Computer Music Composition
Music 151, Winter Quarter 2005
Monday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:50 AM
Music and Media Building, Room 216
University of California, Irvine
Professor Christopher Dobrian
211 Music and Media Building
Office hours: Monday 3:00-5:00 pm, by appointment.
TA: Aaron Huisenfeldt
There is no assigned textbook for this course. Reading assignments and listening assignments are available on reserve at the Arts Media Center, and/or on the Web.
- Participation in at least 90% of all class meeting time.
- Adequate preparation for class discussions and presentations: timely completion of reading, listening, and composing assignments.
- Attendance at at least one computer music concert and/or computer music lecture at UCI, and a one-page typewritten discussion of the computer music presented in that event.
- Becoming (fairly) expert in, and writing a brief tutorial on, some piece of hardware or software, or specific technique, in the Gassmann Studio.
- Technical/compositional studies employing techniques explained and demonstrated in class, and/or exemplified by the works studied in class.
- Three original compositions employing computers and electronic instruments. Each of these three compositions should be accompanied by a brief (about one page) typewritten explanation of the compositional techniques and goals pursued.
- Participation in the class concert during the tenth week.
The required "studies" are intended as technical/stylistic exercises in which you demonstrate your understanding of the technical and compositional techniques and/or aesthetic bases studied in class. The duration of each study will be extremely short--usually 30 seconds to two minutes. Each study will be due to be presented in the next class after the technique in question was studied, and should also be handed in on CD or made available in MP3 format on the Web.
Grading for the course will be based on timely completion of all the course requirements. Since every requirement is considered a vital part of the educational experience of the course, serious and high quality work is expected at all times. Grading will be based in more or less equal proportion on the following activities:
- Active and informed participation in discussions held in class,
- Written assignments (brief essays and a tutorial),
- Assigned short compositional studies, and
- The three primary composition assignments, including performance in the final concert.
- Types of signal in the studio: AC, analog audio, digital audio, MIDI, other data
- Audio patch bay
- Digital signal router
- Recording techniques
- MIDI protocol
- Digital Performer
- Sampling with K2000 or Reason
- Audio effects processors
- Mixer automation
- General discussion: What types of music are most appropriate for this medium?
- Elements of composition
- Timing and formal structure
- Rhythm viewed as a time grid
- Harmonic language and progression
- Timbre and "orchestration"
- Audio editing and collage
- Production values
- "Sound masses"
- Algorithmic composition
See the online listing of upcoming assignments for details regarding the current assignment(s).
- Digital recording
- Editing and mixing
- Analysis of musical models
- MIDI sequencing
- Composing a "groove" and a texture
- Balance and equalization
- Digital effects processing
- Digital musique concrète
- Composing with sound masses and MIDI continuous controls
- Composition Projects (popular style, experimental style, video score)
- Final concert (Tenth week)
Scheduled Final Exam Time
Monday, March 21, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Regarding Academic Integrity
Collaboration between students in this course is strongly encouraged. Likewise, students are encouraged--indeed, to some extent required--to exchange ideas, opinions, and information constantly. You are encouraged to help each other with performance, production, and presentation of composition projects. However, each student is expected to complete her/his own unique fulfillment of each assignment.
Plagiarism of any kind is in direct violation of University policy on Academic Honesty, and penalties for plagiarism can be severe. In this class you will be expected to attribute due credit to the originator of any ideas, words, sounds, or work which you incorporate substantially into your own work. This applies particularly to citation of sources for quotes and ideas included in your compositions.
January 11, 2005