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Music, Science, and Technology Concentration Requirements

The MST Concentration is designed for students with a strong interest in the musical ramifications of rapidly evolving computer technology and digital audio, and the acoustic and psychoacoustic foundations of music. The program entails a substantial research project under faculty guidance. It makes use of the highly multidisciplinary environment at CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics), one of the largest computer-music centers in North America. The students can participate in research and take courses from more than 40 areas, including computer music, composition and performance, music perception and cognition, neuroscience, audio signal processing, instrument and music-software design, virtual reality, intermedia, and more. This program can serve as a complementary major for students in the sciences and engineering.

Core Requirements (42 Units)


Develop aural skills

  • Music 24A, 24B, 24C: Ear Training I, II, III (1-2 units each)
  • Ear training exit exam
  • Piano proficiency exam

Analytical approaches: from the common-practice era to today

  • Music 21, 22, 23: Elements of Music I, II, III (3 units each)



Develop proficiency with the history of Western art music

  • Music 40: Music History to 1600 (4 units)
  • Music 41: Music History from 1600 to 1830 (4 units)
  • Music 42: Music History since 1830 (4 units)





Complete three upper division courses:

1. Choose one course among these three:

  • Develop compositional and analytical skills focus on tonal and post-tonal contrapuntal practices
  • Learn analytical methods
    • Music 122B: Analysis of Tonal Music (4 units)
    • Music 122C: Introduction to 20th- Century Composition (4 units)

2. Choose one course among these eight that satisfy the Writing In the Major (WIM) requirement:

  • Acquire the capacity to write about music
    • Music 140: Studies in Music of the Middle Ages (4 units)
    • Music 141: Studies in Music of the Renaissance (4 units)
    • Music 142: Studies in Music of the Baroque (4 units)
    • Music 143: Studies in Music of the Classical Period (4 units)
    • Music 144: Studies in Music of the Romantic Period (4 units)
    • Music 145: Studies in Western Art Music Since 1900 (4 units)
    • Music 146: Studies in Ethnomusicology (4 units)
    • Music 147: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture (4 units)

3. Choose one more course among the remaining nine listed in 1 and 2.

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

Choose a course or some courses among the following, for a minimum of 3 units  

1. Develop proficiency with at least one instrument or voice

2. Ensemble

3. Acquire conducting skills

  • Music 130B: Elementary Instrumental Conducting (2 units)
  • Music 130C:  Elementary Choral Conducting (2 units)

4. Play/Perform electronic music

  • Music 128: Stanford Laptop Orchestra: Composition, Coding, and Performance (3-4 units)

5. Play/Perform improvised music

  • Music 126A: Introduction to Thoroughbass, historically informed stylistic improvisation  (1-3 units)
  • Music 156: [sic] Improvisation Collective (1 unit)

6. Play/perform contemporary music, and collaborate with performers in having your music performed

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

Choose a course or some courses among the following, for a minimum of 3 units  

1. MST (Music, Science, and Technology)

  • Music 101: Introduction to Creating Electronic Sounds (3-4 units)
  • Music 155: Intermedia Workshop (3-4 units)
  • Music 192A, B, C: Sound Recording (192A & B: 3 units each, 192C: 1-2 units)
  • Music 220A, B, C: Computer Generated Sounds (2-4 units each)
  • Music 223: Composition for Electronic Musicians (3-4 units)
  • Music 223B: Sonic Experiments in Composition (1-3 units)
  • Music 223C: Tradition, Experimentation, and Technology in String Quartet Composition and Performance (1-3 units)
  • Music 223D: Sound Practice: Embodiment and the Social (2-3 units)
  • Music 250A, C: Design of Digital Sounds for Interactive Performance (3-4 units each)
  • Music 256A, B: Music Computing, Design (3-4 units each)

2. Composition

  • Music 20C: Jazz Arranging and Composition (3 units)
  • Music 112: Film Scoring (3 units)
  • Music 113: Introduction to Instrumental Composition (2-3 units)
  • Music 123A: Composition seminar: Rhythmic design (1-2 units)
  • Music 123B: Composition seminar: Pitch design (1-2 units)
  • Music 123C: Composition Seminar: World Music (1-2 units)
  • Music 124A: Songwriters Workshop (1-2 units)

3. Orchestration

  • Music 127A: Instrumentation and Orchestration (3 units)
  • Music 127B: Advanced Orchestration (3 units)

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one requirement.

Music, Science, and Technology Requirements (20 Units)

Music Major, Focus Area: MST Concentration (16 Units)

  • Music 220A: Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound (4 units)
  • Music 220B: Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computation Music (4 units)
  • Music 220C: Research Seminar in Computer-Generated Music (4 units)
  • Music 251: Psychophysics and Music Cognition (4 units)

Additonally, choose one (4 Units):

  • Music 256A: Music, Computing, Design: The Art of Design (3-4 units)
  • Music 320A: Introduction to Audio Signal Processing Part I: Spectrum Analysis (3-4 units)
  • Music 320B: Introduction to Audio Signal Processing Part II: Digital Filters (3-4 units)

Total: 20 units