Survey of Music Technology – CMUS 102

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/28/2022

Course Description

An introduction to current music technology used in generating music for the commercial music marketplace. This includes using a digital audio workstation, recording analog music, programming digital music, triggering loops in real time, and notating music digitally.

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


The technologies covered in this course introduce the digital tools needed to take music from its inception, to charting it theoretically, through recording, mixing, mastering, and creating print product for the marketplace. While digital hardware and software change, this course introduces the essential steps required in the current commercial music industry to prepare product for distribution.

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)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 250–300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 150 words.

Tutorial Assignments (7)

The student will use the presentations provided in each module: week to submit his or her own completed tutorials in the designated software format to the specifications established within each video tutorial.

Project Assignments (3)

The student will submit 3 projects that will be completed after the specified tutorials are completed: (1) Rhythm Track in Ableton, (2) Pro Tools Session with Live Vocal, (3) Video and Soundtrack in Ableton. Each project must be completed in the prescribed format.

Digital Audio Worksheet Assignment

Digital Audio Worksheet: from the Digital Audio lecture and research using the web, fill out the worksheet using complete sentences. This worksheet will prepare the student for the Digital Audio Quiz.

Quizzes (3)

There will be 3 quizzes throughout this course. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, include multiple-choice questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.

Quiz: Midterm

The quiz will be the duplication of an assigned drum pattern in Ableton Live as well as an essay question. The student will be given an audio example and will be asked to analyze the drums, break them down by drum into 4 separate tracks and reproduce 8 bars (measures) of the pattern in Ableton Live. The quiz will have a 2-hour time limit.

Quiz: Final

The quiz will contain a written portion as well as a technology portion. The written portion will be an essay reflection based on the student’s findings in the Discussion from Module 7. For the technology portion, the student will be given an audio example and will be asked to duplicate the track in Ableton Live given the Ableton Live template and stems. The entire quiz will have a 2-hour time limit.