MUSIC140-19A (HAM)

Music Technology 1: Techniques and Creativity

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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Paper Description

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There are four main components: technical, historical/aesthetic, listening, and applied studies.

1. Technical Studies: The main technical considerations in using MIDI and simple digital audio generation and production equipment. This includes an overview of useful current software.

2. Historical Survey/Aesthetics: A survey of the interplay between Western music thinking and music technology inventions, and some of the stylistic results.

3. Listening: Covering the main aspects of musical thought in using new technology in music, and the analysis of electroacoustic/ experimental works.

4. Applied Studies: The operation of computer music equipment, and the creation and production/arrangement of a final piece using the studio workstations provided. All pieces must be presented during lectures.

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Paper Structure

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There are two 2 hour lectures per week in this paper. It is expected that you spend a further 4 hours per week in study and lab time for this paper.

In the practical sections of the paper, classes will be conducted in labs where students will have the opportunity to use the computer technology associated with the paper.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Aesthetics, History and Listening
    Demonstrate understanding of the history and aesthetics of the artforms covered, and demonstrate engagement with material intellectually through written work, analysis and listening. This can only be achieved if recommended readings are completed.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Technical, Practical, Composition
    Demonstrate understanding of the technical means to create work, the skills to get high quality audio output, compositional craft in realising works, and aesthetic clarity/ideas in the idiom of each assignment specification.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assignment 1 The DAW
11 Mar 2019
No set time
  • In Class: In Lab
2. Assignment 2: In class written test A
21 Mar 2019
10:00 AM
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
3. Assignment 3: In class written test B
11 Apr 2019
10:00 AM
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
4. Assignment 4 Basic Audio editing/ Studio Knowledge
14 May 2019
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
30 May 2019
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
31 May 2019
10:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required Books (* Indicates book is on desk copy in the library)

* Collins, Schedel, Wilson. Electronic Music. Cambridge University Press, 2013

* Kuhn, W. & Manzo, V. Interactive Composition: Strategies Using Ableton Live and Max of Live. OUP, 2015.

In this paper you will use books and journal articles that are available electronically or in print form from the University Library. There will be no cost for accessing any of the required materials. Links to other material that is useful are given in the Moodle site for this class.

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Recommended Readings

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Recommended Reading

Collins, N. & D’Escrivan, J (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music. CUP: 2007

Cox. Christopher & Warner, D. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. New York: Continuum, 2004.

Brice, R. Music Engineering (2nd Edition). Oxford: Newnes, 1998.

Goodall, H. Big Bangs. London: Vintage, 2001.

Homles, T. Electronic and Experimental Music. Routledge, 2012.

Katz, M. Capturing Sound. How Technology Has Changed Music. UCP, 2010

Jones, S. Rock Formation: Music, Technology and Mass Communication, 1993.

Vella, R. Musical Environments. Currency Press, 2000. Vella, R. Sounds in Space, Sounds in Time. Boosey & Hawkes , 2003

Useful Books Include:

Electronic Music/MIDI

Dobson, R. A Dictionary of Electronic and Computer Music Technology.Oxford: O.U.P., 1992.

Gilreath, Paul (ed) Guide to MIDI Orchestration. GA: MusicWorks, 1995.

Manning, P. Electronic and Computer Music (2nd Ed) Oxford: Clarendo Press, 1992

Music Composition

Cope, David New Directions in Music. (7th Ed) Dubuque. IA: William C.Brown, 2001.


As the field of new technology in music rapidly changes, you will find that books on the subject date quickly. Periodicals and magazines help to offset this. The following is a collection of reading sources that may help you in completing assignments.

Keyboard Magazine University Library

Computer Music Journal University Library

Organised Sound University Library

Wire University Library


Extensive and intelligent listening is one of the primary tools for developing an appreciation of electroacoustic music, and point to possibilities that you may use in your own work. Please make an effort to extend your knowledge of the repertoire at every opportunity. The Library holds a collection of experimental computer music. Examples from a wide stylistic repertoire will be played in class as part of the aesthetics lectures.

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Online Support

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A Moodle site is available with all materials associated with the course, and submission portal.

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The expected workload for the course is outlined in the lab. hours, tutorials, lecture schedule, and assessments.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: MUSI140

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