MASS 2009

Musical Technology / Technological Music: Teaching Electronic Music in the Academy

In 2007 WAAPA began a new music course that tied a thorough traditional music training with computer programming and new media arts. The Music Technology Major in the three year Bachelor of Music aims to produce students who can not only program interactive or compositional projects but also have a full capability in a more traditional musical background of aural training, harmony, theory, history and performance. After initial learning in composition, acousmatics, spatial music, recording, mixing and mastering music, students are introduced to programming through composition projects using MaxMSP and Jitter, moving on to Csound and the programming of Arduino’s, as well as real time internet performances. The project based teaching and assessment structure encourages collaboration and performance in the public arena, creating a foundation for a performance/research ethic beginning at undergraduate level. This course is developing exciting outcomes that may finally solve the sound art versus music debate while developing learning strategies that combine musical and scientific approaches for a range of artworks with sound as a foundation. The paper discusses the design of the course and how it differs from others, and provides detail on the way programming is taught within a music framework and some of the outcomes to date.

Presented at  Media Art Scoping Study Symposium 2009 VCA Melbourne

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