Music Technology Year One

Unit of Study - Music Technology 101

The following applies to Year One Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit CodeMUSTEC 101
Unit DescriptionThe aim of this unit is to develop strong skills in music technology, MIDI and use of editing tools in sequencing software to a professional standard. Students will be able to research current technologies and apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create professional recordings and to make appropriate recommendations of a high standard. Students will apply knowledge of MIDI instruments and recording techniques in performance areas.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear 1, Semester 1
Unit CoordinatorBernadette Norton
Teaching StaffStephen Adam
Unit Weighting10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points300 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Intensive/block mode (where the unit or a face to face component is delivered in a block)
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
o External
o Fast track
Student Workload
Delivery/ Contact Hours
No. timetabled hours per week:
Lecture - 1 hour
Practical Session – 1 hour
Tutorial - n/a
Personal Independent Study – 6 hours
Total hours per week - 8 hours
Resource Requirements• MIDI Keyboard (USB preferred, MIDI interface required if not)
• Computing resource requirements
• External Technical Help
Resources Provided• Online streaming video and additional referencing videos.
• DVD’s are available for loan upon request and given/posted to students Library resources (see prescribed or recommended texts below)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, confidence and understanding of editing tools used in sound production software.
  2. Research current developments in MIDI, synthesizers, electronic music and notational software and communicate clearly on current trends and their application.
  3. Critically analyse technologies and make recommendations for application to diverse contexts.

Teaching Outline

Year 3 Major
Weeks 1 to 3 semester 1
1. Introduction to sequencing software
a. Soundation Cloud
b. Audacity Live & PRO TOOLS
2. Introduction to Digital Boss Recording Mixer.
1. Edit and produce clear audio files. Delete silence. Add, record and insert additional audio from
script, finalise and save as a MP4 file.
2. Edit a selection of audio files to produce clear outcomes.
Weeks 4 to 6 semester 1
1. Overview and historical development of MIDI
a. MIDI data
b. Daisy chains
c. MIDI connections
d. MIDI devices & instruments
1. Setup MIDI devices, and instruments for live performance and notation software input.
2. Create Daisy chains with synthesizers/keyboards
Weeks 7 to 9 semester 1
1. Introduction to synthesizers
a. Sound synthesis
b. Polyphonic instruments
c. Multi timbral instruments
1. Write a script with 3 voice parts, record the 3 voices into audio tracks, arrange, edit and finalise.
2. Record everyday sounds, arrange and produce a final recording with a musical aspect.
Weeks 10 to 12 semester 1
1. History and stylistic development
a. Technology developments
b. Electronic studios
c. Computer music
1. Create a mix of 3 audio tracks demonstrating editing skills and advanced knowledge of sequencing
2. Create, edit and only utilise external audio loops to produce a musical piece.

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeighting
(% of total unit marks)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
Assessment 1
Type: Practical – Sequencing Task
Length: a. 2 minutes, b. 2 minutes.
a. Open the source file, arrange audio tracks, deleting all silence, create script to complement content/discussion, record and insert, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
b. Select a source file, open, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
Week 310%1
Assessment 2a
Type: Practical – Sequencing Task
Length: 2-3 minutes
Setup MIDI keyboard with computer and sequencing software, record a live performance, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
Week 615%1
Assessment 2b
Type: Report – MIDI Instrument and Notational Software Appraisal
Length: 450 words
Topic: Evaluate and research notational software and produce a report on your findings demonstrating personal use of at least 2 notational software programs. Identify key differences in methods to produce similar outcomes and noticeable usability preferences for both software programs. Your report should be presented in a professional review format with findings, evidence and a conclusion. Students are to demonstrate analysis and evaluation.

Research and evaluate MIDI instruments. Select one MIDI instrument to write an appraisal listing findings. Research 3 additional items related to MIDI and discuss relevance to a music related employment position (performer, composer, engineer and/or teacher) and any other distinguishable features.
Week 615%2, 3
Assessment 3
Type: Practical – Sequencing Task
Length: a. 2 minutes, b. 2 minutes.
a. Write a script (3 voice parts), record parts, arrange parts into
3 separate tracks, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
b. Record 4 – 5 everyday sounds, arrange into musical
arrangement, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
Week 915%1
Assessment 4a
Type: Practical – Sequencing Task
Length: a. 3 minutes b. 2 minutes
a. Select 3 – 5 professional recorded existing songs, import into
separate audio tracks, cut each track into segments, delete
unwanted sections, arrange tracks and segments into a final
mix/blend of songs, edit and finalise as MP4 file.
b. Select 5 – 20 audio loops, arrange loops, edit, produce as a final
music piece, finalise as a MP4 file.
Week 1230%1
Assessment 4b
Type: Report – Synthesizer Appraisal and Electronic Music
Length: 450 words
Topic: Research the synthesizer and present a comprehensive report communicating your findings. Incorporate an appraisal of at least 2 synthesizers that are available in today’s market. Submissions should contain details of the history and development of the synthesizer.
Prepare a comprehensive report on electronic music demonstrating findings in the form of an analysis using ratios, and evaluation of its use in current music. Research the progress of how electronic music came about; how it has been used in live and recorded music; and how it has complemented music.
Week 1215%2, 3

Prescribed and recommended readings:

Library Resources

A subscription to Oxford Music Online and to Grove Music Online which includes:

  • The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd ed.).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera.
  • The Oxford Companion to Music.
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2nd ed.).

 Plus, updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online.

A subscription to JSTOR Journals and books
A subscription to video tutorials

Reference Materials

Chabot, X. (1993). To Listen and to See: Making and Using Electronic Instruments. Leonardo Music Journal, 3, 11-16. doi:10.2307/1513263 JSTOR, JSTOR, Retrieved from:

Bongers, B. (2007). Electronic Musical Instruments: Experiences of a New Luthier. Leonardo Music Journal, 17, 9-16. Retrieved from:

Braun, H. (2002).  Music and Technology in the Twentieth Century.  Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Burnand, D. (2001).  MIDI [Musical Instrument Digital Interface]. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  Retrieved from:

Davies, H. (2001).  Synthesizer. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

Dayal, G. & Ferrigno, E. (2013). Electronic Dance Music [EDM]. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  Retrieved from:

Devine, K. (2001). Electronic Instruments. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  Retrieved from:

Manning, P. (1980). Computers and Music Composition. Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 107, 119-131. JSTOR. Retrieved from:

Orton, R. & Davies, H. (2001). Theremin. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.
Retrieved from:

Strawn, J., & Shockley, A. (2014). Computers and music. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from:

Course Outcomes

#Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate:
Unit Learning OutcomesAssessments
1 A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical basis of the discipline1, 2, 32b, 4b
2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation11, 2a, 3, 4a
3 An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research22b, 4b
4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings1, 2, 31, 2a, 3, 4a
5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills22b, 4b
6 Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate to a range of contexts including further study32b, 4b
7The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts11, 2a, 3, 4a
8 The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practices11, 2a, 3, 4a
9The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession.

Graduate Attributes

#Graduate AttributeUnit Learning OutcomesCourse Learning OutcomesAssessments
1Deep disciplinary knowledge11, 21, 2a, 3, 4a
2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways13, 4, 81, 2a, 3, 4a
3A commitment to lifelong learning1, 2, 31, 62b, 4b
4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts2, 351, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b
5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively141, 2a, 3, 4a