Sound Studies Minor

Sound Studies

Students in the Sound Studies Minor engage in the production, recording, and editing of sound in various modes (podcasts, interviews, music production, sound art, etc.), while also pursuing theory-driven understandings of opportunities afforded by the study of sound in all of its forms and its effects on identity and culture.

To better account for ways that sound and its study impacts the world, the minor pulls from departments in the College of Liberal Arts that don’t normally share students (from Theater, Music, and English, for example). One of the immediate and clear advantages of this interdisciplinarity is that populations of students who might otherwise never meet have the opportunity to work together and learn from each other.

Certainly podcasting, audiobooks, sound art, and music are essential to the minor, as are developing measurable and marketable skills in recording, editing, and distributing sound. But sonic work in user design, accessibility, urban space, archival research, etc., also leads to useful and marketable understandings and abilities. And critical investigations into, for instance, the politics of noise or ethnographies of listening help ensure that any such work—both in the university and beyond—is ethical and democratic.

To count toward the minor, all courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. This minor requires 18 hours, at least six of which must be from the Department of English.

Required courses

ENGL 3380 Rhetoric and Writing with Sound
ENGL 3382 Listening to Literature

Four of the following

ART 4392 Special Studies (when the topic is Sound Art)
BCMN 2357 Radio Production I
BCMN 3380 Podcasting
COMS 1302 Voice and Diction
ENGL 3386 Writing about Music
HIST/AAST 4325 History of Hip Hop
LING 3330 Phonetics and Phonology
LING 4301 Phonological Theory I
MUSI 1301 Elements of Music
MUSI 1324 Explorations in Music Theory
THEA 3303 Sound Design
THEA 3316 Lighting and Sound Technology
THEA/DS 3355 Universal Design & Accessibility in the Performing Arts

What's your soundscape?

One of the jobs of fountains has been to create white noise in public areas. White noise can help mitigate other noises and even out the soundscape. So, in a city, fountains can become a place to get away from traffic noise, a place that feels separate, but the trick is that it happens by adding noise, not subtracting it. Listed below are links to three sound files that were recorded at the water fountain outside Carlisle Hall. One was recorded over the water, one was under the water, and the third is the electromagnetic sound generated by the water.

Sound Studies

There’s an incredible depth to our sonic world, and what we hear is only part of what exists.

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