Technology of Music and Audio

Unit code: ACO2015 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Nicholson
Kindred Studios


This unit of study focuses on the essential roles digital technologies perform in modern music composition, theory, production and performance. A brief historical and cultural overview of music technology provides a context for appreciating the techniques commonly used today and in the future. Students learn basic theoretical principles of digital audio and MIDI, with an emphasis on practical musical applications. Various computer-based techniques are introduced, including: MIDI sequencing and control; digital audio editing, mixing and processing; plug-ins and 'virtual instruments'; and music notation. Students are invited to explore key music technology concepts from musicological perspectives. Students are asked to consider and discuss the influences of software-based tools, digital media and the Internet on modern music composition, production and distribution, and how these tools influence the practices of professional musicians today.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate and critique key theoretical concepts related to music technology;
  2. Operate a range of industry-standard music software including MIDI sequencers, digital audio workstations and music notation software;
  3. Apply skills and knowledge of technology to compositional, theory and performance contexts;
  4. Appraise the history and culture of technology in music and explain how it relates to the modern professional musician.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 25%
Applied theory and aural exercises
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 25%
Evaluation of musicological issues using a range of media
Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 25%
Demonstrate professional standards in studio practice
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 25%
Presentation of musical work

Required reading

Selected readings will be made available via VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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