Advanced Electroacoustic Music Composition

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


โ€‹Dr. Ben Johansenโ€‹

Course Format

This course is set up much like composition lessons: one-on-one lessons (at least one per week) focusing on your electronic music Semester Project.

Required Attendance Outside of Scheduled Weekly Lesson

Student may complete their Semester Project Presentation during one of the following:

  • regularly scheduled weekly lesson time (before an audience is more preferable)

  • Composition Studio Concert (03/17 @ 7:30pm in Roxy Grove Hall)

  • a time outside of the regularly scheduled lesson time during a time in a location convenient for both the student and the MUS 4V09 instructor

Defining Electroacoustic Music

โ€‹New York City Electronic Music Festival (NYCEMF) definition:

Electroacoustic music is music whose sound incorporates electronic tools and instruments, including software, in its production or performance. Electroacoustic music often seeks to explore all the sonic possibilities of new technologies, and it includes both works performed live on stage and works created in the studio and played back in concert ...

โ€‹Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) definition:

Electro-Acoustic music is a term used to describe those musics which are dependent on electronic technology for their creation and/or performance.

Composing Electroacoustic Music

Baylor Composition Area's ultimate mission is to help students develop their creative abilities to uniquely compose the music of the future (rather than just "learn the trade of composing"). MUS4203 begins with projects focusing on typical pedagogical electroacoustic works (a musique concrรฉte piece, an interactive piece using Max, etc.) in order for students to develop timeless audio editing and manipulation techniques. By the time students take MUS4V09, they should be creating works that move the electroacoustic music world forward (rather than "treading water" in the known pool of electroacoustic possibilities).

Course Objective

Complete a Semester Project, goals of which must be determined and codified in detail by the second week of the semester using the form included in this syllabus. Your project must be completed and presented before an audience by the end of the semester.

I will assign Small Projects as seen fit to meet this goal. Projects can range from reading and listening assignments, to creativity building exercises.


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

  • 20% Small Projects

  • 10% Semester Project Form (hard copy due the second week of the semester)

  • 50% Semester Project

  • 20% Semester Project Presentation


  • 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 โ€œFโ€ 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.

You must attend at least 75% of your scheduled lesson meetings in order to be eligible to pass this 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 ( 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 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:โ€‹

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

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

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.