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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 21/03/2022 11:37:58

Title of Module: Computer Music

Code: COMP07007 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Dr. Graeme  Truslove

Summary of Module

This module introduces students to various concepts, contexts and practices of computer-based music composition.

The module is practice-based, and examines creative approaches to the recording, editing, manipulation, synthesis and/or real-time processing of sound.  Critical listening skills will be developed through the exploration of the works of contemporary electronic music artists. 

This module embeds the key “I am UWS” graduate attributes and in particular: Digitally Literate, Problem-solver, Autonomous, Effective communicator, Creative, Imaginative, Transformational, Emotionally-intelligent, Motivated.


Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Apply studio-based skills creatively, to produce a short folio of compositions.

L2. Demonstrate the ability to recognise and use essential components of electroacoustic musical language.

L3. Exercise some initiative and independence in realising sonic artworks

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Demonstrate knowledge that is embedded in the main theories, concepts and principles of contemporary computer music.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in the practical context of contemporary computer music in the composition of a portfolio of pieces which reflect the skills, techniques and practices of contemporary artists.

Apply some experimental approaches to music composition.

Understand the operating principles of relevant aspects of a digital audio workstation.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Evaluate musical compositions in terms of structure, technical and aesthetic content.

Develop critical listening.

Exercise musical imagination.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Convey complex ideas about compositions, placing them the context of contemporary computer music styles, in accompanying documentation.

Use music as a form of communication.

Use numeracy skills in matching audio to a timeline.

Use specialized software to record, synthesize and manipulate audio.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Work individually to produce a unique portfolio of music.

Manage audio assets and files in the construction of larger pieces of work.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:
Digital Recording & Production 1 *

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Students will be introduced through lectures and guided listening to the works of contemporary artists in electronic music and presented with the principles of composition and specific techniques to achieve the aesthetics of different styles.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery10
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop38
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Roads, C., n.d.Composing electronic music.

Wishart, T. and Emmerson, S., 2002.?On sonic art. London: Routledge.

Contemporary Music Review, (journal)

Organised Sound (journal)
Cambridge University Press UK

Perspectives of New Music (Journal)

Dean, R., 2011.?The Oxford handbook of computer music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leonardo Music Journal
MIT Press

EMMERSON, S., 2007.?Living electronic music. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Emmerson, S., 2016.?Music, electronic media, and culture. London: Routledge.

Truax, B., 2013.?Acoustic communication. Westport, CT: Ablex Publ.

Roads, C. and Strawn, J., 2011.?The computer music tutorial. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Access to a digital audio workstation with internet connection.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the Virtual Learning Environment, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure at the following link

For the purposes of this module, academic engagement equates to: attending arranged classes (either physically or virtually), completing laboratory exercises and submitting any mid-module assessment materials. Course delivery and engagement monitoring methods are subject to variation, and students should refer to the module handbook for further clarification.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCreative Computing
ModeratorDerek Turner
External ExaminerJ Paterson
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by JAMES as part of BSc (Hons) Music Technology.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
CW1 Comprising:

A folio of fixed-medium computer-music compositions.

• The total duration of the folio should be between 5 and 6 minutes.
• The folio should contain between 1 and 3 compositions.

An accompanying written commentary.
• The commentary should critically and contextually discuss the folio of compositions, and should be around 1500 words.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of practical workcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is designed to provide equal opportunities for all students irrespective of their age, additional support requirements, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. Students may take differing viewpoints with respect to their cultural, religious or family backgrounds. Reasonable adjustments can be made if related issues arise.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.