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Introduction into Sound Art


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements for this course.


Over the past century, an art form has emerged that draws from the worlds of visual arts and music. While sound’s increasing importance in the art world is evidenced by recent exhibitions, concerts, and literature dedicated to the subject, sound art has not yet become a topic that is often discussed in university classes.
The course will introduce students into the world of sound art, its genealogy and archeology as well as its current very diverse manifestations, often away from concert halls and traditional musical instruments: (interactive) sound installations, sound art concerts, soundwalks, field recordings, etc.

The course has a theoretical-reflective as well as a practical-creative component: besides studying and discussing literature on sound art, a soundwalk and a visit to a sound art exhibition will be planned. Besides, students will be invited to make their own (digital) sound art work.

Course objectives

In this course, students will:

  • Students get introduced into the world of sound art: its definitions, its history, its current practices, etc.

  • Students get acquainted with theoretical-reflective literature on sound art: sound and space; silence and noise; music and sound art; etc.

  • Students will study sound art also through active listening, e.g. by visiting sound art exhibitions, listening to recordings, and soundwalking.

  • Students will tap into their own creativity by making a sound art work themselves.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 20

  • Study of compulsory literature and sound art works: 100

  • Assignment(s): 15

  • Final assignments: 5

Assessment method


The final mark for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average of grades for weekly assignments.

Not all weekly assignment grades need to be sufficient or better, although all weekly assignments are required to be completed and turned in.


In case a student is not capable of completing a weekly assignments, the lecturer will provide an alternative assignment.
In case the final (weighted average) grade for the course is not sufficient, the student may redo one or more of the weekly assignments, or the lecturer may provide one or more additional assignments.

Inspection and feedback

Students are returned their weekly assignments including comments and grades.

Feedback can be arranged through individual appointments.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • study materials

  • announcements and assignments

  • additional information regarding literature, sound art, individual concerts etc.

Reading list

Literature is being provided through Blackboard.
Literature is required to be studies before the seminar/lecture.

No literature is required to be acquired beforehand.

Reading list:

  • Cobussen, Meelberg, and Truax (eds) (2017). The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art

  • Licht (2007). Sound Art. Beyond Music, Between Categories

  • Sterne (ed.) (2012). The Sound Studies Reader

  • LaBelle (2015). Background Noise. Perspectives on Sound Art

  • Voegelin (2010). Listening to Noise and Silence. Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Lecturer: Prof. dr. M.A. Cobussen
Coordinator: Dhr. ir. R.T.W.L. Schneemann


For other courses in the domains of music and fine arts, please visit:

Elective courses music and fine arts