Commercial Music Technology I: Notation – CMUS 330

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/08/2022

Course Description

The study of computer applications in commercial music, including competencies in the use of music notation software, sequencing, and the fundamental technology skills for publication and producing. 

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Finale is an industry standard in notation software. Notation software reinforces both theory and musicianship in the application of both within standard practices for printed music within the Music Industry. Songs (and music) have a sonic footprint that is realized in graphic form when notated. Both sonic and notated expressions of music require theoretical and musical knowledge and skill. Both are engaged in the practice of notation and recording.  

Historically, print music is older than recorded music and comes with a series of rules related to publishing that are unique to printed music. More recently, print music has gone to the online standard with music charts being posted on Music Sales sites (,,,,, etc.) where the purchaser is given options regarding print, PDF, key, and tempo.  

Ableton LIVE is a digital audio workstation (DAW) that has all the essential functions of the major workstations: tracking, mixing, mastering. DAWs are actively used in the music industry to create the sonic canvas of song ideas and enable the songwriter to bring the song to market. Ableton LIVE also has an improvisational component that sets this DAW apart from other DAWs. As such, it has become an industry standard for live production.  

Both notation software and DAWs provide a way for musicians to monetize their music. They also provide a way for musicians to bring music to a wider audience for the purpose of influencing lives and bringing transformation in fulfilling Habakkuk 2:4 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the skill necessary to manipulate a computer keyboard, a digital music keyboard, and a mouse while entering data with music software.
  2. Demonstrate the ability and musicianship needed for entering music into Finale and Ableton Live software with a controller keyboard.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to create and construct lead sheets with Finale and a rhythm chart with Ableton Live software.
  4. Demonstrate comprehension of and application of music software in preparation for worship, education, or music industry settings.
  5. Articulate how the applications of midi and audio technology relate to local church ministry, or educational, or music industry settings.

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings and Lecture Presentations/Notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussion are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 2 discussions in this course. The student will submit a thread in response to each Discussion. The thread for Discussion: Using Notation Technology must be a minimum of 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The thread for Discussion: Real Life Scenario must be a minimum of 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition, the student must reply to at least 2 classmates for each discussion. Each reply must be at least 150 words.

Digital Audio Worksheet Assignment

The student will carry out independent research to explore the areas listed on the provided template. The student will fill in the questions and upload his or her completed Digital Audio Worksheet in preparation for the Digital Audio Quiz.

Tutorial Assignments (8)

In each module, there is a series of tutorial assignments. The student must watch and apply the sequence of events displayed in each tutorial using the required program(s). Once the student has completed a tutorial, he or she must save it and move on to the next. Once the student has completed the final tutorial in the module, he or she must post the final tutorial in the assignment submission area for a grade.

Project Assignments (4)

The student will complete 4 Projects in this course:

  • In Project: Lead Sheet Assignment, the student will create a Lead Sheet document in Setup Wizard.
  • In Project: Piano Vocal Chart Assignment, the student will set up a Piano Vocal chart.
  • In Project: Praise Band Score Assignment, the student will copy a Praise Band chart using the Praise Charts template by Dan Galbraith.
  • In Project: Full Orchestration Assignment, the student will copy a Full Orchestration Score into the template he or she set up in Tutorial 5c. 

Quiz: Digital Audio

The student is encouraged to complete the Digital Audio Worksheet Assignment before starting this quiz. This quiz is open-book/open-notes and contains 9 multiple-choice questions.

Quiz: Setting Up Preferences

The student is encouraged to complete Tutorial 1a before starting this quiz. This quiz is open-book/open-notes and contains 5 multiple-choice questions.