TEACHING: seminars, workshops, lecturing

Acoustics, Psychoacoustics, and Modalities of Listening


Digital Media Research Centre (DMARC), University of Limerick. Fall term 2013, 2014, 2015.


I was lecturer for this Masters module, responsible also for practical laboratories and the end of term concert.

This module begins with the physics of sound and the biology of the ear, before differentiating between the objective world of acoustics and the phenomenological world of psychoacoustics. In the third section, contemporary issues in sound studies -- listening, acoustic ecology, soundscape studies, noise -- are discussed.

For the term assignment, students build an experimental acoustic instrument in order to demonstrate their understanding of the physical components and how these produce sound. The accompanying paper can include historical or cultural background, instrument classification, acoustic modelling, spectral analysis, or other details. Furthermore, they must learn to play the instrument and demonstrate technique.

The first year I taught this module I followed the outline laid down before me, which included an end of term examination. By the third year I had changed the structure significantly and rewritten all the material. I believe that modules need to change to reflect changing cohorts.