Our MA in Music Production gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and industry professionals to develop both practical studio craft along with a firm theoretical and critical understanding of modern technique and practice.
This new programme (which replaces the Production pathway of the Music MA) provides practical, theoretical and analytical study of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted which examines how creative studio practice is informed by perspectives provided by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology. Professional competences in various aspects of sound recording practice are developed and assessed, along with the underlying transferable knowledge. This is in addition to a cultural and historical perspective which encourages the understanding of production, with its own notions of style and genre, as an evolving and integral part of music making.
The MA in Music Production degree is aimed at students wishing to explore the practice and theory of Music Production. This combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focussed individual skills and scholarship. Music Production might involve anything ranging from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. There are also important philosophies and technologies underlying this discipline that are constantly evolving.
Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals. This is not a training course in specific pieces of software or hardware. It is a year-long exposure to thinking about and working in Music Production in its many forms. It is an opportunity to develop your own ideas, styles and career in this exciting discipline.
Structure and Ethos
The use of technology for the creation and capture of music is a core part of the Department of Music’s activities. The Department is home to the Music Research Centre: one of the finest facilities for listening to and recording sound in the UK. There is a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15), a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics and two mix down/control rooms. The department’s main concert hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. This remarkable set of facilities is populated with a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software. There are extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. Surround sound work is very well supported by multiple sets of 5.1 and full periphonic (i.e. with height) ambisonic reproduction systems.
Throughout the course MA Music Production students are expected to use these facilities to make recordings and other audio artefacts. Running alongside this practical activity are taught modules which provide an understanding and fluency in audio signals and systems and the production chain, listening and analytical skills. In the final six months students produce a self-directed portfolio as well as undertaking a large research project.
Industry and Employment Relevance
The role of producer is widely recognised within the music industry, across all styles and in many different areas of activity. This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for entrepreneurs or for candidates seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. The department is home to professional sound recordists, producers, performers, composers and technology developers and so offers a unique combination of expertise in this field. Rather than a narrow set of competencies which will quickly date, you will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers. A significant proportion of our graduates go on to do further research at PhD level.