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 DescriptionIn this unit, students will learn how to:

• “Notation” 101 explores different notational platforms to determine the best use for performance or professional publication while increasing knowledge of advanced data entry.
• “MIDI” 101 will support students with knowledge on how to utilise and setup MIDI instruments in performance or use for data entry into professional notated publications.
• This unit will develop student’s analytical, research, creative and communication skills.
• Assessments and training of software and equipment will focus on applications and knowledge required in music industry related careers.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear One, Semester 1
Unit CoordinatorBernadette Norton
Teaching StaffBernadette Norton
Credit Points10 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• Noteflight Notational Software (Cloud)
• 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)

Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to develop strong skills in music technology, MIDI and use of notational software to a publishing standard. Students will be able to research current technologies and apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create professional scores and to make appropriate recommendations of a high standard. Students will apply knowledge of MIDI instruments in performance areas.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, confidence and understanding of notational software, MIDI and synthesizers to create professional notated scores for publication and use in practical applications.
  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 notational software
a. Finale
b. Sibelius
c. Note Flight (Cloud)
d. MuseScore
1. Create notational scores utilising basic and intermediate tools
2. Attempt to use at least two notational software programs
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. Create notational scores utilising tools not already utilised
2. Setup MIDI devices, and instruments for live performance and notation software input.
3. 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. Create notational scores utilising tools not already utilised
2. Export graphic notational elements into Word
3. Create notated lessons using internal notational software default lessons.
Weeks 10 to 12 semester 1
1. History and stylistic development
a. Technology developments
b. Electronic studios
c. Computer music
1. Create notational scores utilising tools not already utilised at a professional print standard
2. Create a music theory lesson using notational software

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeighting
(% of total unit marks)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
Assessment 1
Type: Practical – Notational Task
Length: a. 17 bars; b. 37 bars
Topic: Enter the two required scores into Finale/Sibelius. The first score should be entered using simple note entry/mouse entry and the second score should be entered and saved; then parts extracted as individual parts. All notational score elements are to be included.
Week 310%1
Assessment 2a
Type: Practical – Notational Task
Length: 32 bars
Topic: Enter the required score into Finale/Sibelius, either by simple note entry/mouse entry and/or MIDI keyboard input. Guitar tablature is required and all notational score elements are to be included, as well as playback as per given score. Export parts into separate files. Create MIDI file/s.
Week 6 15%1
Assessment 2b
Type: Report – MIDI Instrument and Notational Software Appraisal
Word length: 450
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 – Notational Task
Length: a. 32 bars; b. 27 bars
Topic: Enter the required score into Finale/Sibelius. The score will focus on lyric verses and guitar tablature. Note input is optional. All notational score elements are to be included.
Week 915%1
Assessment 4a
Type: Practical – Notational Task
Word length: a. lesson sheet; b. 48 bars
Topic: Complete two divergent tasks: first, a given score and second, notational elements into Finale/Sibelius. Then export graphics and arrange them into a professional theory lesson format. Note input is optional. All notational score elements are to be included.
Week 1230%1
Assessment 4b
Type: Report – Synthesizer Appraisal and Electronic Music
Word length: 450
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:

Boorman, S., & Selfridge-Field, E. & Krummel, D. W. (2001). Printing and publishing of music.  Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  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:

Freeman, J. (2011). Bringing Instrumental Musicians into Interactive Music Systems through Notation. Leonardo Music Journal, 21, 15-16. JSTOR, JSTOR, Retrieved from:

Heussenstam, G. (1987).  The Norton Manual of Music Notation. New York, NY. W. W. Norton & Co.

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 Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to:
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 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