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Two really cool free online courses on Notation and Sound from FutureLearn.

Critical Listening for Studio Production – From Queen’s University Belfast

This free online course is a technical ear training programme designed to improve critical listening in a music studio context.

 

About the course

There are many qualities required to be a skilled sound engineer: the theoretical knowledge of sound and audio, the technical mastery of studio hardware and software, and diplomatic people skills, for example. But perhaps the most obvious (and often overlooked) quality required of all sound engineers is the ability to listen.

Sound engineers must constantly evaluate the sound quality of individual sound sources in a mix and evaluate how these sound sources interrelate with one another. The ability to listen critically and make these judgements is a skill that must be learnt through trial and error and repeated practice. This free online course aims to provide you with tools for developing and refining the critical listening skills relevant to contemporary sound engineering and will be of interest to musicians, sound enthusiasts and experienced sound engineers alike.

The course begins by examining the nature of sound and how properties of sound (frequency, amplitude and sound intensity, for example) are expressed. The relationship between these physical properties and the more subjective characteristics of music such as pitch, loudness, dynamic range and timbre is then examined. The remainder of the course focuses on the signal processing techniques commonly used by sound engineers when mixing multitrack recordings – for example, equalisation, compression and reverberation.

On completion of the course you will have a thorough understanding of the workflow involved when mixing a multitrack recording and will have developed the critical listening skills necessary to make informed judgements regarding individual and overall sound quality.

 

#FLcriticalListening

 

From Ink To Sound: Decoding Musical ManuscriptsUniversity of Basel

 

Introduction

Travel through the history of musical notation, learning how to decode medieval music manuscripts, with this free online course.

About the course

Nowadays music is all around us: we listen to it while we are on our way to work, when preparing lunch or even while showering. All this music is written down in its own language – the notation system. But did you ever wonder where this came from? Have you ever looked at a medieval music manuscript and wondered how to read it?In this free online course, we will answer the key questions, including:

  • What happens to music when we write it down? How did this evolve through history?
  • Who wrote down music? And why?
  • Which strategies of visualization came into play?
  • Are notes just another scripture?
  • How does it help us play and listen to music today, if we understand how music was written in earlier times?

Transcribe early music manuscripts

This course will enable you to understand the theoretical and practical principles of reading musical notation from the Middle Ages until the Early Modern Period. We will show you how to decode and transcribe early notational systems. And we will discuss the challenges and principles of music notation, referring to semiotic approaches and visual theory.

Enjoy medieval music

As well as the theoretical and practical parts, this course offers more than 15 recordings of ancient music performances provided by musicians of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis – the renowned institution for ancient music in Basel. These will give you the opportunity to listen to many of the musical pieces that we will discuss during the seven weeks.

#FLinktosound