Curriculum Guideline

Introduction to Music Technology

Effective Date:
Course Code
MUSC 1182
Introduction to Music Technology
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Classroom related: 3 hrs/week Individual learning: 1 hr/week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The instructor will devote three hours per week to lecture/demonstration. One hour per week will be spent working on lab assignments under the supervision of the instructor. Students will be expected to complete regular assignments and projects outside of class time. These can be done in the lab (3220) or at home.

Course Description
An introduction to the computer music experience. Through lecture/demonstrations and hands-on lab work students will learn the fundamental theories and techniques of contemporary music technology. Using the latest computer-based music software, students will learn the basics of digital music production, for composing and arranging in the project studio environment.

No prior experience with computers or music technology is assumed.
Course Content
  1. A brief history of technology in music.
  2. Basic categories of software and their role in music teaching, learning, composition and performance.
  3. General computer techniques, including operating systems, file management, and storage options.
  4. Setting up and troubleshooting a typical computer-based music system.
  5. Music and the Internet.
  6. Basic concepts of MIDI, sound synthesis and sampling.
  7. Introduction to music sequencing software.
  8. Introduction to music notation software.
  9. Introduction to computer-assisted instruction in music.
  10. The use of accompaniment software for singers, instrumentalists and improvisers.
  11. Setting up a personal or school music technology studio or lab.
  12. Future directions in music technology.
Learning Outcomes

Through lecture/demonstrations and hands-on lab work, students will learn the basic theoretical and practical applications of music technology. Emphasis will be placed on the creative and artistic use of these tools. Due to the continually evolving nature of technology, students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts common to all music software and hardware, and the ability to transfer their knowledge and skills to new situations.

On successful completion of the course students will be able to work effectively with all major types of music hardware and software, and to demonstrate:

  1. a knowledge of important developments in the history of music technology, along with an appreciation of current trends
  2. proficiency in general computer techniques, including operating systems, file management, storage options, and musical uses for non-music specific software
  3. the ability to use sequencing, notation, computer-assisted instruction, and accompaniment software.
  4. an understanding of basic concepts of MIDI, sound synthesis and sampling, and the ability to apply this knowledge in setting up and maintaining a personal or school-based studio or lab
  5. the ability to make use of internet resources
  6. creative and inventive uses of the techniques learned in this course.
Means of Assessment
Exams (minimum of 2): 30%
Quizzes (minimum of 2): 20%
Midterm Project: 20%
Final Project: 30%
Total: 100%
Textbook Materials

No texts or materials are required. All required hardware and software for the completion of assignments and projects is available in the lab (3220).  Students who wish to work outside the lab may want to purchase or download their own copies of the software used in class. A complete list of recommended software will be available at the first class session.

Which Prerequisite