Music Technology


Music Technology
Music 215 - Spring 2013
University of California, Irvine

Wednesday, 3:00-5:50
Music and Media Building, Room 216

Professor Christopher Dobrian
Music and Media Building, Room 211
(949) 824-7288


Study of artistic issues and programming techniques involved in the development of interactive computer music and multimedia. Students focus on key writings and pieces in the genre while developing their own interactive computer music works.



Computers are ubiquitous in music and the arts today. The audio signal from a microphone is immediately converted to a stream of numbers which can be altered by any mathematical or algorithmic means. These numerical manipulations can be carried out in non-real time, encompassing all the normal operations of post-production -- editing, mixing, processing, and mastering -- as well as many of the practices of composition -- algorithmic compositional systems, notation, sound synthesis, and integration with visual media. In live performance sounds can be digitally altered in real time, alternative instruments can send digital control information to synthesis software and hardware, and performers can use computers to juxtapose any combination of sounds and multimedia. Thus it's clear that computers are now fully integrated in modern musical practice, new genres and aesthetics have arisen, and the range of computer applications is vast.

In this seminar students will choose particular areas of computer music in which they want to develop their expertise. Each student will be responsible for educating him/herself in their area(s) of primary interest, and will teach what they have learned to the other seminar members on a regular basis. Students will also delve into the repertoire and analysis of computer music works and the aesthetic discourses of digital media arts. Topics will be extended from the previous quarter's Music 215 course and/or will branch out to new areas, including (but not limited to):

Class time will be more-or-less equally divided between professor-led introduction of specific topics/techniques of computer music, student-led presentations of ongoing research and musical work, and discussion of readings and listenings.


Course Requirements

Students should attend each class session having done the assigned work -- readings, listenings, research, and preparation of presentations -- and ready to participate actively in discussion.

Each student will be expected to present her/his research and work-in-progress two times during the quarter (approx. 30 minutes per presentation).

Each student will compose and present one complete work of technological music, roughly 7-10 minutes in duration, incorporating her/his research and technological studies, and dealing with well-defined aesthetic, technological, and compositional foci.

A final presentation/concert of the projects will be held in the tenth week, on Thursday June 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm in Room 218 of the Music and Media Building. The scheduled final exam session, which will be devoted to final presentations and critiques, is Monday June 10, 4:00-6:00 pm.



For additional consultation with the professor, additional lab sessions will be scheduled throughout the quarter. Students can make also an appointment for additional office hours if needed.

Assignments are posted online for the upcoming class session.

A document detailing all the music technology facilities at UCI and the policies that govern their use is available online.

There is a class email address, which addresses all registered students and the professor.

Some discussion outside of class will take place on the EEE MessageBoard that has been created for this class.



If you have a disability that inhibits you from performing any of the stated requirements of this course, as approved and documented by the UCI Disability Services Center, please ensure that the professor is thoroughly aware of the matter as early in the term as possible.

Academic Honesty:

Collaboration between students in this course is strongly encouraged. Students are urged to exchange ideas, opinions, and information constantly, and to help each other with the composition of their technical/creative projects. However, each student is responsible for completion of his/her own assignments, and plagiarism of any kind is in direct violation of the 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, programming code, or music that you incorporate into your own work.


This page was last modified May 18, 2013.
Christopher Dobrian,