Music Theory and Technology Overview

Music Theory and Technology Overview

Music Technology Program

The purpose of this program is to equip students with a range of skills that are both current and in-demand to work in variety of settings in the music industry.  Educationally, the Music Technology Program provides students instruction and practice in music theory, musical arrangement and composition, music history, music technology, electronic and computer music composition and production, creative coding for sound and video, and studio and live sound production and recording.  Students will also gain practical skills pertaining to marketing, contracts, royalties, and unions.   Perhaps most important of all, they will be trained to be self-starters who understand that their own success depends largely on their ability to be an asset to employers and clients.

New Course Offerings

For Fall 2016, the Music Department is pleased to offer two new courses, Beginning Electronic Music (MUS M05) and Introduction to Music Business (MUS M07).  This is part of an ongoing effort to establish a Music Technology Certificate of Achievement, which is currently pending approval from the State Chancellor’s Office.  

Introduction to Music Technology (MUS M03 – 3 credits)

This class serves a wide range of students, both declared music majors and non-majors.  This is a project-centric class, where students can create portfolio pieces by using digital audio workstations (DAWs) and notation software.  Students prepare for a variety of workplace scenarios by composing and arranging music for commercial settings, live performance, and interdisciplinary projects.  Topics for discussion include the history of music technology, aesthetics, ethics, authorship, plus an introduction to MIDI, hardware, and synthesis.

Beginning Electronic Music (MUS M05 – 3 credits)

Introduces the techniques and elements of electronic music production. Includes topics such as synthesis, sampling, and MIDI sequencing. Requires the creation of compositions utilizing electronic music techniques.  In this course, students get a thorough exposure to the fundamental concepts of synthesis along with exposure to current trends in live electronic performance. 

Introduction to Music Business (MUS M07 – 3 credits)

Introduces the study of the music industry. Emphasizes and examines the various areas of the music business, the functions of each area, and the relationships between areas. Includes the topics of music publishing; copyright and intellectual property; music licensing; unions and guilds; performance rights organizations; personal and business financial management; artists and management; and recording industry.  

Beginning Audio Production (FTVM M40 – 3 credits)

Introduces the theory and practice of audio production for radio, television, film, and digital recording applications.  Focuses on the fundamentals of sound design and aesthetics, microphone use, and digital recording equipment.  Provides hands-on experience recording, editing, mixing, and mastering audio.

Music Theory and Musicianship Sequence

We offer four semesters of music theory, with a sequence designed to help students gain a deep understanding of what makes music so powerful and effective as an artistic medium.  Here students gain a strong foundation in harmony, voice leading, intervals, melodic and phrase structures, rhythm, form, and notation.  There is also a historical component to the curriculum, which aims to expose students to the Western tonal music tradition from the Common Practice Era through the 20th Century.  Without expectation of prior training, students will also gain a fluency in musicianship skills such as solfége, dictation, conducting, and a familiarity with the keyboard.  The purpose is to gain a high literacy in these areas to be able to apply them in a wide variety of musical settings.