The Yale College Composition Seminar

The Yale College Composition Seminar provides experience in original and creative musical
composition, either acoustic or technological, or in combination.  Guest artists have included professional composers of a wide variety of aesthetic views, style and stature, as well as faculty composers of the Department of Music and the School of Music.  There are four separate levels of course offerings:

Music 312a
Music 313b
Music 412a
Music 413b

Visit the Yale College Composition Seminar website here.

Music 195-S: Electronic Dance Music Techniques

A study of foundational techniques in electronic dance music with a focus on sampling, synthesis, effects processing, and mixing. Music 195-S is a new online course that will first be offered in Summer 2015. 

Music 231: Laptop Ensemble

The study and performance of live electronic and electroacoustic music in the context of a performing Laptop Ensemble.   Topics include the appropriation of music technology through software and hardware hacking, laptop-based production and performance tools, hybrid electroacoustic instruments and electronic chamber music, live audio processing, and novel approaches to notation and conducting.  Students participate in the laptop ensemble, creating new works and performing in a concert at the end of the semester.

for more information, visit the course website:

Music 295: Introduction to Electronic Music

A survey of intermediate techniques in sampling, synthesis, effects processing, MIDI sequencing, remixing and production with a practicum-oriented focus on compositional exercises creating electronic music dance using Ableton’s Live/Suite 9.  This course is currently being offered in the Spring 2016 semester.

Visit the Spring 2016 Music 295b website here.

Music 325a: Fundamentals of Music Technology

Fundamental principles of music technology including sound recording and reproduction, digital audio, digital signal processing, audio synthesis techniques, musical acoustics, and psychoacoustics.  Emphasis on the theory of music technology through investigations into the tools used to analyze, perform, and compose electroacoustic and computer-generated music.

Music 325 entails a study of the tools used to create, understand, and perform electronic and computer music.  The overall focus is weighted equally between theoretical investigations and practical applications. Historical developments in media technology will be discussed. Topics include musical acoustics, digital audio recording and editing, audio mixing, audio effects and signal processing, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and Open Sound Control (OSC), digital synthesis, digital audio workstations (DAWs), MIDI sequencing, algorithms in music, and an introduction to computer music programming languages.

The coursework emphasizes quantitative reasoning skills including creative problem solving using procedural and algorithmic methodologies, as well as traditional physics and math-based exercises in audio engineering, musical acoustics, and digital signal processing

Visit the Fall 2016 Music 325a website here.

Music 371 | Engineering and Applied Science 344: Musical Acoustics and Instrument Design

An exploration of the acoustic principles of musical instruments using a highly interactive hands-on approach. The focus is weighted equally between theoretical development, interactive discussions with expert practitioners, and instrument building. The culmination of the class will be team projects that produce novel musical instruments or relevant applications. The purpose of the class is to provide the student with an understanding of the physics of musical instruments and how they are designed.   Emphasis will be on string, wind, percussion, and electronic instruments, and topics will include all aspects of sound from the origin of the vibration in the instrument to the perception by the listener. A sampling of specific topics includes standing waves, harmonics, musical scales, forced oscillations, radiation, interference, electronic interfaces, and spectral analysis. (See syllabus for a more complete list).The students will be trained in, and make use of, the appropriate tools in the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design for hands-on instrument study, design, and building.

For more information, visit the course website:


Music 395b: Composition and Performance of Music, Multimedia Art, and Technology

Music 395b entails a practical study of interactive composition and performance applications in music
and multimedia art. Advanced topics include digital synthesis and sampling, effects processing, MIDI controllers, live recording and mixing, live animation and video processing, and patch/program design in Ableton Live/Suite 9, MMJ 6 and VDMX. Next offered in Spring 2016.

Music 450/550b: Special Topics in Music, Multimedia Art, and Technology

Music 450/550b is an advanced seminar focusing on creating and analyzing electronic music using the visual programming environment Max/MSP/Jitter. The course investigates non-linear approaches to composition and narrative, performance practice in the digital era, and the changing roles of composer, performer, audience member, and instrument designer.

Topics include human computer interaction (HCI), instrument design, alternative controllers, data mapping, algorithmic composition, real-time Digital Signal Processing, communication over the network, and programming for mobile devices.

In addition to developing a working knowledge of the visual programming environment Max/MSP/Jitter, this course will examine important pieces in the repertoire of live electronics, interactive and immersive installation art, and multi-media performance.

Visit the Spring 2014 Music 450/550b website here.

Music 471/472: Independent Study

Original essay in ethnomusicology, music history, music theory, or music technology and/or multimedia art under the direction of a faculty adviser. Admission to the course upon submission to the department of the essay proposal by the registration deadline, and approval of the director of undergraduate studies