Study information

“Beauty begins where science and art collaborate.” -Edgard Varèse

Music is a living art form that is influenced by scientific and technological developments, and vice versa. Sonology is the field of study involving experimentation with electroacoustic music, digital music and the art of sound. The pioneers of the age of electronic music include figures such as Dick Raaijmakers (who studied at the Royal Conservatoire), Steve Reich and Edgard Varèse, sound composers with an inquiring mind who dared to move off the beaten track. Whereas sounds are the building blocks for composing instrumental music, practitioners of sonology design and  compose the sounds themselves – digitally, on the basis of physical principles of sound and on the basis of perception, but also purely on the basis of compositional motives.

The explosive pace of advances in the field of (computer) technology and electronics is also creating new possibilities for music and composition. Sonologists investigate these possibilities and add new elements to the musical domain. We are not bound by conventions or stylistic dogmas, but stretch the limits of the genre. It is an important role that we play and one that is integral to the world of new music.

The Institute of Sonology is a creative department with an extensive network of partners that includes the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris, the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI), the Studio for Elektro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam, Studio LOOS in The Hague, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Game of Life Foundation in The Hague.

The curriculum of the four-year Bachelor programme in Sonology, which is taught entirely in English, covers every technical aspect of electroacoustic music and the artistic context in which those techniques are applied. The subjects include studio composition, writing and using computer applications, research into sound, the relationship between sound and space, digital signals, algorithmic composition, the theory of electronic music, live compositions, improvisation and the art of sound. The Conservatoire has five studios fitted with state-of-the-art sound equipment. One studio has a Wave Field Synthesis system for spatial sound projections. The Conservatoire’s concert halls frequently host concerts by students, faculty members, guest artists and the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble.

In addition to group lessons, you will devote steadily more time to your own projects as the course progresses. The projects can focus on technical or artistic aspects and you will have regular opportunities to present the results to an audience in the Conservatoire’s concert halls. A Bachelor’s degree in Sonology opens the way to a career as an independent musical artist or in the field of multimedia, sound design, live electronic music, sound engineering or education.

Teachers

Specifications

Language

English

Duration

4 years

Degree

Bachelor of Music in Sonology

Tuition fee

Check 'Tuition fees'

Department head

Kees Tazelaar

Related studies

Introduction Royal Conservatoire