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Introduction to Music Technology

Course Code: MUSC 1182
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

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 industry standard Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) 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. introduction to audio recording principles
  3. setting up and troubleshooting a typical computer-based music system
  4. basic concepts of MIDI, sampling, and an introduction to synthesis
  5. introduction to music sequencing software (DAW)
  6. introduction to audio mixing techniques
  7. setting up a personal or school music technology studio or lab
  8. future directions in music technology

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 or at home.

Means of Assessment

Exams and quizzes: 20%
Project work (minimum of two; may include but is not limited to MIDI remix, audio remix, electronic soundscapes): 60%
Written critiques of own and others' work: 20%
Total: 100%

No single evaluation will be worth more than 30%

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 at least two industry standard DAWs, and to demonstrate:

  1. a knowledge of important developments in the history of music technology, along with an appreciation of current trends
  2. the ability to use relevant software for MIDI sequencing, audio recording, editing and mixing
  3. 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
  4. creative and inventive uses of the techniques learned in this course

course prerequisites




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.