Audio Communication & Sonology is a joint master’s programme of the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin and the Royal Conservatoire’s Institute of Sonology in The Hague. It combines courses in acoustics, audio technology, signal processing and musicology at the Audio Communication Group of TU Berlin with in-depth study of the artistic aspects of electroacoustic music and sound art at Sonology.
Both departments have made important contributions to the development of electroacoustic music and new forms of acoustic media art since the 1960s, with a particular interest in sound spatialisation technologies and their artistic applications. Since 2000, international partnerships in this discipline have been strengthened by the Edgard Varèse Guest Professorship for Computer Music, awarded to TU Berlin by the German academic exchange programme DAAD, and the equivalent Konrad Boehmer Visiting Professorship established in The Hague in 2016.
Candidates will spend one year studying in Berlin (Audio Communication and Technology) and one year at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (Sonology). Graduates of the programme earn a double degree that offers outstanding prospects for an international career, since it combines a Master of Science from the TU Berlin and a Master of Music in Sonology from the Royal Conservatoire.
The Audio Communication and Technology programme offers teaching and research opportunities in the areas of 3D audio technologies, technology and aesthetics of music media production, room acoustics and musical performance practices, media reception and empirical methods, electroacoustic music, musical information science and media art, and media and communication theory. Chairs involved in the programme include Audio Communication (Prof. Dr. Stefan Weinzierl), Technical Acoustics (Prof. Dr. Ennes Sarradj), Quality and Usability (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Möller), and Media Studies (Prof. Dr. Stephan Günzel). Technical facilities available include two electronic music studios with 8-channel and 12-channel playback and 192-channel wave field synthesis, a 3D Media Lab with stereoscopic 180° panorama projection and dynamic binaural synthesis, a large anechoic chamber and a reverberation chamber for acoustic measurements, and a wave field synthesis demonstration room with 832 channels and 2700 speakers installed.
The Master of Music in Sonology is focused on the realisation of individual research projects. Subject areas covered in Sonology include studio composition, computer programming, sound research, digital signal processing, algorithmic composition, live electronics, improvisation, sound art, field recording, the spatial aspects of sound, and the theory of electronic music.
The Institute of Sonology maintains a close relationship with graduates. A number of them supplement their studies at the Institute as research associates. Alumni are active in multimedia art as composers, performers, sound designers, computer programmers and educators, or in various combinations of these professions.
Faculty members include Prof. Dr. Richard Barrett, Justin Bennett, Lex van den Broek, Raviv Ganchrow, Bjarni Gunnarsson, Paul Jeukendrup, Ji Youn Kang, Fani Konstantinidou, Johan van Kreij, Anne La Berge, Dr. Peter Pabon, Gabriel Paiuk, Irene Ruipérez Canales, Dr. Rebecca Schaefer, Dr. Kees Tazelaar and Rebekah Wilson.
Sonology avails itself of the Royal Conservatoire’s two excellent concert halls for its regular concert presentations. Every year the students perform the results of the final exams at a festival in June. The well-equipped studios enable students to produce and record their projects at a professional level. Sound playback in these studios varies between four and eight channels, as well as wave field synthesis. There is a studio for live electronic music, and a historic studio principally equipped with analogue equipment. The electronics workshop offers the facility to design and build equipment for specific purposes.
There are only six places available on the course, which starts in October with the Audio Communication and Technology programme in Berlin, succeeded by the course in The Hague the following year.