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Sequencing and Synthesis I

Course Code: MUSC 1171
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Through lecture/demonstrations and hands-on studio work, students will learn to produce music using sequencers and synthesizers. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the underlying concepts and theory of digital sequencing and synthesis. Using current music software and virtual instruments, students will produce several original works.

Course Content

  1. MIDI protocol, including hexadecimal numbers, MIDI bytes and MIDI messages
  2. Sequencers: paradigms and design, including analog, digital and hybrid designs.
  3. Sequencing: input, editing, representation
  4. Introduction to synthesis theory and practice, including additive, subtractive, FM and wavetable models.
  5. Sampling techniques, including recording, editing and layering samples.
  6. Multitracking and mixing, using hardware and software sequencers
  7. Alternative controllers, including breath, hand and motion-based designs.
  8. Hardware instruments: analog and digital sample players and synthesizers
  9. Virtual instruments: computer based hybrids combining sampling and synthesis.

Methods of Instruction

The instructor will devote four hours per week to lecture/demonstration. Students will work alongside the instructor in the Technology Lab. Students will be expected to complete regular assignments and projects outside of class time. These can be done in the lab or at home.

Means of Assessment

Tests/Quizzes (minimum of 2)  30%
Midterm Project  30%
Final Project  40%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to work unassisted with sequencing software, and will understand and be able to apply the following:

  1. MIDI protocol
  2. Sequencers
  3. Sequencing techniques
  4. Introduction to synthesis theory and practice
  5. Sampling
  6. Multitracking and mixing
  7. Alternative controllers
  8. Hardware instruments
  9. Virtual instruments

course prerequisites

Music Technology Diploma program entrance or permission of instructor



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.