Music Technology (Year 2)
Composing and producing music on computers
- Offered to 2nd Years
- Mondays 16.00-18.00
- Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
- 2 term module worth 5 ECTS
- Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
- Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
The Music Technology module offers you the opportunity to compose and create electronic music using state-of-the-art equipment.
The practical aspects of the module are embedded in a theoretical and analytical framework which encourages critical evaluation of contemporary music and its associated technology and an appreciation of the contributions made by the pioneering users of this technology.
The module combines skills acquisition with a high level of scholarship.
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Employ a wide range of music technology and compositional core skills
- Critically reflect on the cultural context in which these technologies were applied in the past, and are applied today
- Critically analyse musical repertoire
- Present creative ideas and judgement
- Demonstrate the ability to work both independently and as part of a group.
Indicative core content
- The cultural contexts in which music technologies have been applied since c.1948.
- The theory and practice of audio/MIDI sequencing.
- Physics of sound, human hearing and the basics of psychoacoustics.
- Digital audio, the audio interface and digital audio formats.
- The theory and practice of sound synthesis.
- The theory and practice of sampling: sample manipulation, using found sound, creating sampled instruments.
- The theory and practice of sound capture.
- Specific production techniques such as compression, equalization, reverb and delay.
- Creative production techniques such as side-chain compression, bit reduction, saturation, resampling.
- Compositional analysis: noise, silence, Musique Concrete.
- The studio as a musical instrument.
- Interrogating assumptions about modes of musical production, genres, styles and audience expectation, in order to focus compositional intentions.
- Developing aural sensitivity and compositional assurance by the practice of active, analytical listening.
- Exploring approaches to arrangement and compositional structure.
Learning and teaching approach
- We use Spotify Playlists as a teaching and learning tool.
- We use the Ed Discussion tool to encourage your engagement.
- We allow and encourage you to borrow equipment such as midi keyboards, portable recorders and microphones, so that you can work independently outside the music technology lab.
- Coursework: Work-in-progress portfolio - 1 composition of 3-5 minutes plus pdf write up 300-600 words (10%)
- Coursework: Final portfolio submission - 2 compositions of 3-5 minutes each plus pdf write up 600-1200 words (60%)
- Practical: Individual contribution to a 5-minute group presentation (20%)
- Practical: Participation based on constructive class contribution, good teamwork, good preparation, respectful use of equipment and facilities (10%)
- Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
- This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.
"Definitely the best module I have ever taken at Imperial. Challenging but very rewarding."
"I love this module, it's such a breath of fresh air from the regular STEM stuff. Very pleased imperial offer this as an option so thank you!"
"It's nice to learn about the progression of music technology and listening to experimental music is always an interesting experience."
"I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the classes. There was tremendous enthusiasm from each lecturer and the classes were very engaging."
"My favourite module I have ever taken by far. Balance of theory and application has made it so enjoyable and has opened me up to things I never knew existed. Happy to work for the assessments and the challenge is so rewarding."