Sound Art / New Music / New Media Division

The subject New Music is concerned with the various aesthetic approaches to composition in the 20th and 21st centuries. What is 'new' about this music is its break with musical traditions and established tonality concepts at the end of the 19th century. At this time, new atonal compositional approaches were introduced based on the twelve-tone technique of the Vienna School, the 'noise-sound' theories of Futurism and the use of recently developed electronic instruments. Over the course of time, strong ties have developed with the 'New Media' and new technologies used for recording and playback, broadcasting and distribution, and the audio-visual media of film and video, which have frequently been used for experimentation.

Participants will be introduced to these various developments in seminars. At the same time, the concept of new music will be examined and accustomed ways of hearing sounds will be adjusted through individual exercises. These are designed to make the participants receptive to 'different' and 'new' sounds, such as traditional Asian music and the sound environment of everyday life.

Accompanying these will be highly practice-orientated seminars in which participants will be encouraged to develop their individual creativity (including composition using a computer, one of the most important of contemporary sound instruments). These seminars can also be attended by those taking instrumental or music education courses, whereby those taking the latter will subsequently be able to use what they learn in the classroom.

The 'New Music' courses at the School of Music are intended to awaken independent creativity and inspire interested students to create their own compositions and sound experiments. Every performing musician needs to be aware of the music and the sounds of our contemporary world!

The Sound Art Composition Master's degree course is the first of its kind to be offered at a German School of Music. The course is open to artists, musicians and others who would like to work creatively in the field of sound art composition. The course has a strong focus on projects and has an interdisciplinary design and participants will be encouraged to contribute and develop their own experience in the field. The focus is on sounds within spatial areas, particularly public spaces. The spectrum extends to and includes electronic composition, audio-visual art, radiophonic art, Ars Acustica etc., and these are combined into a thematic whole. During the course, participants will create sound installations and will develop concert and media concepts for their performance.

In the past, many such projects have been realized with the support of external and internal sponsors including the Kulturstiftung des Bundes Foundation, the Spektrum Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz, the Bundesgartenschau 2011, Spektrale 2011, the Zeitgeistgallery New Orleans, the Museé d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, the HbK Saar, the Cologne Academy of Media Arts, the Ludwig Museum Koblenz, Mainz State Museum, Schloss Rheinsberg Chamber Opera, Babelsberg Film School ARD online, the Film course of Mainz Academy of Arts, Film Studies JGU, the Gutenberg Academy, the Research Unit Media Convergence JGU, SingingSummer etc. Course output has also been on display in exhibitions, including the Kommunikationsmuseum Frankfurt 2011 and Art Basel 2012.

Several graduates of this program have won prizes in competitions, including Operare Berlin 2010, Sound of E-Motion RWTH Aachen 2011 and CrelleTon Berlin. Several internal projects have been implemented as part of the 'Sound and Public Space' and 'Sound and Multimedia' programs and have successfully attracted third-party funding. In 2012, the 'Luminale' project of the Gutenberg Teaching Council won a sponsorship prize of the 'Innovative Teaching Project' Excellence Initiative.

Recordings and DVDs of concerts and installations are currently in the process of preparation. The book Klangräume der Kunst [Sound Spaces for Art] by Peter Kiefer looks at the subject of sound art; for more information, go to:

Sound Art / New Music / ew Media Division Director:
Professor Peter Kiefer

Other teaching staff:
Prof. Stefan Fricke
Kaspar König
Julia Mihály
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Birger Petersen

GRC Fellowship professors and composers and artists in residence:
Professor Dr. Florian Dombois (Artistic Research, 2010/11)
Alvin Curran (Sound Art and Composition, 2011)