Major Research Paper
This paper will critically engage one of the core questions, ideas, concepts or practices
explored in this class. IT SHOULD BE ANALYTIC AND REFLECTIVE, AND NOT SIMPLY
DESCRIPTIVE. The paper should exhibit original research and include sources that go
beyond the class readings.
The two main foci of this class are (a) the study of sound and aurality as a social,
technological and aesthetic practice, and (b) the relationship between these aural practices
and related or associated visual media. With this in mind, this paper should engage some
aspect of either of these questions. Ideally, your paper will draw on some problem, issue or
insight from class that has sparked your attention. To help you along this path I offer some
general questions and ideas. These are only suggested topics, so feel free to develop one
on your own or in conjunction with me. If you’d like my help developing a topic, please
see me in person during office hours.
Instructions for Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography
Your proposal should provide a brief outline of the topic your paper will be exploring. It
should clearly identify and explain the primary research question animating your
investigation, as well as provide a justification for why this question is relevant within the
context of this course. The annotated bibliography should have 2 scholarly sources, none
of which are assigned as course readings (you can use course readings and/or nonscholarly as sources for your final paper, but NOT for the proposal). Each bibliographic
entry should provide (1) a properly formatted bibliographic entry, (2) a brief summary of
the source, and (2) a brief description of how it is appropriate to your chosen research
Suggested Research Topics
1) Explore the history of a particular form of creative aural practice and explore its
connection to related visual practices. For e.g.
– phonography or DJ-ing as a cultural form
– acoustic architecture
– sound poetry
– the development of multi-channel audio installations
– sound design for film, video, gaming, theater, television, etc.
2) Explore the work and ideas of a particular sound artist, discussing and
contextualizing their work historically and theoretically.
3) What are some intersections between sound (or visual) art as a “high” cultural
practice and related or similar applications in the realm of popular culture? For
example, how might you relate the radiophonic work of John Cage to that of
Scanner? Are there grounds to compare the Dadaist collage art of John Heartfield
and the music of Negativland? Can we compare the music videos of Director X to
experimental film or videomakers?
4) Compare the sound practice of a given communication medium in two or more
cultural, social or historical contexts. For e.g.,
– How does the approach/treatment/practice of sound in Indian cinema differ from
American (or Chinese, Italian, or French, etc.) cinema?
– How does sound of contemporary theater differ from the theater of Shakespeare’s
Proposal and Bibiliography
The Historical And Theoretical Work And Ideas Of A Foley Artist
This essay’s main objective is to find out who Foley artists are, what they do, and how they make music.
This essay aims at identifying the essential questions relating to Foley artists, as they relate to movies and the research development surrounding their expert practice. Most individuals love movies because it allows them to have an out of the world experience through senses’ stimulation. For example, a horror movie can trigger fear in an individual due to the sounds linked with simple gestures, such as opening a door or the way an actor falls.
ALyssa Maio (2020). “What is a Foley Artist? How They Bring Movies to Life.” Accessed 4 February 2021 from https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-a-foley-artist/
In this article, the author sheds light on who a Foley artist is, naming them the individuals responsible for keeping audiences glued to a movie through visuals and sounds. Through sound, a Foley artist makes a movie seem real as they match the sound to the film’s visual elements. In this article, Alyssa explains how a Foley artist matches the sounds of an actor or actress in a movie, making it seem real. For example, a Foley artist can wear various kinds of shoes and walk on various exteriors to match the sounds portrayed in a movie. In addition, the artist takes into account movement and props.
Masterclass (2020). “Film 101: Understanding Foley Sound and Why Foley Sound Is Important.” Accessed 4 February 2021 from https://www.masterclass.com/articles/film-101-understanding-foley-sound-and-why-foley-sound-is-important#what-is-foley-art
According to the author of this article, a great movie owes its success significantly due to its visuals. However, while this may seem significant, a good movie without great sound to match it cannot succeed as much. For example, a soundless horror movie would not have the same effect as one linked with creepy and horrifying sounds. Thus, a Foley artist becomes an essential member of the movie crew because they use sound to add complexity to a movie. As a result, this yields an effect that helps viewers fully engage in a movie, causing its success. The author acknowledges Foley art’s origin, which began in 1920, by its founder Jack Foley. Additionally, the author gives insights into how a Foley artist recreates the sound by using unanticipated approaches.