Music 227

MUSC 227

Catalog Entry

MUSC227. Computer Music Applications
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: ITEC 110.

Practical approaches to problems and solutions related to the use of computers in music education, composition, performance, commercial recording and activities where the digital representation of sound is important. Focus on application development.


Detailed Description of Course Content

Computer Music Applications promotes an understanding of problems and solutions associated with computer music applications in a wide variety of contexts including education, composition, performance, and commercial recording but extending to situations where the digital representation of sound is a relevant factor.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is organized into seven two-week modules. Theoretical concepts, related to specific topic areas, will be introduced during the first week of each module. In the second week of each module, students will survey commercially available software to gain insight into significant trends in software development, and consider innovative solutions to every day problems.

The midterm and final projects should be fully executable music applications written in the MAX computer language.

Each member of the class will make two 15-minute presentations to the class during the semester to discuss his/her own project. This will encourage further consideration of project goals in the class.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the completion of the course students will have examined ways in which technology is currently applied to a variety of musical applications. Moreover, each student will design and complete projects which embody concepts discussed in class and observed in commercial applications. Students will, therefore, be able to appraise the value of existing software/hardware solutions to musical applications, and develop alternatives which may be more efficient and effective in their own areas of interest.


Assessment Measures

Course assessment will be based on a variety of criterion including written critiques of commercially available software/hardware systems found in the computer lab, and independent projects which attempt to improve on existing models.

Computer Music Applications

  • Weeks 1-2 The computer as composer. An exploration of algorithmic compositional techniques, existing software, and MIDI-based programming libraries.
  • Weeks 3-4 Interactive real-time performance systems. Including MIDI sequencers, and the use of MIDI messages which enable computers to assume an active role in musical performance.
  • Week 5-6 Issues and strategies for developing software-based music education curricula.
    • Midterm projects due
    • Midterm examination
  • Weeks 7-8 Hypermedia applications used in educational and expert system development. Focus on the use of sound files to enhance application effectiveness.
  • Weeks 9-10 Rule-based expert systems and neural networks applied to musical applications.
  • Weeks 11-12 Direct digital synthesis and the design of digital instruments. An examination of software-based sound synthesis methods as an effective means of producing sounds used in music, voice synthesis and other applications.
  • Weeks 13-14 Digital signal processing and the manipulation of sound files. Examination of file protocols, software-based digital sound editors and sound mixing applications.
  • Final projects due


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

February 2006 Reviewed E. Fellin, Chairman