(musTh625) project 1: musique concrete

Due Tuesday, May 27, at beginning of class.


Compose a short work (45 – 60 seconds) utilizing musique concrète techniques. You will process your sounds in Audacity and/or Audition, and assemble/compose them in Digital Performer. You should use three to five original sound sources.

You will edit and process your sounds using the basic techniques of musique concrète, namely

  • cut/copy/paste
  • gain/amplitude change (overall, or as an envelope)
  • changing playback speed (with or without changing pitch)
  • reversing audio (change direction)
  • equalization

Form does not have to be much of a concern. The ethos of concrete music is experimentation with sound. Anything that sounds interesting from moment to moment will work as a composition in this short format. It can be best to think in terms of gestural or continual variation, whereby anything material that is presented can be subject to immediate variation.

Your project cannot consist entirely of looped material. You should focus on musical gestures, not simply repeated patterns.


  • Duration: 45 – 60 seconds (10)
  • The project must rely on gesture as a primary component of the work. (10)

Additional factors you will be graded on:

  • Creativity: are your edited sounds interesting, and used in interesting ways in the project? (40)
  • Quality of edits and finished audio: you should not have audible clicks at beginnings or ends of edited audio, and your audio should not distort (it should not go over the maximum amplitude). (20)
  • Organization of files and following turn-in procedure: is there a finished, mixed audio file? Can I open your project file and play back all the tracks contained? Did you include your original source files and your processed files? (10)
  • Use of the required minimum number of sound sources (10)

100 points total

Work Procedure/Organization

  • Create a project folder. Name it with your last name and “-1.” For example, my project folder would be kothman-1.
  • Within the project folder, create a folder that contains your original source sound files (name it source sounds, or source files). These files will contain the specific segments of audio you used to start your editing. If you are using snippets from larger works or sound files, your original sounds folder will contain the edited snippets as well.
  • Create a folder for your processed sounds, within the project folder.
  • Launch Digital Performer and save your Digital Performer project within your overall project folder.
  • Make sure you bounce to disk, to make a final stereo mix of your entire project.
  • Compress your entire project1 folder and turn in that compressed folder to me in class (via some type of removable media or cloud storage).


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