Electroacoustic Music Composition

Baylor University MUS4203 Spring 2020 course syllabus and online course-guide.


​Dr. Ben Johansen​

Course Description

Literature study, composition, and performance of fixed and interactive electroacoustic music.

Students who do well in MUS4203 may move on to MUS4V09 (Adv,. EA Music Comp.) in order to work on a significant electroacoustic music project of their choice in the style of an independent study.

When/Where (Spring 2020)

Sequence of course topics:

The following indicates the order of topics covered. Some topics take longer to cover and some projects take longer for students to complete than others. Each topic has supplemental reading material that changes yearly in order to stay current.

  • Computer Hardware and Software

  • History of Electronic Music (mediums and aesthetic foundations)

    • Analysis Project 1

  • Digital Audio (how it works … how filters work at a sample level)

  • musique concrΓ©te (how to manipulate recorded sounds)

    • Project 2 for speakers alone (fixed media)

    • Project 3 for fixed media and live musician

  • Audio Synthesis

    • Project 4 for speakers alone (fixed media)

  • Interactive Music (introduction to Max)

    • Project 5 for computer (Max) and live musician

  • Video art and film scoring with electroacoustic music

    • Project 6 for moving image and electroacoustic music (all fixed media)


    Projects given only to graduate students:

  • Project 7 for live generated computer music (generative music)

  • Project 8 for interactive video art (Jitter) and live musician

Course Objective

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • List various forms of electroacoustic music along with historical examples.

  • Perform basic electroacoustic music analysis.

  • Identify and describe foundational/basic digital signal processing (DSP) tools.

  • Creatively manipulate recorded sounds to fit your compositional objectives using DSP tools.

  • Develop code to use in live electroacoustic music performance.

  • Create an original electronic music complete with edited score(s) and parts (if applicable).

Required Attendance Outside of Scheduled Class Time

Composition Studio Concert = March 17 @ 7:30pm in Roxy Grove

Course Materials


Engage and take risks with technology. Search and be curious.

  • 20% - Listening and Reading Assignments + Class Attendance

  • 40% - Projects 1-6 (1-8 for graduate students)

  • 40% - Project performed in front of a live audience (one of the projects fully developed into a performable work)


  • A = 96-100

  • A- = 90-95

  • B+ = 87-89

  • B = 83-86

  • B- = 80-82

  • C+ = 77-79

  • C = 73-76

  • C- = 70-72

  • F = 0-69


The following is straight from the School of Music Undergraduate Handbook:

School of Music policy requires that to earn credit in a course a student must be officially enrolled by the end of the second full week of the semester and attend at least 75% of all class meetings. Faculty members may establish additional attendance requirements as outlined in course syllabi. Any student who is not present for at least 75% of the scheduled class sessions for any course will automatically receive a grade of β€œF” in the course. Any University-related activity necessitating an absence from class will count as an absence when determining whether a student has attended the required 75% of class meetings.

  • Missing 20min of any portion of a class meeting will result in a 1/2 absence.

  • You must attend at least 75% of class meetings to be eligible to pass the course.

Academic Success

I believe every student who has been admitted to Baylor can be successful and I want to partner with you to help you thrive academically. Be sure to take advantage of the many resources available for academic success, including coming to see me during my office hours. Students who regularly utilize the great resources in the Paul L. Foster Success Center (http://www.baylor.edu/successcenter/) are among my most successful students. If your academic performance in this class is substandard, I will submit an Academic Progress Report to the Success Center so that the team of coordinated care professionals can ensure that you get the help you need.

First Generation College Students

Baylor University defines a first-generation college student as a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree. The First in Line program at Baylor is a support office on campus for first-generation college students to utilize if they have any questions or concerns. Please contact First in Line at [email protected], call 254-710-6854, or visit www.baylor.edu/firstinline to learn more about the services available.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism or any form of cheating involves a breach of student-teacher trust. This means that any work submitted under your name is expected to be your own, neither composed by anyone else as a whole or in part, nor handed over to another person for complete or partial revision. Be sure to document all ideas that are not your own. Instances of plagiarism or any other act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Honor Council and may result in failure of the course. Not understanding plagiarism is not an excuse. As a Baylor student, I expect you to be intimately familiar with the Honor Code at: http://www.baylor.edu/honorcode/​

Students Needing Accommodations

Any student who needs academic accommodations related to a documented disability should inform me immediately at the beginning of the semester. You are required to obtain appropriate documentation and information regarding accommodations from the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA). Contact Information: (254) 710-3605 - Paul L. Foster Success Center, 1st floor on the East Wing of Sid Richardson.

Baylor University Title IX

Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy:

Baylor University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. If you or someone you know would like help related to an experience involving sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, or retaliation for reporting one of these type of prohibited conduct, please contact the Title IX Office at (254) 710-8454, or email, [email protected] or report online at www.baylor.edu/titleix.

The Title IX office understands the sensitive nature of these situations and can provide information about available on- and off-campus resources, such as counseling and psychological services, medical treatment, academic support, university housing, and other forms of assistance that may be available. Staff members at the office can also explain your rights and procedural options if you contact the Title IX Office. You will not be required to share your experience. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or may be in imminent danger, please call the Baylor Police Department (254-710-2222) or Waco Police Department (9-1-1) immediately. For more information on the Title IX Office, the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence policy, reporting, and resources available, please visit www.baylor.edu/titleix.

Military Student Advisory

Veterans and active duty military personnel are welcomed and encouraged to communicate, in advance if possible, any special circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployment, drill requirements, disability accommodations). You are also encouraged to visit the VETS Program Office with any questions at (254) 710-7264.