Introduction to Electroacoustic Music

Syllabus - Fall 2017

A survey of the techniques, history, literature and materials of electroacoustic music.

Required Texts:

Material Required:

Optional Resources/Materials:


Office: Office 221/Lab 147/Studio 340/Lair 231

Office Phone No.: (352) 273-3176

Office Hours: see schedule

Professor: Dr. James Paul Sain [email]

Graduate Assistant: Hooman Rafraf [email]

GA Office Hours: TBA

Studio/Lab Assistants: Garrett Hecker [email] & Rob Seaback [email]

Listserv (closed):


1) All listening selections are from the AFA Library Listening Area; please plan your time accordingly. A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on the part of the library support staff.

2) Late work is not accepted.

3) We are very fortunate to have a highly skilled graduate assistant (GA) serving this course (among numerous other duties). The GA will have regularly scheduled weekly office hours. Limited time may be available outside these office hours only at their discretion. Please contact the GA well in advance of your needs via email or in person after class (please respect the personal time of our GA). Come prepared with your materials well underway when working with the GA. As the assignments are designed to require you to apply the techniques demonstrated in class, the GA will only review the techniques and concepts outlined in the class lectures. Again, like the library staff, a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on the part of our GA.

4) Attendance is required at all classes. Should a class be missed, it is the student's responsibility to see that the lecture notes from the missed class are obtained from a classmate and any work assigned is completed by their return (a class list will be supplied to help facilitate this policy). After three (3) class absences your grade will be lowered one grade increment for each absence after three (ie A to A-, or C to C-). Your grade will be lowered one grade increment for each UnBalanced Connection concert missed. Each missed concert or presentation will also result in a reduction in your grade by one increment.

5) The Electroacoustic Music Studio is available for use by each electroacoustic music student; this open use time will be available on a first come, first served basis.. Should it be necessary we can provide a sign-up for secured times. If that is necessary, each studio user has a five minute grace period after which the studio will revert to open use.

6) Sign-in/out is required when using either the lab or studio. You must return the studio to the normal condition after each use or your use privileges will be removed.

7) Plan early for your final project...things have a way of happening at the last minute.

8) The requirements, emphasis, and timing of this course may be changed or adjusted to meet the specific needs of the class as determined by the instructor.

9) All students of The University of Florida are expected to conduct themselves in a reasonable and professional manner at all times as described in the Student Honor Code; please refer to The Code for specifics.

10) UF Software Copyright Policy: All faculty, staff and students of the University of Florida are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against the University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

11) UF Counseling Services - Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance.

12) Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office in Peabody Hall. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

13) My office door is always open; please feel free to drop by to discuss class issues as the need arises.

Course Outline
(post Hurricane Irma edition)

Chadabe Reading Outlines by Sain, Sample Quizzes, Listening List, Moog Patch Diagram, and Truax Letter - [.pdf]
Backus, Ch. 1 PowerPoint slides by Hooman Rafraf - [.pptx]
Backus, Ch. 1-8 PowerPoint slides by Luis Damiani - [.pptx]
Backus, Ch. 1-6 notes by Sam Hamm - [.pdf]
Backus, Ch. 7-8 notes by Andrew Babcock - [.pdf] Electroacoustic Music Genre Flow Chart (a la Barry Schrader)
Audio Connectors
Moog Model 15 Patch Sheet
Truax Letter
On-Line Handbook for Acoustic Ecology
What is MIDI (by MMA) Sonic State Synth Site
The Vintage Synth Explorer
ARP Tech
The Club of Knobs Analog Synthesizers

QUIZZES: Quizzes contain material from assigned reading, listening and class lectures (can contain review material based on the class' previous quiz performance).

SMALL PROJECTS: These projects, when using MIDI, are handed in by sending the MIDI file to the instructor via email and a musical copy on an audio CD. If the project is using an analog machine, for example the Moog Series 15 Synthesizer, a hardcopy of the patch diagram is required in lieu of the emailed MIDI file. A handout is available further outlining each project's requirements.

UNBALANCED CONNECTION CONCERT: All students are required to participate in the UnBalanced Connection concert Friday, 28 Oct 2016 at 7:30p. Students are encouraged to have compositions presentable for performance on this concert. All students are required to set-up, attend, and tear-down for this concert (set-up usually begins the early afternoon of the concert day). The concert will be held in MUB 101. Please clear your schedules early to avoid a conflict.

MID-TERM EXAMINATION: Subjective comprehensive examination of material and a listening test of literature.

FINAL EXAMINATION: Subjective comprehensive examination of material and a listening test of literature.

FINAL PROJECT: Creative work to demonstrate an understanding and application of the principles and aesthetics discussed and experienced during the course of the semester. These projects will be retained/archived. Do not hand in your only copy.

EXTRA CREDIT REPORT: Five to ten (5-10) page report on an approved composer or topic; an addition bibliography/discography must be included. See me for approval. This is worth an additional 5 points toward your final grade!

SAFETY HINT: Always keep several back-up copies of your work on multiple media; if you have a personal Macintosh you may wish to keep one copy on your personal hard-drive. Do not use the labs'/studio's hard-drives as personal storage devices. All drives are regularly cleaned of all unauthorized software, files, and documents. Do not reorganize any software on the platforms in either the Computer Aided Music Instruction Lab (MUB 147) or the Electroacoustic Music Studio (MUB 340). Please sign in and out each time you use the studio or lab.

HEARING SAFETY: It is very important that the student of electroacoustic music be aware of the listening environment in which they are working. The studio environment can, if used improperly, subject the listeners ears to unhealthy sound pressure levels. For more information and links to web sites about hearing health click here .

- last update 9 November 2017 -