Minor in Applied Music Technology

The School of Music now offers a 24-credit Minor in Applied Music Technology (AMT). This exciting Minor provides training in technology for music composition, performance and software programming, as well as knowledge about interactive video manipulation and art installations. Lower level courses focus on the basic theory and practice of music technologies, such as understanding the recording and creative manipulation of sound, becoming familiar with repertoire, and learning to program using Max/MSP/Jitter. Fourth year courses emphasize creative programming and performance.

Group and individual projects focus on creating interactive environments or manipulating live sound using game controllers, web cams, tablets, and smartphones. Recent and current projects include: visual tracking of a pianist’s hands to control piano samples; interactive dance with PlayStation Move Wands; a video mixer; real time creation of 3D visuals representing sound modifications; infrared tracking of hand motions to move sound around Barnett Recital Hall; and working with Engineering students to create smartphone apps that help process image and video in performances.

The four specialized technology courses MUSC 319, 320, 419, and 420 provide the core of the Minor. In the culmination course – MUSC 420 (the supervised capstone project) – you develop your own technology-related ideas, creating a software environment or hardware interface that directly relates to your future plans. If you have a particular interest in music technology we also encourage you to take other courses at UBC (such as film scoring or theatre sound) as part of your electives to strengthen your knowledge in the area.

The AMT minor is co-directed by Professors Bob Pritchard and Keith Hamel. For further information contact Professor Pritchard: bob@mail.ubc.ca

The courses involved are:

Prerequisites: 6 credits
MUSC 100 (3) First Principles of Musical Form
MUSC 119 (3) Introduction to Music Technology

Core Courses: 12 credits
MUSC 319 (3) Introduction to Electroacoustic Music (prereq MUSC 100, 119)
MUSC 320 (3) Introduction to Computer Music (prereq MUSC 319)
MUSC 419 (3) Laptop Orchestra (prereq MUSC 320)
MUSC 420 (3) Capstone project (prereq MUSC 419)


6 credits chosen from the following courses (subject to approval by a Music Technology Advisor):

  • MUSC 419 (3) Laptop Orchestra (taken a second time)

  • Any 300- or 400-level MUSC course

  • PHYS 341 (3) Physics of Music (strongly recommended for Music majors)

  • ARTH 340 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Triumph and Demise of Modernism

  • ARTH 341 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Postmodern

  • COGS 300 (3) Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems

  • COGS 303 (3) Research Methods and Cognitive Systems

  • CPSC 310 (3) Introduction to Software Engineering

  • Any 300- or 400-level FIPR course

  • Any 300- or 400-level FIST course

  • LING 311 (3) Studies in Phonology

  • LING 314 (3) Instrumental Phonetics

  • THTR 308 (3) Sound Design

  • VISA 310 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts I

  • VISA 311 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts II

More information



Ever wondered what a super high tech 3D-printed violin sounds like? For his SUBCLASS capstone project, violinist Daniel Tsui created the "Force Touch Gesturally Activated Augmented Violin." The violin uses special sensors to trigger audio filters and sound effects. Check it out!
From Wearable Instruments_HighNotes_Spring2019_WebFinal.jpg


From Wearable Instruments to 3D-Printed Violins

Created eight years ago as a ‘laboratory where music meets technology,’ the Sonic UBC Laptop Sounds and Sensors Class has become a hothouse of innovation.