gadgets and apps? Since the early 2000s all of these questions have been explored under the name of Sound Studies -- encompassing very different approaches such as historical studies on sound technology and listening practices as well as contemporary design endeavours and artistic interventions.

This BA-course provides an introduction into this field of research by its the main methods, its crucial texts and researchers, completed with individual hands on-exercises in order to "do sound studies" in a BA-project. We will be exploring the following four main areas in sound studies:

  • Soundscape Studies, Soundscape Composition & Soundwalking
  • Science & Technology Studies of Sound, Science History of Sound & Listening Studies
  • Aural Architecture, Urban Sound Planning & Audiowalks
  • Sound Design, Functional Sounds & Popular Music/Sound Studies

Musikvidenskab, BA-projekt HMVB01621E

  • Bijsterveld, K. & Pinch, T. (2004), “Sound Studies New Technologies and Music“ Social Studies of Science 34/5 (October 2004), pp. 635–648.
  • Bull, M. & Back, L. (2015), The Auditory Culture Reader -- 2nd edition, London: Bloomsbury Publishers.
  • Papenburg, J. G. & Schulze, H. (2016), Sound as Popular Culture. A Research Companion, Cambridge/Massachusetts: The MIT-Press.
  • Sterne, J. (2003), The Sound Studies Reader, London: Routledge Publishing.
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Written assignment
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Course Preparation
  • 311
  • Exam Preparation
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • English
  • 420