History of Media and Technology: Sound, the Minority Report -- Radical Music of the Past 100 Years

Closeup of knobs, dials and wires on an analog synthesizer.
Up close with a prototype Serge Modular Synthesizer. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Marshall.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2006



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Course Description

This course looks at the history of avant-garde and electronic music from the early twentieth century to the present. The class is organized as a theory and production seminar for which students may either produce audio/multimedia projects or a research paper. It engages music scholarship, cultural criticism, studio production, and multi-media development, such as recent software, sound design for film and games, and sound installation. Sound as a media tool for communication and sound as a form of artistic expression are subjects under discussion. The artists' work reviewed in the course includes selections from audio innovators such as the Italian Futurists, Edgard Varèse, John Cage, King Tubby, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk, Merzbow, Aphex Twin, Rza, Björk, and others.

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Coleman, Beth. CMS.876 History of Media and Technology: Sound, the Minority Report -- Radical Music of the Past 100 Years, Spring 2006. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/comparative-media-studies/cms-876-history-of-media-and-technology-sound-the-minority-report-radical-music-of-the-past-100-years-spring-2006 (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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