Discover the exciting world of electroacoustic music and learn to make music with sounds.

3. Advanced

Confirm your understanding of sound based music through exploring advanced ideas in sound manipulation and composition.


Listen to and explore the sounds in this piece: Nocturne


Listen to and explore the sounds in this piece: Never


Tiny particles of sound, small chunks that fall between the gaps, but which can join together to create large sounding objects.

Energy and Flow

Energy is behind every sound, it is the cause of soundwave vibrations and all sounds must follow the natural laws of energy.

Being aware of energy patterns and flow can help us to create gestures and sounds which listeners find natural and realistic.


When sounds are added together, they can create new textures. However, we can also use one sound to control the properties of another, creating patterns or rhythms.

Additive (+) and Subtractive (-) Synthesis

Sounds can be added together or subtracted from one another. Learn how new sounds can be made in this way.

Phase & Complex Soundwave Interaction

Soundwaves can add together and subtract from one another (cancelling each other out). This property of sounds can be unwanted but can also be used creatively.


The name Plunderphonics is made up of two individual words,

  • ‘Plunder’: to take or steal (think pirates), and
  • ‘phonics’: a word that indicates sounds or sounding objects.

Therefore, the name means to compose works with stolen sounds. John Oswald, the man who invented the name, also called it ‘Audio Piracy’.

Anecdotal Music

Works that include sounds which are deliberately meant to be recognised as, or linked with, a specific sound creating object.

Sound Art

Sound art is a general category that includes many different types of work. It is mainly used to describe sound based works that are designed for art galleries, museums or public places.


The spatial property of being crowded together.

Less is More

If composers feel that their piece is not quite right, they often rush in to add more and more sounds.

But is that sensible? What if the piece requires greater space and fewer sounds.

Sometimes taking sounds away can be a better compositional choice. Leaving behind only the very best ideas.

Cinema for the Ears

Combine individual field recordings to create an imagined soundscape that tells a story.

Source / Abstraction

Some sounds we can recognise, others we can’t. What does this mean for music that is made with sounds?


Messy vs. tidy sounds!

Ambient Music

Ambient Music is a very calm, atmospheric type of music that often contains no perceptible beat.

It arose at the time of the New Wave movement that was influenced by meditation practices from India.

It makes use of sound textures to create an environment of sound often involving a subtle mood, and can be found in so-called ‘chill-out rooms’ in some clubs.

It should be able to be enjoyed if you want to listen, or ignored if you do not.


Doing a lot with very little.

Theatre of Sounds

People often say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, a sound can be worth a thousand pictures.