Main content start

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)

Lower-Division Music Theory: 12 units

Develop aural skills

  • Music 24A24B24C: 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 212223: Elements of Music I, II, III (3 units each)
Lower-division Music History: 12 units

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)
Upper-division Music Theory and History: 12 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.

Performance: 3 units

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.

MST/Composition/Orchestration: 3 units

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 123i: Undergraduate Seminar in Composition (2-3 units)
  • Music 124A: Songwriters Workshop (1-2 units)
  • Music 131A: Musical Indeterminacy & Advanced Notation (2-3 units)

3. Orchestration

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

Music, Science, and Technology Requirements

Courses (20 Units)

Music Major, Focus Area: MST Concentration – take all of the following (13 Units):

  • MUSIC 220A: Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound (minimum of 3 units)
  • MUSIC 220B: Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computation Music (minimum of 3 units)
  • MUSIC 220C: Research Seminar in Computer-Generated Music (minimum of 3 units)
  • MUSIC 251: Psychophysics and Music Cognition (minimum of 4 units)

Additionally, choose one (4 Units):

  • MUSIC 250C: Interaction - Intermedia - Immersion (minimum of 4 units)
  • MUSIC 256A: Music, Computing, Design: The Art of Design (minimum of 4 units)
  • MUSIC 264: Musical Engagement (minimum of 4 units)
  • MUSIC 320B: Introduction to Audio Signal Processing (minimum of 4 units)

Capstone Project (3 Units):

  • MUSIC 198: Capstone

The nature of the capstone project could be research, creative, or a hybrid of the two. The final format could be the text, presentation, technical demonstration, performance, or a combination of those.

Instead of 198, the student could count units from MUSIC 125, MUSIC 199, and MUSIC 220D.

Recommend taking the 220 series by junior year, having the MUSIC 220C project form the basis of the capstone project, and using senior year to refine, polish, document, and present the work.

Beginning ideally in the junior year, the student should choose one or two advisors and plan regular meetings to develop a topic. It may be appropriate for the project to be co-advised by two faculty members, including one from outside the Department of Music depending on expertise.

The capstone units can spread over two or three quarters.

For students graduating in June, the completed project should be presented at least 7 days before the grade submission deadline for graduating seniors.


Total: 20 units