Module code: TON1024

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to computer-based media systems using a combination of theory and application and is organized into three broad sections. Firstly, you will learn about fundamental computer architecture and digital system foundations as it relates to computer-based media such as audio and video. Secondly, you will be introduced into computer programming in Python and apply it to solve problems in audio, a pre-requisite skill that will be needed for other modules such as Audio Signal Analysis, Audio Signal Processing and Synthesis, as well as for your final year technical project. Finally, you will dive into more computer-based audio concepts such as MIDI and develop skills in computer-based audio generation with Max.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

DE SENA Enzo (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 18

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 14

Guided Learning: 5

Captured Content: 18

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

TON 1023 - Audio Signal Analysis 

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Number systems (decimal, binary, hexadecimal and two’s complement)

  • Matrices and vectors

  • Microprocessor-based computer systems

  • Computer-based media and MIDI systems

  • MIDI protocol, hardware and software

  • Storage and interfacing in computer media systems

  • Software engineering

  • Computer programming in Python

  • Audio programming in Max

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 1 25
Coursework Coursework 2 25
Examination Examination (2 hours) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop subject knowledge (exam) and programming skills (coursework).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework 1 – programming task (addresses learning outcomes 7–10);

  • Coursework 2 – MIDI programming task (addresses learning outcomes 4 and 7–10); and

  • 2hr exam – written paper under exam conditions (addresses learning outcomes 1–6).

Formative assessment:

Formative assessment and feedback will be provided in tutorials as required, during in-class exercises, and in the form of regular revision questions in lectures.


You will receive written feedback on your coursework. You will also receive verbal feedback in lectures via revision questions and in-class discussions.

Module aims

  • To provide a theoretical understanding and a practical working knowledge of computer-based media systems, their use in the control and processing of audio and MIDI data, as well as to develop skills in computer programming using Python and Max.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain why the decimal, binary, hexadecimal and two's complement formats are commonly used in audio and video engineering, perform simple arithmetic operations in each format and convert numbers between the different formats. KC
002 Perform simple operations on matrices. KC
003 Explain the operating principles of a microprocessor-based computer system. KC
004 Explain the hardware and software principles of MIDI control. KC
005 Discuss the relative merits of alternative computer storage devices and interfaces. KC
006 Discuss issues relating to applications of computer systems. KC
007 Plan and codify a set of procedures to perform a specific task. T
008 Use computer code instructions to perform a specific task. KCPT
009 Apply programming skills successfully PT
010 Apply problem-solving skills successfully T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: develop your skills and knowledge in computer systems, allowing modules in later semesters to build on this.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Workshops / Seminars

  • Captured content and guided learning

  • Coursework assignments 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TON1024

Other information

Digital capabilities: This module will enable you to develop digital capabilities in computer systems. You will develop software programming skills in Python, introduced to network troubleshooting tools, and developing capabilities to generate/program computer-based audio with Max and Python.

Employability: This module will allow you to develop professional skills related to software programming, such as planning and code documentation, and overall competency in problem solving. The Python programming language has become an industry standard, the knowledge of which many employers require. Additionally, you will develop competency in working with digital systems and media, specifically digital audio. 

Resourcefulness and resilience: This module will challenge and stretch you in coping with designing multiple software programmes within a time frame and seeking out information beyond lecture notes and workshops to achieve tasks.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory 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 2025/6 academic year.