World Sound Arts Certificate

The Certificate in World Sound Arts focuses on musical study and creation in the broadest sense, especially in four areas beyond Western art music in which the University of Alberta excels: ethnomusicology, world music, electroacoustic music, and popular music. This certificate is offered by the Department of Music to the entire University community, including students enrolled in any bachelor degree program in any University of Alberta faculty.

Certificate Overview

Recently, digital technology has radically transformed the world of music by enabling new pathways for sonic creation, representation, fusion, and circulation, broadening musical horizons, and enabling unprecedented modes of scholarly access and research throughout newly interconnected sonic cultures (including traditional music, popular music, jazz, and the avant-garde) around the globe. The Certificate in World Sound Arts centers upon sounds, techniques, and disciplines from beyond the standard western music conservatory: electroacoustic music, popular music, jazz, world music, music technology, ethnomusicology, and the sociology of music.

This certificate is designed to give students a professional advantage in pursing the many non-traditional fields of music and the sonic arts, due to its focus on the larger constellation of musical and artistic activity around the world today. Some of these professions include the commercial film music industry, the video game industry, sound arts curation, world music archiving, digital music distribution, sound design, music journalism, media arts production, online digital music repositories, public sector work, arts and cultural administration, and the music technology industries.

Additionally, students in this program who want to pursue graduate work will find themselves well-positioned for many of the newer graduate degrees in the sound art, technology, and integrated media arts, including McGill's MA in Music Technology, Dartmouth's MA in Digital Music, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts, and the MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Simon Fraser University's School for Contemporary Arts.

For further information and course requirements, please visit the University Calendar here.

Practical Matters

Prerequisite: ability to read music (satisfied by documentation of prior musical experience, or by taking MUSIC 100 Rudiments of Music).

Students who are currently registered to any University of Alberta program can add the certificate to their degree program by taking the requisite courses, though this may necessitate exceeding 120 credits in some cases. The number of incoming students may be limited by qualifications or classroom enrollment limitation. Students are not guaranteed space in any specific course.

Students can apply for this program at any point prior to graduating, and all applicable courses will be counted even if taken prior to the application date.

Students wishing to pursue the Certificate in World Sound Arts must apply through Undergraduate Student Services in the Faculty of Arts by the application deadline for graduation.

Students must come to Arts Undergraduate Student Services (6-05 Humanities) to "declare" their interest in the Certificate. The Arts Undergraduate Student Services encourages students to declare as soon as they have chosen to pursue the Certificate program, but at the latest they should declare when they apply for their degree on Bear Tracks.

Deadlines: February 01 for Spring Convocation of the same year, and September 01 for Fall Convocation of the same year.