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Digital Composition and Performance (MSc)


Course Description

Programme description

In this dynamic programme you’ll build on your existing musical skills and develop a greater understanding of the theories and techniques of digital composition and performance.

A focus of the programme is bridging the gap between the musical vision and its performance. With this in mind, you will be encouraged to perform your own music in live situations and take your place at the forefront of your music’s realisation.

An emphasis is also placed on the field of digital composition within a wider context, which you will address through seminar work. You’ll learn how to plan a technological project and translate your musical ideas into interactive computer music programmes and/or scores.

Programme structure

Your study will take the form of weekly lectures or seminars, as well as at least 10 hours a week on project work.

You will complete six courses.

In semester 1:

Real-Time Performance Strategies and Design
Composers’ Seminar A
a choice of Sound Design Media, Compositional Practice A, Principles of Composition for Screen or another course as agreed with the Programme Director

In semester 2:

Non Real-Time Systems
Composers’ Seminar B
a choice of Digital Media Studio Project, Compositional Practice B or another course as agreed with the Programme Director
In addition, over the spring and summer, you will prepare a final digital composition and performance project.

Learning outcomes

Students will gain in-depth knowledge of:

how to make music with computers
the combination of hardware and software systems in music performance
music programming both in real-time (e.g. Max/MSP) and non-real-time e.g. slippery chicken
audio production and post-production
how to plan, execute, realise, and document a musical-technological project
how to translate musical ideas into fully-functioning interactive music software
their own creative practice in the context of past and present cultural developments

Career opportunities

As this programme involves a wide range of disciplines both technical and artistic, you will gain a number of transferable skills ranging from the core matters of composition, audio production and music programming to more indirect but highly employable skills such as research, documentation, critical thinking, oral presentation, teamwork and software development.

Our graduates have gone on to be employed as composers, performers, researchers, Cirque du Soleil sound technicians, university lecturers, software engineers, BBC sound recordists, web designers, multimedia/ video streaming engineers, and DJs.

See our alumni webpage for details of the careers of recent graduates:

[Music Alumni] (http://www.dcp.music.ed.ac.uk/alumni.php)

Visit the Digital Composition and Performance (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in a sound-related discipline such as music, sound engineering, acoustics, film, animation, or art/design. Other relevant disciplines, such as computer science, architecture, education, cognitive science or psychology may be considered. For all applicants, significant experience in composition or similar musically creative activity is essential (e.g. improvisation, sound installation and creative DJing). For experienced professionals who do not meet the formal entry requirements, there is the possibility of admission on the basis of a portfolio of work.

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