MUSA227-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

The Computer as a Musical Tool 2

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


This course offers students the opportunity to further create musical works using the computer as a musical tool and expand their understanding of compositional and sampling techniques and procedures.

MUSA227 offers an overview of the ways in which current computer technology may be used as an aid and stimulus to the compositional process.  Skills in composition, in using computer technology, and in studying music history are developed.

Topics covered in this course are:
• The use of Digital Audio Workstation and other software as a means of realising compositions
• The history of computer music
• The historical and current uses of sampling and collage as musical techniques
• How to set and achieve clear compositional goals
• How to use computer technology to realise compositional goals
• The harmonic series and alternative tunings

Learning Outcomes

Students who pass this course will have developed:

  • Skills and knowledge in the creation of a portfolio of works that demonstrates an understanding of, and competence in, the use of Digital Audio Workstations
  • An analytical understanding of electronic music in various forms
  • Skills in sampling techniques and procedures
  • Skills in synthesis techniques and procedures
  • Commentary on the portfolio and an the ability to articulate their personal composition philosophy
  • The discipline of writing to fulfil the brief and on-time delivery;
  • Skills in goal-setting and planning
  • An analytical understanding of the student’s own work in relation to the established canon of repertoire
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 13:00 Fine Arts 122 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 16:00 Fine Arts 225 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Timetable Note

Student workload (150 hours) will be allocated to:
• 36 hours attending lectures/lab sessions
• 18 hours attending composition workshops
• 18 hours creating Assessment 1 content and documentation
• 18 hours creating Assessment 2 content and documentation
• 60 hours creating remaining portfolio content, oral presentation and documentation.

Course Coordinator

James Gardner


Reuben de Lautour


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Portfolio First Draft 10% In August
Portfolio Draft 2 10% In September
Portfolio of Work - Composition Workshop 10% In October
Portfolio of Works - Electronic 70% In October

One work in the portfolio must make substantial use of Max software

All assessments are due by 5 pm on the specified date. Assessment material must be submitted as Word documents, pdfs of music notation software files, pdfs of scanned material, or digital audio files, uploaded via LEARN.
In the event of online submission via LEARN not working, or being unsuitable for the materials being submitted, please contact the Course Co-ordinator for advice and alternative submission methods


Required Texts

Cox, Christoph,1965- , Cox, Christoph, Warner, Daniel; Audio culture :readings in modern music; Revised edition; Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 2017.

Holmes, Thom; Electronic and experimental music :technology, music, and culture; Fifth edition; Routledge, 2016.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $834.00

International fee $3,600.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All MUSA227 Occurrences

  • MUSA227-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018