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MUI1011 Digital Composition

Semester 2, 2022 Springfield On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 2 July 2022




The evolution of music technology has enabled songwriters and composers to develop and render their creative ideas entirely in the digital environment. Computer based notation software, Digital Audio Workstations, sequencing and virtual instruments have become central to creative production in music. It is essential for the modern musician to be able to engage the potential of these technologies in their creative process.

This course explores the intersection of music technology and composition. Building on students existing knowledge and skills of the fundamentals of music theory and practice, through a mix of guided exercises and projects, students will be introduced to theoretical and practical strategies for creating new musical works inside the digital environment. Students will blend composition and digital music production techniques through the use of computers, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sequencing, and virtual instrument technology.

This course is designed to help students transition into the study of music at university level. Learning activities are designed to provide students with formative feedback throughout the semester, with early assessment in place to assist in identifying students in need of extra support.

Weekly learning activities and work created as part of assessment in this course will contribute directly to the development of a professional portfolio of creative work, as well as providing students with key practical and technical skills essential to their future employability in the creative arts.

This course assumes students have the ability to operate a computer and navigate a file-system and be able to contribute to the creation of a new musical work.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course student should be able to:

  1. Leverage a range of theories and practices related to music composition and digital music technology to produce prescribed musical outcomes
  2. Analyse, interpret and communicate musical ideas in a range of digital media contexts
  3. Apply relevant skills and knowledge in the creative manipulation of existing musical material
  4. Apply relevant skills and knowledge in the creation of new musical artefacts


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the history and development of digital music technology 10.00
2. Virtual Instruments – samplers, synthesisers, and drum machines 10.00
3. Orchestration – considering the limitations of physical instruments
4. The elements of a musical composition 10.00
5. MIDI and Sequencing
6. Working with loops / Sampling
7. Remixing 20.00
8. Producing music for media 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of your choice.
Recommended free options: Avid Protools First, Garage Band, FL Studio
Recommended paid options: Avid Protools, Logic Pro X
A computer that meets the recommended requirements for running your choice of DAW software.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Essay No 20 2
Assignments Creative Creative work 1 No 30 1,2,3,4
Assignments Creative Creative work 2 No 50 1,2,3,4
Date printed 2 July 2022