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Last updated:

December 22, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course is an investigation into the history and aesthetics of music and technology as deployed in experimental and popular musics from the 19th century to the present.

Through original research, creative hands-on projects, readings, and lectures, the following topics will be explored. The history of radio, audio recording, and the recording studio, as well as the development of musique concrète and early electronic instruments. The creation and extension of musical interfaces by composers such as Harry Partch, John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow, and others. The exploration of electromagnetic technologies in pickups, and the development of dub, hip-hop, and turntablism. The history and application of the analog synthesizer, from the Moog modular to the Roland TR-808. The history of computer music, including music synthesis and representation languages. Contemporary practices in circuit bending, live electronics, and electro-acoustic music, as well as issues in copyright and intellectual property, will also be examined. No prerequisites

Course Curriculum

    • Music and music technology Unlimited
    • The science and visualization of sound Unlimited
    • The history of analog audio Unlimited
    • Microphones and Radio Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • Digital audio Unlimited
    • Processing audio and the modern recording studio Unlimited
    • Musique concrète and electronic music Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • Mechanical automations and innovations Unlimited
    • Electronic and electromagnetic instruments Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • Modular synthesizers Unlimited
    • Sequencers, rhythm machines, and samplers Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • Turntables Unlimited
    • Live electronics and circuit bending Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • The history of notation and MIDI Unlimited
    • The early history of music programming and digital synthesis Unlimited
    • Synthesis with code Unlimited
    • Discussion and workshop Unlimited
    • Intellectual property and copyright Unlimited
    • Sonic system project presentations Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology