Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Sonic Thinking Seminar - Methods of Working with Sound (Sommersemester 2021)

Dozent: Dr. Julia von Thienen (Internet-Technologien und -Systeme)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 18.03.2021 - 09.04.2021
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KO Kommunikation
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-DTA Design Thinking Advanced
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


This class takes place on Mondays, 3:15 – 4:45 pm (first session April 12)


Online Access:


Meeting-ID: 647 5963 7365

Kenncode: 96564485



While the human sense of vision is harnessed a lot in human-computer interaction, opportunities arising from other human senses are much less explored. This class is especially dedicated to the auditory sense and resulting design opportunities in the field of digital engineering. It provides basic knowledge, skills and experiences in three directions:

- Computer music and sound synthesis – tools and algorithms (by Dr. Henrik von Coler & Julius Holtz)

- Artistic perspectives on sound (by Dr. Marisol Jimenez & Nico D'Aleman)

- Sound and science (by Dr. Julia von Thienen, Dr. Nico Steckhan, Dr. Knut Kaulke & Dr. Shama Rahman)

There is a lecture and a seminar on “Sonic Thinking - Methods of Working with Sound”. The lecture provides comprehensive theoretical knowledge and familiarizes you with pertinent works in the field. The seminar provides an experimental area for you to try out tools and algorithms. Often the same topic that is treated theoretically in the morning lecture gets explored practically in the afternoon seminar. While you can take one course without the other, you will most likely benefit from taking both classes together.


There are no prerequisites for attending this class. 


Your major work in this class will be a creative project, which you develop in the broad area of sound and digital engineering. You can conduct the creative project alone or in teams. You can conduct one bigger project across the lecture and the seminar if you like. It is also possible to continue a previous project pursued in a Neurodesign class or from the seminar Data Sonification & Opportunities of Sound.   

The final grade will be determined as follows:

Your Creative Project

  • 20% first project presentation
  • 20% final project presentation
  • 30% documented source code - final project submission

In-Class Topics

  • 15% audio technology method competence & engagement in class
  • 15% artistic & creative exploration in class


12.4.  Julia: Probing the impact of sonic thinking vs. visual or symbolic thinking

19.4. Shama: Using sonic experiences to impact the perception of stimuli in other sensory channels

26.4. Julius: Make it sound good! Qualitative research strategies in sound. Like taste in music, the perception of sound is subjective. Sound measurements describe the physical properties of the sound itself. They don’t measure the cognitive and physical processes taking place in our bodies. A multitude of factors contribute to our experience of sound. The seminar shines light on the conduction of qualitative research in sound. It covers scientific approaches as well as research within the scope of artistic practice and applied sound design.

3.5. Henrik: Getting started with environments for computer music

10.5. Marisol: Sound art history and techniques

17.5. Henrik: Implementing sound synthesis algorithms I

31.5. First project presentation (students)

7.6. Marisol: Form and content in Sound Art

14.6. Henrik: Implementing sound synthesis algorithms II

21.6. Nico D’A.: Aesthetics and psychoacoustics for auditory displays

28.6. Marisol: Aesthetics and neuroaesthetics of sound

5.7. Henrik: Using a system for spatial network performance

12.7. Nico S. & Knut: Sonification in biomedical research and digital health 

19.7. Final project presentation (students)

Final project submissions (documented source code) due 31.8.