• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Areas of interest Music
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2018
    See Future Offerings
This course, run in partnership with the School of Music and National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), utilises both ANU School of Music facilities and specialist locations and equipment at the NFSA, to equip student with the theoretical and practical underpinning of audio preservation. Using the School of Music’s own tape archive of performances, recitals and events as source material, students will prepare these recordings as digital files for an open source, publicly accessible database.
This course will introduce students to sound archiving, and explore the historical, philosophical and ethical implications of audio archiving, as well as preservation needs assessment and planning. Students will tour the NFSA , and the School of Music’s tape collection, and have the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience of equipment and processes such as analogue tape recorders and magnetic tape; tape machine technology and operation; the handling of tape, tape deterioration, maintenance and restoration techniques; the practicalities of digitisation: preparation, recording, software, editing, file creation, and metadata management and storage.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Articulate historical, philosophical, professional and ethical principles of audio archiving from several theoretical perspectives

2. Identify technical features of magnetic tape recorders, magnetic tape and communicate common preservation challenges

3. Conduct a comprehensive preservation needs assessments on audio artefacts

4. Operate magnetic tape recorders and historical magnetic tape recordings proficiently and professionally

5. Collate accurate audio content descriptions and meta-data information as part of the digitisation process.

Indicative Assessment

Sound Archiving Process Practical Examination [50%] [Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5]
Log Book [10%] [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4]
Research Essay [40%] [4000 words] [Learning Outcome 1]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: a mixture of lectures, facility tours, workshops, seminars, practical demonstrations, practical tasks and review sessions; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MUSI3318.

You will need to contact the School of Music to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives: Technical Committee. Standards, Recommended Practices and Strategies. IASA-TC 03 The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and preservation Strategy. V3. December 2005.

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives: Technical Committee. Standards, Recommended Practices and Strategies. IASA-TC 04 Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects. V2. 2009.

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives: Technical Committee. Standards, Recommended Practices and Strategies. IASA-TC 05 Handling and Storage of Audio and Video Carriers. V1. 2014

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Collection Policy. May 2011

Preserving the Facts for the Future: Principles and Practices for the Transfer of Analog Audio Documents into the Digital Domain. Dietrich, S. (2001) Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. 49, 7/8, 618-621.

Sound Souvenirs: Audio Technologies, Memory and Cultural Practices. Bijsterveld, K. and van Dijck, J. 2009. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press

Assumed Knowledge

Students should have a foundation understanding of sound recording theory.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6715 01 Jul 2018 20 Jul 2018 20 Jul 2018 30 Sep 2018 In Person N/A

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