Survey of Music Technology

Open Online

Course Description

This course provides a hands-on introduction to the field of music technology as both a creative musical practice and an interdisciplinary technical research pursuit. Students will be able to compose music in digital audio workstation software using both audio and symbolic representations; to write code to algorithmically generate music, analyze sound, and design sound; and to describe the essential theory and history behind these activities as well as their connection to cutting-edge computer music research.

Through the exploration of topics such as acoustics, psychoacoustics, digital sound, digital signal processing, audio synthesis, spectral analysis, algorithmic composition, and music information retrieval, this course will explore the deep relationships between art and science, between theory and practice, and between experimental and popular electronic music. You will learn about these topics in the context of digital audio workstation (DAW) software, the multi-track editing paradigm that has been dominant in music production since the 1980s.

How You Will Benefit

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be able to understand:

  • The basics of sound
  • Working with MIDI
  • Algorithmic Composition Basic Techniques
  • Algorithmic Composition Advanced
  • Future Directions


There are no specific musical or technical prerequisites for this class, though any prior experience with multi-track audio and/or MIDI production software (e.g. GarageBand, FruityLoops, Live, Pro Tools) or basic computer programming (e.g. Python, Java) is a plus.

Ready To Get Started?

This Open Online course is brought to you in partnership with Coursera, an online learning platform. If you’re ready to register now, you will be directed to the Coursera website.


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  • Module 1: The Basics of Sound
  • Module 2: Digital Audio Workstations
  • Module 3: Working with MIDI
  • Module 4: Algorithmic Composition: Basic Techniques
  • Module 5: Algorithmic Composition: Advanced
  • Module 6: Future Directions


Technology Requirements

Verify you meet the minimum technology requirements for this section.

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Course Info

Course ID: DL 0009M
Course Format: Online