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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course will help students develop a critical awareness of the history and practice of experimental music in the 1950s to 1980s, particularly focusing on the experimental music in North America and Continental Europe. What is experimental music? What historical and aesthetica significance does experimental music in the 50s onward on a diverse range of today's music making (classical and popular music)? By conducting a wide-ranging survey of music from Cage, Feldman, Ashley, Young, Conrad and Reich, happenings by Fluxus, electronic and minimal music, the course encourages students to survey and explore various experimental ideas for their compositional project.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Suk-jun Kim

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • One of Bachelor of Music or Bachelor Of Music With Honours (Community Music) or Bachelor of Music with Honours (Music and Communities) or Bachelor of Music with Honours (Education)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will survey the development of experimental music since the early 1950s in North American and Continental Europe, focusing on the history, key composers and compositions, and techniques. Along the way, the course will always make links between experimental music as a historical concept and as a contemporary theme. Throughout the course, the students will be strongly encouraged to break away from the typical concert-based musical work to seek out new and experimental ideas and framework for their compositional and performance practice. 

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Final composition (100%)

Resit: 3000-word essay of the topic agreed by the course coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Oral feedback will be provided on contribution to seminars and presentations.

Written feedback will be given on the concert review and the final composition.

Course Learning Outcomes


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