Music with Computers

Freshman Seminar
University Studies 3
University of California, Irvine


Professor Christopher Dobrian

Course Code 87908
Mondays 5:00-5:50pm
Music and Media Building, Room 216

Course Description

Computers are used in very many aspects of music making today: CD and MP3 files are the main means of transmitting music, digital drum machines and samplers have replaced or supplemented the instrumentation of many bands, computer hard-disk recording has replaced the traditional studio, and experimental artists are performing with laptops, computer VJ systems, and a variety of customized digital equipment. This seminar will examine the many ways computers have changed the music world. Seminar sessions will include discussions and demonstrations; homework will include listening and reading assignments.

Course Requirements


The assignments are posted on the web. Each assignment is posted one week in advance of the due date.

For each reading or listening assignment, each student is asked to write a brief summary of what s/he has learned from the assigned material. In the case of reading assignments, the summary should include a concise restatement of the most important points, and a personal evaluation of the information in the reading. In the case of listening assignments, the summary should include observations about the music and its experimental goals, as discussed in class. The summary should be either a) computer-printed and handed in during class on the due date or b) sent as a plain-text email before the start of class on the due date.

Students are also expected to contribute to the "NoteBoard,", an online class discussion group. Each student is required to make at least two contributions per week to the online discussion, with at least one original thread of discussion (posted no later than Friday each week), and at least one response to someone else's statement (posted no later than the Sunday before the next class).

Regarding Academic Honesty

Plagiarism of any kind is a violation of UCI 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, or work which you incorporate substantially into your own work. This applies particularly to citation of sources for quotes and ideas included in your writings and projects.

This page was last modified March 31, 2005
Christopher Dobrian,