Course Syllabus

Note: the following is strictly a draft and is subject to change.

Syllabus – Fall 2016

Music Technology and Computers
Fall 2016
Wednesdays, 2:00 to 4:50 p.m.
Steinhaus Hall (SH) 134

Instructor: Kojiro Umezaki
Office: Contemporary Arts Center 3019
Meeting by appointment only.

Teaching Assistant: Josh Simmons
TA Office Hours and Location: Thursdays, 2-3pm, Contemporary Arts Center 2022


This course is an introduction to the history, aesthetics, techniques, and theory of computer (digital) technology in music.

Topics covered will likely include (others are also possible):

  • defining sound (from physical to psychological)
  • differentiating analog and digital representations
  • digital representation of music and sound and its artistic implications
  • history and aesthetics of early electronic music
  • history and aesthetics of early computer music
  • modern uses of computers in music (production)
  • modern uses of computers in music (distribution)
  • creative practices with music and technology (collaborative)
  • overview of contemporary digital music tools (digital audio and digital music sequencers)
  • basic studio techniques
  • sampling and issues of ownership/copyright
  • new ideas in music-technology-business ecosystem
  • the future of music and technology

NOTE: Inquiry and activity-based learning will be the guiding structure during class time, often resulting in break-out group discussions/activities or use of online engagement tools (Canvas, etc.). This requires that a substantial number of people in the class bring in laptops/mobile devices. It also requires active in-class participation (hence the related item listed in the Evaluation section below). Class participants may be asked to create questions, plausible answers to those questions, and evaluate and "like" others’ posts/questions/answers. Submitting suggestions and ideas will also be encouraged. Peer mentoring in class will be encouraged. Peer evaluation may be employed in grading. The instructor will provide a lecture component for each meeting which will include topics on both technique/theory and history/aesthetics. There will be a number of special, out-of-class events for which attendance will be mandatory (please expect to spend $20 on attendance for these events). There will be no text book, but online readings will be suggested. It will be up to the class participant to search for additional reading material to supplement in-class discussion and recommended readings by the instructor. It is anticipated that future offerings of this course will incorporate more and more online learning tools and materials. This quarter’s course, therefore, will include up to three weeks in which the material will be presented in an online course format.


Audacity is free; Ohm Studio has a free version (subscription-based versions with more features are also available for 9€/month).

Course Schedule and Out-of-Class Events

Will be listed below in syllabus.


NOTE: The following is subject to change.

  • Creative Project 1 – 15% (letter grade)
  • Creative Project 2 – 20% (letter grade)
  • Concert Attendance – 5% (percentage grade)
  • Assignments – 60% (includes quizzes and other writings) (letter and percentage grade)

Late assignment policy: 10% off per day late.

There will be no extra credit option.


At the moment there is no required purchase of a text book.  Most (if not all) reading materials will be online.

You will be expected to read the online manuals and tutorials for Audacity and Ohm Studio on your own.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic honesty is a requirement for passing this class.  Any student who compromises the academic integrity of this course is subject to a failing grade. The work you submit must be your own. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to copying answers from another student, allowing another student to copy your answers, communicating exam answers to other students during an exam, attempting to use notes or other aids during an exam, or tampering with an exam after it has been corrected and then returning it for more credit.  If you do so, you will be in violation of the UCI Policies on Academic Honesty <see>. It is your responsibility to read and understand these policies. Note that any instance of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Integrity Administrative Office for disciplinary action and is cause for a failing grade in the course.

Click here for the official policy on academic honesty.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due