COMPOSITIONAL PROGRAMMING B - 2018/9

Module code: CMT3009

Module Overview

This module is designed to extend computer programming skills for composition and performance to include live performance and interfacing with other hardware and software.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

HALL TR Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

CMT3008 (Compositional Programming A) is a pre-requisite for this module

Module content

The following is indicative of the likely topics (these may vary depending upon students interests and chosen projects):

•     Programming: visual programming environments  (focus on DSP elements) externals, data flow, control data handling, interfacing with 3rd–party systems

•     Computer Composition: synthesis, sampling, audio manipulation

•     Interactive/network  based implementations, sensor input, interfacing with other software

•     Working with video (Jitter), maxforlive, other

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CREATE A PATCH DEMONSTRATING THE USE OF DSP OBJECTS AND COMPOSE A PIECE USING THE PATCH 40
Coursework DESIGN AND BUILD A FULLY FUNCTIONAL LIVE SYSTEM AND COMPOSE A PIECE USING IT TO PERFORM LIVE 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate artistic and technical knowledge.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


A patch featuring DSP elements primarily used as the sound source for a composition. (1, 2, 4)
A fully functional live system designed by the student used to perform a composition live. (LO 1-4)


Formative assessment and feedback

Students work on weekly technical tasks, elements of which may be used as part of their summative assessment.  These are shared in class and will receive verbal feedback as well as written feedback through individual tutorials, email, and online discussion forums. Tutorials (individual and group) will be offered both for general guidance and for assessments.  

Module aims

  •   To enhance existing programming skills for composition
  • To explore the sampling and synthesis capabilities of visual programming software
  • To introduce techniques for live performance and interfacing with other systems (max for live, other)
  • To further develop the awareness and appreciation of contemporary compositional practice and aesthetics

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Create patches for synthesis, sampling and audio processing/manipulation KPT
2 Create patches that integrate the control and audio capabilities of visual programming software. KPT
3  Demonstrate good practice in non–linear compositional techniques KCT
4 Use a custom–built software rig for live performance KPT
5  Demonstrate a greater knowledge of contemporary practices and aesthetics involving compositional programming (fixed media and live performance) KCP
6  Systems planning and documentation T
7 Advanced programming skills T
8 Problem solving T
9 Interface design T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to create a series of lectures and workshops covering technical, aesthetic and creative skills to advance students compositional programming knowledge and abilities.

The learning and teaching methods include:


One two-hour lecture/workshop per week
Guided reading
Video tutorials
Online/in class tests (not credit bearing)
Coursework and feedback

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for COMPOSITIONAL PROGRAMMING B : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/cmt3009

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.