Klang und Realität (Master of Music)
The Klang und Realität master’s program is housed at the Institute of Music and Media, which brings together performative, compositional, and algorithmic forms of contemporary art. In keeping with this expansive vision, the program combines aesthetic, technical, and theoretical approaches.
Over the course of their studies, students will develop positions independently, in relation to different forms of mediality and different artistic, economic, academic, and scientific contexts. They will graduate prepared to shape, advance, and even anticipate developments in the 21st century.
Musical practice is not bound to musical instruments; it encompasses many approaches to art and research. Accordingly, the master’s program is open to students from all disciplinary backgrounds. It is particularly suited to those interested in the diversity of subject areas, media forms, and modes of thought; the conservatory context facilitates the exchange of interests and expertise from different domains. Student projects are at the center of this process, continually re-conceptualized over two years of study on the basis of critical and multi-perspectival feedback. Students design and execute these projects in collaboration with their peers, working in one of two areas of focus, Epistemic Media or Transmedia Forms, each of which opens up innovative avenues of inquiry. Further information on the curricular structure can be found in the Klang und Realität module overview.
Concentration Epistemic Media
The Epistemic Media concentration emphasizes independent research and the development of new methods in the humanities, sciences, and arts.
Projects may focus on:
- experimental artistic approaches or novel methodologies;
- interactions with other disciplines and work at the interface between art and science;
- art as epistemic endeavor.
Although text is still the classic epistemic medium, composition, film, installation, and performance are all vital means of insight and discovery. Projects may be situated in any of these media or generate entirely new practices, formats, or collectives. In the past, students and instructors have, for example, conducted acoustic field research, investigated sound and image in documentary film, and used mathematical methods for artistic thinking; they have expanded the scientific and artistic commons, explored algorithmic music, developed a semiotics of hearing, and refined artistic research.
Conceived as an extension of contemporary compositional environments, the Transmedia Forms concentration aims to actively translate and integrate musical, artistic, and media processes. Projects and working areas are highly diverse, offering many possibilities for connection, networking, and collaboration. Areas of application and teaching include:
Concentration: Transmedia Forms
- performative elements of audio and visual composition (e.g. video, VR/AR, gaming, installation, public art, turntableism);
- composition, improvisation, and experimentation in various (electronic/electroacoustic) performance practices;
- narration, storytelling, and dramaturgy (e.g. text, fanzine, radio, podcast, sound design, performance).
Transmediality here means the opportunity to enter into a conversation about society, space, and time through interaction and immersion. It means sounding out the established limitations and questioning the concatenations of forms of knowledge in music and art. And it means transgressing norms to open up new avenues of process-based exchange.
Course of Study
To encourage interdisciplinary exchange, the largely elective coursework for the two concentrations overlaps considerably. Courses provide the theoretical, aesthetic, and technical foundations indispensable for cultivating an advanced artistic and research practice.
To apply for the program, applicants must submit a detailed project proposal showcasing their interests, motivations, and skills (see Requirements for Klang und Realität). For admitted students, this then serves as the basis for the experimental project development work that comprises the first year of study. During this open, exploratory phase, students rigorously refine the projects that they then spend the second year of study implementing. Throughout the entire process, students attend a regular colloquium and work in close cooperation and exchange.
International applicants must possess adequate German language skills. The B2 certificate (in the Goethe Institute classification system) or a comparable qualification is required. This also applies for those wishing to enroll in a later semester.
Application Deadline and Program Start
Candidates can apply for the Klang und Realität master’s program once a year; applications must be received by October 31st. Courses start in the summer semester, at the beginning of April.
Applications for summer semester 2022 must be submitted online. Further information can be found here (German) along with access to the online application portal Muvac. Instructions for using Muvac can be found here (German).
General questions about the program should be directed to subject tutors (German) and the Registrar’s Office. For questions about curricular content, please contact the Klang und Realität program coordinator, Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.