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?


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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: https://forms.gle/JdFuTvdmYsntkYSM6). 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.

https://music.ucsb.edu/news/event/1911 (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 pfancher@ucsb.edu (100 words minimum)

Friday Writing Assignment

First, follow these steps to set up your ePortfolio. http://ehcourses.com/tutorials/. Then, submit your ePortfolio to the form at this link https://forms.gle/JdFuTvdmYsntkYSM6

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