Audio Communication and Sonology
- © K. Tazelaar
Preparations for the festival Spatial Music from Gabrieli to the 21st Century, Arnold Schoenbergzaal, Royal Conservatoire 
A Double-Degree Master Program
- © T. Bovermann
Audio Communication & Sonology is a joint master’s programme of the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin and the Royal Conservatoire’s Institute of Sonology in The Hague. It combines courses in acoustics, audio technology, signal processing and musicology at the Audio Communication Group of TU Berlin with in-depth study of the artistic aspects of electroacoustic music and sound art at Sonology.
Both departments have made important contributions to the development of electroacoustic music and new forms of acoustic media art since the 1960s, with a particular interest in sound spatialisation technologies and their artistic applications. Since 2000, international partnerships in this discipline have been strengthened by the Edgard Varèse Guest Professorship for Computer Music, awarded to TU Berlin by the German academic exchange programme DAAD, and the equivalent Konrad Boehmer Visiting Professorship established in The Hague in 2016.
Candidates will spend one year studying in Berlin (Audio
Communication and Technology) and one year at the Royal Conservatoire
in The Hague (Sonology). Graduates of the programme earn a double
degree that offers outstanding prospects for an international career,
since it combines a Master of Science from the TU Berlin and a Master
of Music in Sonology from the Royal Conservatoire.
The first year
- © F. Brinkmann
HRTF Measurement, anechoic chamber, TU Berlin
The Audio Communication and Technology programme offers teaching and research opportunities in the areas of 3D audio technologies, technology and aesthetics of music media production, room acoustics and musical performance practices, media reception and empirical methods, electroacoustic music, musical information science and media art, and media and communication theory. Chairs involved in the programme include Audio Communication (Prof. Dr. Stefan Weinzierl), Technical Acoustics (Prof. Dr. Ennes Sarradj), Quality and Usability (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Möller), and Media Studies (Prof. Dr. Stephan Günzel).
Technical facilities available include two electronic music studios with 8-channel and 12-channel playback and 192-channel wave field synthesis, a 3D Media Lab with stereoscopic 180° panorama projection and dynamic binaural synthesis, a large anechoic chamber and a reverberation chamber for acoustic measurements, and a wave field synthesis demonstration room with 832 channels and 2700 speakers installed.
The second year
- © K. Tazelaar
The voltage-controlled studio of the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire
The Master of Music in Sonology is focused on the realisation of individual research projects. Subject areas covered in Sonology include studio composition, computer programming, sound research, digital signal processing, algorithmic composition, live electronics, improvisation, sound art, field recording, the spatial aspects of sound, and the theory of electronic music.
Faculty members include Prof. Dr. Richard Barrett, Justin Bennett, Lex van den Broek, Raviv Ganchrow, Bjarni Gunnarsson, Paul Jeukendrup, Ji Youn Kang, Fani Konstantinidou, Johan van Kreij, Anne La Berge, Dr. Peter Pabon, Gabriel Paiuk, Irene Ruipérez Canales, Dr. Rebecca Schaefer, Dr. Kees Tazelaar and Rebekah Wilson.
Sonology avails itself of the Royal Conservatoire’s two excellent concert halls for its regular concert presentations. Every year the students perform the results of the final exams at a festival in June. The well-equipped studios enable students to produce and record their projects at a professional level. Sound playback in these studios varies between four and eight channels, as well as wave field synthesis. There is a studio for live electronic music, and a historic studio principally equipped with analogue equipment. The electronics workshop offers the facility to design and build equipment for specific purposes.
- © J. Bennett
Sonology students during a Field Recording workshop
The aim of the programme is
- to enable students to become artistically informed researchers and scientifically educated artists in the fields of electroacoustic music, sound art and creative industries,
- to enable students to acquire a double European scientific and artistic education with a view to starting a fully international career, and
- to enable students to graduate from both institutions and to obtain two master's degrees, including a master degree in Audio Communication and Technology (M.Sc.) from TU Berlin and a master degree in Sonology (M.Mus.) from the University of the Arts Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
- © P. Schuladen
Selection and Admission
Students are selected and admitted to the exchange programme based on their academic, artistic, personal and linguistic qualifications. The selection is carried out in collaboration between the two institutions. Admission of students is always at the discretion of the host institution.
The deadline for application to the exchange is 15 February for the current year. The deadline for notification of any exchange student is 15 April for the current year.
With the application for the exchange programme, students have to
- show proficiency in English at least on a level equivalent to the evaluation scales IELTS (6,0) or TOEFL (ibT level 83).
- submit a research project proposal.
University of the Arts Royal Conservatoire agrees to accept as a host
university each year up to 6 students.
Tuition Fees and Costs
All TU students – including exchange students as part of this Double Degree Programme – are subject to paying a fee per semester that covers the social security contribution (Sozialbeitrag) and free public transport in Berlin and the Berlin region. This compulsory fee is not a tuition fee.
All University of the Arts Royal Conservatoire students – including exchange students as part of this Double Degree Programme – are subject to paying the regular tuition fees per academic year. See:
Students will be responsible for covering the cost of travel to the
host country and living costs during their stay, including
accommodation, books, equipment, consumables, language tuition prior
to the commencement of coursework (where necessary), student union fee
(if applicable) and other expenses arising out of the exchange. Each
institution may offer financial aid to their outgoing students.
The host establishment will render assistance to the incoming students in finding appropriate accommodation.
The dual degree programme is open to TU Berlin students enrolled in the Audio Communication and Technology master programme who successfully completed the mandatory modules up to 39 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) plus elective modules up to 21 ECTS. The TU Berlin part of the double degree must be finished within the duration of one academic year.
Upon successful completion of this curriculum, the selected students will attend University of the Arts Royal Conservatoire in the Netherlands and complete a research project up to 30 ECTS, mandatory courses up to 20 ECTS plus elective courses up to 10 ECTS in Sonology and will write a master's thesis as part of the research outcomes. The University of the Arts Royal Conservatoire part of the double degree must be finished within the duration of one academic year.
- © H.-J. Maempel
- Proficiency in German at least on level TDN 4 / TestDaF of CEFR.
- Mathematical knowledge on engineering basic studies level (Analysis I, Linear Algebra)
- Knowledge of a programming language or a computer algebra system