Final Week!

This summer session has flown by. And all of you have really kept up with the tough pace of the summer. Now, we have a final week to finish your project and reflect upon what we’ve learned.

SEP 9: Read this short article by Oserio and Iwertz Composing Captions. We are going to use this to talk about accessibility. No need for a reading response for this one.

Assignment: Just focus on revise rough draft of Project 2.

In class: Final round of peer review and design.

Prepare to present on your final project. This should be just 5 minutes. Share an overview of your argument, one audio clip, and your analysis and conclusions from that audio clip.

SEP 11:
1. SUBMIT PROJECT 2 RESEARCH ARTICLE (before class on blog) &
2. REFLECTION ESSAY that explains your process, choices, and evaluates what you learned. This reflection essay should 1) explain your process composing the article (What steps were important? What was challenging? Fun? Interesting? New?) 2) discuss the choices you made (to appeal to the audience, support your argument, meet your goals) 3) evaluate your article (what makes it interesting, important, original, engaging?). Submit any time Wednesday on your blog.

Sep 13: Final blog post. Reflecting on what you’ve learned this quarter. In this class you have learned different ways to attune yourself as a listener. You’ve learned to listen as a mode of inquiry and how to compose with sound. We’ve also practiced listening to people, communities, environments, etc. For your final assignment, write a listening plan for yourself. How can you apply what you’ve learned to future situations, communities, and spaces? What do you hope to learn by listening carefully and critically?

For this listening plan, first identify 2-3 listening situations that you’ll enter in the future: communities, classrooms, workplaces. How can you apply active listening and critical attention to sound in these spaces?

Week 5: writing with sound

I can’t believe we are already at week 5! You’ve done good work so far. Our goal for this week is 1) prepare for the second project. For this assignment, it is crucial that you analyze sound on multiple levels: the words, the source, the media, as well as the sounds themselves. So think about how you can practice reduced listening.

2) think about writing and voice. We sometimes say a writer has “found her voice”. What does that mean? How can you find your voice in writing?

For Wednesday, read the essay by Gloria Anzaldua “speaking in tongues”. This is a beautiful essay that I hope you will enjoy. As you read, think about her voice. I think there are several voices in this essay. How does her style augment her argument? Write a reading responds that addresses these questions.

In addition, you need to come to class with a partial draft of your second project. At this point, you need to have a draft thesis statement. Most importantly, you need to have collected all of the audio clips you want to analyze in the essay.

Friday Blog Post: This week, tune into the local UCSB student led radio station KCSB. I would like you to listen for at least 3 hours throughout the week. Write down notes on what you heard from listening to the local radio station. Use Trish’s Guide to Listening to help you think critically about what you heard.

Write a blog post that explores what you learned about the UCSB community by listening to the public radio. What shows did you listen to? What did you learn? Whose voices and what topics were included? And what do you think this radio program may reveal about the community that you’re entering here at UCSB?

Week 4: Methods of Listening in the Archives

Students, Congrats on finishing the podcast! I’m proud of your work thus far. We are now going to build on what you’ve done and learn methods of research that require listening carefully.

Monday 26th: Please Reading: Chion “The Three Listening Modes.” After you read, be sure to post a reading response. In this response, explain what “reduced listening” is and why you may listen in this way. Think of a time or a context in which you may listen in this way. In addition, think of a question, regarding listening, that you would like to discuss with the class.

In class activities: We are going to discuss the reading briefly, then we’ll head over for a visit to Special Collections in the library.

Wednesday 28th: Please read this article “How Many Latinos in the House” You are reading this article because it is an example of how scholars analyze sound in order to study communities. This is an example of what you will be doing in your second assignment for this class. As you read, identify the thesis and why this these matters for the author. After you read, post a reading response that that explains what you learned about this community from the article and also what different kinds of evidence did the author use to support his argument. Finally, write 1-2 questions that you would want to discuss with the class.

Just in case you’re interested, I enjoyed this article about Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” on NPR.

Friday 30th: Blog post #3! Post a proposal for what you would like to focus on for the 2nd project. This should include 1) what community do you want to study? 2) What sound artifacts do you hope to collect to study this community? 3) What are you interested in discovering? or what do you hope to learn about by studying this community? 4) why do you care about studying this community and what do you hope your reader learns from your research?


KCSB radio station info and live radio

Go to Discogs to learn about music.

If you want to contribute or just attend the Tran- Atlantic Phenomenon radio show with Daisy and Dain, fill in this form here.

Week 3 Homework: Podcasting, Voice, and Music, Oh My!

Don’t forget that you can always check our syllabus/class schedule here. And the podcast assignment is described more fully here.

For Monday’s class:

  1. Post a “listening” response to the assigned NPR episode on vocal fry, including 1-2 questions to help guide class discussion. You may want to respond either to the podcast’s (originally radio broadcast) form, or its content, or both, e.g. what struck you about its editing, sound use, etc. to that elusive thing we call “voice” and its relationship to gender, age, “professionalism,” and so on.
  2. (In your podcast group/pair) Draft a *rough* script for your original research podcast, including speaking segments for all group members and any desired, anticipated, or already recorded elements from sound effects to quotes from interviews. NPR offers this handy guide to “Starting Your Podcast” (ignore the competition part), including a section on scripting with examples.

For Wednesday’s class:

  1. Post a reading response to the assigned Feld article, as usual including 1-2 questions to help guide class discussion. For this piece, it might help to share any particular point or points of confusion–was there a term or a section that confused you? What kind of approach is Feld taking to sound? Why does his disciplinary background matter?
  2. (In your podcast group/pair) Bring a “rough cut” of your podcast to class that you can share during a peer review session. This might be shorter or longer than the desired 5-7 minutes, but it needs to be complete enough for another group to listen to it and offer feedback before you turn in your final, polished edits. ***Bring headphones/earbuds for better listening experiences.***

For Friday’s Writing Assignment (Weekly Blog Post #3)

This should be your own (not your group’s) personal reflection on producing the research podcast. This reflection should 1) explain your group’s process in making the podcast (What steps were important? What was challenging? Fun? Interesting? New?); 2) discuss the choices you made (to appeal to the audience, support your argument, meet your goals); and 3) evaluate your podcast (what makes it interesting, important, original, engaging? is there something you would do differently next time?).

Week 2 Homework: All About the Format

Monday before class:

Read: Jonathan Sterne, “The mp3 as cultural artifact” AND Karen Collins’s introduction to Game Sound (both on Gauchospace).

Write: Post a response only to the Sterne reading to your personal blog/e-portfolio site (whose URL you should have already entered into the Google Form so we know how to find it: In just a few sentences, try your best to summarize Sterne’s principal argument in this article. Then focus in on 1-2 passages from the text, giving us the quote if it’s not too long or the page number if it’s a larger chunk, and explain why you found these parts interesting, challenging, or surprising.

Wednesday before class:

ReadCarlo Patrão, “Botanical Rhythms: A Field Guide to Plant Music” and Rachel Carson, “A Fable for Tomorrow” from Silent Spring (on GauchoSpace)

Write: Post a response to Patrão. Don’t forget to articulate 1-2 questions for class discussion!

Friday Writing Assignment

Your second weekly blog post requires that you dip your toes into the world of podcasts (audio shows that are digitally recorded and distributed). Before you write your post, take the time to listen to at least three different podcasts–they can be on any topic, have niche or mass appeal, run long or short. The idea is to get a sense of what’s out there, what different styles people employ in creating podcasts, and what you and your partner(s) might prefer when you start making your own.

In your post, please a) name/link the podcasts that you listened to, b) tell us a little bit about them (“Serial is a true crime podcast about journalist Sarah Koenig’s investigations, one case per season”), and c) identify the things you may or may not want to emulate in your own production and why.

UCSB Summer Music Festival 2019

This Saturday, August 10, 2019 – 12:00pm to 9:30pm and Sunday, August 11, 2019 – 11:00am to 9:30pm

UCSB Summer Music Festival 2019 banner

The UC Santa Barbara Department of Music will present the fourth annual UCSB Summer Music Festival on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11, 2019 on the UCSB campus. Sponsored by the UCSB Office of Summer Sessions, the festival will feature performances by the Los Angeles-based Isaura String Quartet, violist and UCSB Music alumnus Jonathan Morgan, Adelfos Ensemble, Sahlala Band, UCSB University Carillonist Wesley Arai, dancers from the Santa Barbara community, and UCSB Music graduate students and alumni.

Additional festival highlights include an Interactive Multimedia Exhibition presented by graduate students from the Media Arts and Technology program and the Department of Music, a Children’s Concert featuring the folk music ensemble Kalinka, a concert highlighting plucked string instruments from around the world, and world premiere performances of works by UCSB composers. All events will be presented free of charge at several venues across the UCSB campus including the MultiCultural Center Theater, Storke Tower, the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts’ Digital Arts and Humanities Commons, the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, and the Music Department’s Karl Geiringer Hall, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, and Music Bowl. (full schedule)

Week 1 Homework: Sonic Imaginations

Wednesday before class: 

Read: R. Murray Schafer, “Open Ears” (keywords: soundscape, acoustic ecology). You can find this on Gauchospace.

Watch: online Audacity tutorial.

Write: Respond to the Schafer reading by summarizing what you think the main argument is. Also, write a question that you would like to discuss with the class. Submit this via email to (100 words minimum)

Friday Writing Assignment

First, follow these steps to set up your ePortfolio. Then, submit your ePortfolio to the form at this link

Then, Due Friday, August 9. Please post your response to the following prompt on your own individual e-portfolio/blog provided by the Mellon Engaging Humanities initiative.


Your first post should follow from our in-class discussion of what it means to hear, now and at other times. Specifically, listen carefully to the sounds around you for the next couple of days—list some of them. Then try to categorize them (what types of sounds are you hearing, who or what is producing them, and how can you make sense of them through labels?). Finally, which of these sounds do you think existed 10, 20, or 50 years ago? Which did not? If not, why?

300-500 words

Welcome to UCSB!

We are so excited to welcome you to our campus and community! We hope you are ready to tackle the next six weeks.

Our course description is as follows:

What can we learn about people, communities, environments, and ourselves by listening closely? As we pursue this question, we’ll travel from the studio, to the archives, around campus and Isla Vista, and out to sea. You will learn to approach sound as both a method of research and as an object of study. Through listening closely, this class will learn innovative approaches to humanities research. The class will also collaboratively create audio projects that explore the relationships between our communities, bodies, and environments.

In this class, we will consider how listening supports unique ways of thinking. We will study examples of how listening can be a method of research and reflect on what we learn through listening, especially how listening attunes us to bodies and environments. We will discuss questions like: what do we do when we listen? What does sound record that visuals might not? Who gets to speak? Who has to listen? Who gets listened to?