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MuCT 4440/5440: Music Technology 1 (3 credit hours)

College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University

Course Meeting Time: T/Th 1:00-2:15
Class website: (courses->tech1)

Syllabus, Fall 2013

Location: Room 2102, Moore Musical Arts Center

Class Blog Site:

Instructor: Dr. Elainie Lillios

Office: MMAC 2139

Office Hour: TBA the first week of class/by appointment

Phone: 419.372.9482
AIM: drlillios

Teaching Assistant: Tom Beverly

Office: MMAC 3130

Tech Help Sessions: T 12:00-1:00pm, W 2:30-3:30

Phone: 281.787.6379

REQUIRED TEXTS (available on

Aiken, Jim. Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming. Backbeat Books, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-773-0
Roads, Curtis. The Computer Music Tutorial. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996. ISBN 0-262-68082-3
RECOMMENDED TEXTS (that will help you learn the software faster):
Anker, Kevin and Orren Merton. Logic Pro 9 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide. Boston: Course
Technology PTR, 2011. ISBN-13 978-1-4354-5612-9
Margulies, Jon. Ableton Live9 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide. Boston: Course Technology PTR,
2013. ISBN-13 978-1-285455402
You should have media and/or hard drives/flash drives for backing up your work.
Handouts, listening assignments, and software manuals are available on studio workstations or online.
Students enrolled in Music Technology 1 will focus on listening, composition, synthesis, timbre/patch
design, aesthetics, history, sequencing, sampling, and technical aspects of MIDI, as well as the basics
of audio production and MIDI setup. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the course
materials by completing reading and listening assignments, attending required concert events,
participating in a class blog, completing short assignments, creating short compositions and one longer
final project, and completing mid-term and final exams.
Student grades will be determined as follows:
Sonic blog, listening project, final project proposal and small assignments
Two medium-sized semester projects/compositions
Midterm Exam
Final Project
Comprehensive final exam
Attending required concert events/course attendance/participation
A=Excellent. Outstanding work in all respects. Demonstrates comprehensive and solid understanding
of course material, and presents thoughtful interpretations, well-focused and original insights, and
well-reasoned commentary and analysis. Includes skillful use of source materials, illuminating
examples and illustrations, fluent expression, and contains no coding errors.
B=Good. This work demonstrates a complete and accurate understanding of course material, presents
a reasonable degree of insight and broad levels of analysis. Work reflects competence, but stays at a

general or predictable level of understanding. Source materials and examples are used appropriately
and articulation/coding is clear. Paper has been carefully proofread.
C=Adequate/fair. This work demonstrates understanding that hits in the ballpark but which remains
superficial, incomplete, or expresses some significant errors or weaknesses. Source materials may be
used inadequately or inappropriately, and arguments lack concrete, specific examples and illustrations.
Coding or articulation may appear vague, hard to follow, or loaded with typos and other technical
D=Unsatisfactory. This work demonstrates a serious lack or error in understanding, and fails to
express the most rudimentary aspects of the course. Sources may be used inappropriately or not at all,
and coding is deficient.
F=Failed. Work not submitted or attempted.
Students are expected to attend the course on a regular basis, as successful assimilation of the material
is difficult to accomplish without consistent attendance and participation. Students who must miss
class for any reason should contact the instructor 24 hours prior to class when possible, via email
and/or phone. In the case of serious illness, course assignments and readings may be made up with a
doctors note. Students missing three classes or greater will be docked accordingly. Students missing
eight classes will fail the course.
Students will select three hours of studio time per week. Additional studio time will be available, but
the three-hour time slot is a mandatory studio time. If you cant use your studio time in a particular
week, please cancel it and let others know so they can use the studio.
Select your studio times via MRBS located at:
Tom Beverly will open tutoring sessions each week Tue. 12-1:00pm and Wed. 2:30-3:30pm. Any
student needing assistance should attend. The studio is closed to general use during these times.
Students will attend the following tech-focused concerts during fall semester as part of this course:
Andrew Pelletier, horn
Wed. 04 September
Pamela Z
Wed. 16 October
D.U. Bryan Gallery, School of ART*
Dal Niente and Friends
Thu. 17 October
ClaZel Theatre
NMF Concert
Sat. 19 October
Nadia Sirota, viola
Mon. 18 November
8:00pm ClaZel Theatre
Please note that work commitments do not constitute an excused absence for these concerts! The date
you receive this syllabus is Tuesday 27 August. This provides ample time for you to make necessary
arrangements in your work schedule. The only excused absence for these concerts is class conflict.

MUCT 4440/5440, Fall 2013

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All assignments will be submitted via my server account ( drop box, and are due at
no later than 1:00pm on the due date unless otherwise specified. No assignment or blog will be
accepted after the due date/time. No extensions will be given and no extra credit provided for
missed assignments.
Students will divide into groups and participate in an online blog, discussing listening assignments.
Each blog series will span TWO weeks, with a TWO posting minimum in the first week and a
THREE posting minimum in the second. In addition to answering the question(s), entries on pieces
may include your impressions and personal remarks, and remarks about others observations.
Additional guidelines are provided on the blog site.
Students will divide into blog groups and create a group presentation on an assigned piece. Each
student in the group will take one element of SHMRG and create an extensive analysis of that element
as it applies to his/her groups piece. Each group will present their findings in a 25-minute
presentation with 2 listenings of the piece (one before the presentation and one after the presentation.)
There will also be a 5-minute Q/A with the rest of the class before the 2nd listening. In all, each
presentation will last approximately 30 minutes.
Undergraduate students will compose a one-minute, and graduate students a three-minute electroclip,
using processing techniques covered in class. Students are required to use synthesized sounds only on
this projectrecorded audio is not permitted. Projects will be assessed using the following criteria:
TECHNICAL (25 points) - Quality and clarity of patches; lack of noise in patches; lack of
clipping, digital distortion, analog distortion, MIDI dropouts, or other noise elements not
purposely made a part of the composition; proper use of volume curves to avoid clicking.
Adhering to time requirement.
PROCESSING/CREATIVE PATCH SELECTION (25 points) - Using patches you created or
original/unique-sounding patches from any of the soft-synths. No standard or General MIDI
sounds. Clearly using applications discussed in class to manipulate sounds.
FORM/STRUCTURE (25 points) - Combining materials in a logical way; creating some sort of
sonic environment or progression that allows the piece to succeed within the context of the short
form idea; development of material. Composition should have a beginning, middle, and an end.
CONTENT/CREATIVITY (25 points) - General creative application; rhythmic elements used in
a creative or non-standard way; Stylistic ingenuity; illustrating an understanding of electroacoustic
music; appropriateness of selected materials with regard to class discussion and listening
Students will submit a written proposal regarding their intended final project. The proposal must
outline patches/samples, applications to be used, form (if pre-determined), and any other information
pertinent to the project. Students may use home equipment for this project, but must include detailed
information in the proposal if they intend to do so. This document should be at least one full page,
single-spaced, typed. Student may append a timeline graph or other representative drawings to the
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Undergraduate students will compose a piece of no less than 5:00 but no greater than 5:30 in duration.
Graduate students will compose a piece of no less than 7:00 but no greater than 7:30 in duration
Students may use synthesizer sounds or may use the sampler to trigger stored samples. Students may
share raw materials! Students may use timbres created in Project One for the final project. General
MIDI patches may not be used for this project. Additional details will be provided in class.
Compositions will be assessed using the following criteria:
TECHNICAL (25 points) General assessment of quality and clarity of piece; lack of skips,
clipping, digital distortion, or other noise elements not purposely made a part of the composition;
proper use of volume curves to avoid clicks; good timbral and sonic balance among elements;
sensitivity to the idea of space. Adhering to time requirement.
PROCESSING (20 points) - Clearly using applications discussed in class to manipulate timbres,
patches. Using continuous controller messages (volume, panning, modulation, etc.) Using creative
patches and/or sounds that are artistically appropriate to the composition. Non-use of general
MIDI and/or traditional instrument patches. Deliberately creating and/or selecting interesting
patches/timbres that compliment each other and create a cohesive sonic unit.
FORM/STRUCTURE (25 points) - Putting materials together in a logical way; What the piece
does and where it goes over time; development over time. Piece has a beginning, middle, and end.
CONTENT (30 points) - General use of materials; appropriateness of selected materials with
regard to class discussion and listening assignments. Implementing foreground, middleground, and
background events; using multiple layers with logical connections; Stylistic ingenuity.
The College of Musical Arts complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act in making reasonable
accommodation for qualified students with disability. If you have an established disability as defined
in the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request accommodation, please see me as
soon as possible. My office hours and office number are shown on this syllabus.
Cheating of any type will not be tolerated in this course and will result in an automatic grade of F in
the course, the removal of the student from the course, and immediate reporting of the students
actions to the Office of the Dean of Students and to the Office of the Dean of the College of Musical
Arts. Cheating includes collaboration on any outside assignments that might be made on an individual
basis for a grade, including regular homework assignments and preparation of case materials for
submission. It also includes plagiarism, unauthorized preparation of notes for examinations, use of
such notes during an examination, looking at another students examination answers, allowing another
student to look at your own examination answers, or the requesting or passing of information during
an examination. **Plagiarism also includes appropriating sounds, or portions of pieces belonging
to other composers.

FINAL PROJECTS DUE: Monday 16 Dec. NOON (in Lillios dropbox)

FINAL EXAMINATION: Monday 16 Dec. 1:15-3:15pm Classroom

FINAL CLASS CONCERT: Thursday 19 Dec. 19, Time TBA

MUCT 4440/5440, Fall 2013
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