The three subjects selected for this project all combine technical specificity with wide-ranging relevance. There was discussion before and afterwards as to whether students should be introduced to and prepared for some of the commonalities that might emerge between the subjects, as they are explored in increasing detail and students begin to reflect more deeply on each. It was finally decided not to do so; rather than being guided to understand such resonances in particular ways, it was felt that it would be more authentic and transformative for students to observe links and relationships in their own way. Interdisciplinarity is clearly inherent in the project, but it arises to individuals as emergent knowledge – a more deep-seated, personal way of learning than a set of concepts they might be instructed to observe. 


Connecting threads soon emerge, and become an important topic of discussion among students. They include:


  • the algorithmic nature of counterpoint, of the techniques of music in general 
  • the performative and aesthetic nature of coding
  • the ways in which non-textual statements (e.g., musical, computational) can be evaluated as arguments
  • the role of critical thinking in evaluating one’s one thought and decision-making in academic research, but also in individual artistic practice


Through this intensive learning process, students are encouraged to experience directly the interconnectedness and translational potential of different modes of knowledge, action and investigation. They are equipped with tools that will allow a reframing of individual artistic and academic pursuits in both intellectual and cultural terms – a process that cumulatively has implications for both academic and artistic life.


In the course of this project, students implicitly undergo the experience of relating three well-defined and coherent but apparently off-topic disciplinary areas to their own subject area and their particular research. This carefully structured experience will serve as a model as they go on to identify new relationships across disciplines and modes of thought in their subsequent work, and in their own future teaching.