UNI DISSERTATION IDEAS>>pls Help..

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makeusabrew
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UNI DISSERTATION IDEAS>>pls Help..

Post by makeusabrew » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:05 pm

Hello all,

I posted this in the 'dubstep' forum http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=62197, and someone suggested that I reposted in here,

I'm a 3rd year student studying music technology at uni, i write music, mainly dubstep at the moment.

I am having a great deal of trouble coming up with a title for my uni dissertation, and was thought it was worth a shot seeing if anyone on here has any ideas..or can give me a hand!

Basically i need to explore and try and prove something., i can do it by writing compositions and then accompany it with an essay. It has to be mainly a practical project, hence the compositions

The problem that I'm having is that i don't know what i could "explore or try to prove" in order to be able to write some electronic compositions, be it exploring something to do with dubstep or just electronica is general

What could i explore within a few compositions? I know there must be so much, but i just can't get my head around it. I know that as soon as i have my title written down, i will be able to crack on with it and do a good job of it, I'm just stuck for getting started..

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated,
I'm finding it pretty hard,
Thanks you lot!
Helen x

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teqh
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Post by teqh » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:34 pm

Im not sure I fully understand what you mean, do you have to write tracks to prove a hypothesis?

slothrop
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Post by slothrop » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:56 pm

Maybe try to bring out links or interrelations between two genres that aren't obviously connected?

slothrop
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Post by slothrop » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:23 pm

Or maybe explore the use of some (abstract) concept in a given style that it isn't a totally obvious element of eg the use of space in techno or the role of rave nostalgia in dubstep or the contrast of real vs synthetic in jungle something.

makeusabrew
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Post by makeusabrew » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:41 pm

TRQH, yes your basically right there. The compositions will have to be demonstrating or showing something, so that they have a point.,

Slothrop,i like the idea of exploring an aspect of a specific genre that isn't usually there, like you said, space in techno, rave nostalgia would also be interesting in dubstep (but would ruin it!), I'm not sure if i would be able to write enough about it though, or I'm not sure that 'a selection of compositions exploring space in techno' would pass as a suitable topic, as I will have to be proving something at the same time. ill deffinatly work on the idea, Thanks for your input

Does anyone else have any thoughts?

x

makeusabrew
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Post by makeusabrew » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:47 pm

I thought this might help you all understand, its from the module guide that i follow explaining what i should do:

The Undergrdaute Major Project represents the culmination of study in the Music and Performing Arts pathways and allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and/or creative work, focused on a topic relevant to their specific pathway. The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require the student to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodolgies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, develop a performance, process data, critically appraise and present their finding using a variety of media.The assessment, which may comprise and extended dissertation, a creative artefact, a performance, or another agreed outcome, (mine will be compositions) will normally include a substantial written report.

-------------------------

Dear CMT student,

It has come to our attention that there is some uncertainty about what can be submitted within the portfolio for Major Projects in Creative Music Technology. To clarify, the written element of your portfolio should comprise a minimum of 2,000 words and detail your project’s plan/rationale, its context and your self-evaluation of your practical work. This self-evaluation should examine the process of creation of your practical project and review what you consider to be the most salient points of this work. For most projects, the practical and creative elements will be the most substantial part of the portfolio. This part of the project may include composition(s), an installation project, a performance, a media production (e.g. radio, film, drama, poetry and/or ‘new media’) and/or software design and implementation.

The exact nature of your project and portfolio should have been negotiated with your supervisor in Semester One and will be described by your registered title. All registered titles are posted on the MPA notice board outside the Departmental Office. Your project must correspond to your title and you must respect the balance of written to practical work as agreed with your supervisor. As all CMT Major Projects must include a substantial practical element, you cannot submit a 10,000-word written dissertation. However, your written element may exceed 2,000-words if this has been agreed in advance with you supervisor. Do bear in mind that the practical work and written element submitted in your portfolio should not together exceed the equivalent of 10,000-words.


Cheers!

x
Last edited by makeusabrew on Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

xxxy
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Post by xxxy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:48 pm

Perhaps you could write about the stylistic influences of early electronic music on underground electronic music of 21st Century and you could take early tracks and try and mold their sound into a modern context through your practical pieces

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Post by slothrop » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:21 pm

makeusabrew wrote:Slothrop,i like the idea of exploring an aspect of a specific genre that isn't usually there, like you said, space in techno, rave nostalgia would also be interesting in dubstep (but would ruin it!), I'm not sure if i would be able to write enough about it though, or I'm not sure that 'a selection of compositions exploring space in techno' would pass as a suitable topic, as I will have to be proving something at the same time. ill deffinatly work on the idea, Thanks for your input
The usual trick for an 'interesting' thesis is taking an aspect of something that isn't apparently there and proving that it's actually a pervasive idea eg all those people who write papers about marxist class struggle in Batman comics. You can turn an interesting topic for exploration into a statement to prove fairly easily by saying something about how important it is and / or why it's important eg "the use of space is fundamental to the buildup of dramatic tension in techno" or "the clash of rudeness and sophistication is a driving force in the development dubstep" or "breton shawm music is a subtle but pervasive influence on clownstep" or something.

Reading people like Kode 9 or K-Punk or Simon Reynolds might be a good source of ideas, they tend to be full of interesting but controversial angles on what dance music is all about...

makeusabrew
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Post by makeusabrew » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:45 pm

Slothrop wrote:
makeusabrew wrote:Slothrop,i like the idea of exploring an aspect of a specific genre that isn't usually there, like you said, space in techno, rave nostalgia would also be interesting in dubstep (but would ruin it!), I'm not sure if i would be able to write enough about it though, or I'm not sure that 'a selection of compositions exploring space in techno' would pass as a suitable topic, as I will have to be proving something at the same time. ill deffinatly work on the idea, Thanks for your input
The usual trick for an 'interesting' thesis is taking an aspect of something that isn't apparently there and proving that it's actually a pervasive idea eg all those people who write papers about marxist class struggle in Batman comics. You can turn an interesting topic for exploration into a statement to prove fairly easily by saying something about how important it is and / or why it's important eg "the use of space is fundamental to the buildup of dramatic tension in techno" or "the clash of rudeness and sophistication is a driving force in the development dubstep" or "breton shawm music is a subtle but pervasive influence on clownstep" or something.

Reading people like Kode 9 or K-Punk or Simon Reynolds might be a good source of ideas, they tend to be full of interesting but controversial angles on what dance music is all about...
Thanks Slothrop!
You seem to be able to do what i have trouble doing very well. By the sound of it, if i was you I would have graduated last year like i was supposed to!! I find it hard to like you said 'turn a topic into a statement.' But then again, i've been finding it hard to come up with the actual topic. I just want to write music! Like you know its what element or issue that I'm exploring thats holding me back

I will definitely be reviewing what you have said, and ill keep you posted with any thoughts I have. if you have any more ideas please let me know!

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teqh
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Post by teqh » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:27 pm

xx xy wrote:Perhaps you could write about the stylistic influences of early electronic music on underground electronic music of 21st Century and you could take early tracks and try and mold their sound into a modern context through your practical pieces

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kindofblue272
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Post by kindofblue272 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:31 pm

By the sound of the clarification your uni wrote you just need to produce a substantial creative work, perform it, and then write an evalutation of the process.
i'm not a hippie,
but yo, b, i'm hip

makeusabrew
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Post by makeusabrew » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:50 pm

Cheers kindofblue,

that is pretty much it, i dont even need to perform it.

You are right about having substantial creative work, which i would like to be a selection compositions, I'm all ready to get started on them (well i say that, but i mean im mentally ready to start working on them and crack on with this project) apart from i need to know what is the focus and the drive behind the compositions, what are they showing, which is what im trying to figure out with everyone now. there has to be a reason for me to be writing the pieces to be showing something, then i will have something to write about for the evaluation, not just 'i made a selection of dubstep compositions because i waned to show you that i can write dubstep'..hmmm

I like TEQH's idea

"Perhaps you could write about the stylistic influences of early electronic music on underground electronic music of 21st Century and you could take early tracks and try and mold their sound into a modern context through your practical pieces."

I could look at some Stockhausen pieces or some other old experimental electronica and try and modernise them into dubsteppy pieces. I guess i would have to try and find a piece that i could find some similarities to a more modern piece. But then what would it be that i was trying to prove? that there are similarities? I guess i would need to figure out a more specific similarity or specific type of influence..

I feel like im getting somewhere, a little

Thanks for the help everyone,,

I might keep this post as a sort of a blog for my ideas. If anyone wants to add anything it would be greatly appreciated!!

Helen
x

b-lam
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Post by b-lam » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:04 am

if it was me and I wanted to link it to dubstep, I'd do it on the physicality of bass... base it around an installation with a nice acoustic space, some subs and some 100hz and lower compositions that really work with vibrations in the body...


btw it doesn't look like you have to 'prove' anything, it looks like it can be a more open ended exploration of an idea.

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Post by jagle » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:43 am

try working all with one technique of sound design
all found sounds? recordings of getting the buss to uni in the morning

all FM synthesis?
opens up massive possibilty

all from a 2 second sample of for example hitting two wine glasses together
(but not that one, thats done already by a gu called threvor wishard)


good luck

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tempest
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Post by tempest » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:14 am

physicality of bass and its effects on facial expressions and hand signals

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Post by arcticsunrise » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:32 am

generally for uni courses you just to have prove and explain why you have done what you have done with lots of thoughts for discussion.

i personally wouldnt think about the type of music you make now and trying to find a way to incorporate that. id start the other way round and then see if your music would fit in. i know its a music theory type course so you can go for a quite compelx one but fairly easy to debate

"do you need to have an understanding of any musical theory to make creative tracks"

or soemthing like that. its worth a good debate. then you can take peices from histroy (depends how far u want to go) and disect them that way. then to prove a point if you have / or havent got traditonal classical training - make a track or 2 as your final piece and use that to end of the discussion / debate

Many amazing tracks have come about by eitehr accident / experimenting etc but then some fabulous works of music art are down to amazing scoring. - not just calssical either.

just a random idea.

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futures_untold
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Post by futures_untold » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:52 am

My two cents worth;

You could look at the significance of the amen break in the development of many music genres. I'm sure you could further examine the amen break and how it fits with the golden ratio.

Similarly, you could explore a sound like the hoover ad how it has been used across electronic genres.

Finally, maybe you could explore the origins of dubstep and its influences. This could involve looking into the various music styles/scenes from which it evolved, it could involve looking at the types of sounds used and furthermore, it could involve looking at the political/social nature of dubstep and how it has become a global music scene.

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Post by slothrop » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:02 pm

arcticsunrise wrote:"do you need to have an understanding of any musical theory to make creative tracks"
Very very very hard to pin down, though. How do you define a 'creative track'? If you analyze a random jungle track (say) and conclude that it's very 'creative', how can you be sure that the artist doesn't actually have grade 8 viola or A-level music or at least that they haven't read an online guide to theory or a theory thread on a forum or something... dodgy ground indeed.

Influence of early electronic classical is a bit of an interesting one - as far as I can see they've had pretty much zero direct influence on how things evolved - I mean, DJ Kool Herc presumably didn't think "hey that Pierre Schaeffer minimalist turntable drone music is very interesting, maybe I should invent beat juggling?" On the other hand, the processes of classical electronics shaped the processes that became the standards for all dance music ie sampling, subtractive synthesis etc...

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Post by makeusabrew » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:47 pm

Wow, thanks for all your replies, its really helping me and boosting my confidence that I'm GOING to get my title down..

I like jagles idea

'try working all with one technique of sound design
all found sounds? recordings of getting the buss to uni in the morning
all FM synthesis?
opens up massive possibilty'
Like accousmatic compositions. I would also enjoy writing compositions this way, searching for the sounds i need and recording them. hmmmm

Articsunrise, I also like your idea, but the problem is that i do have a fair bit of knowledge of music theory and my lecturers know this. I'm grade 7 saxophone and grade 6 theory, plus A level Music. But then as Slothrop said, it would be hard to define 'creative track'. And i think that these days its not too hard for people with hardly any music theory skills to sit down and write some sort of piece using a sequencer on mac or pc., tricky one


looking at influence of early electronica, but the topic of influence is a hard one thinking about it, say that if a composition or elements of a composition written. e.g 40 years ago have similarities to a modern composition, its hard to say that the more recent piece was influenced by the older one. Although i should be able to find some links, where people like Aphex Twin or Autechre have written experimental pieces that are directly linked to some techniques of some older electronica..

hmmm well still thinking guys!

Need to come up with this title :x

Thanks again for the help so far!!!

x

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Post by arcticsunrise » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:43 pm

yeh i get what your saying. sorry just a random thought.

looking at processes etc, why not look into mathmetics and how theyve influenced electronic (or not so) music
. conways life, being one example.
people like autechre/ but then you can use people like nyman and cage then. compare the 2. same ideas diff equipment/techniques

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