• Class Number 5439
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Laptop Ensemble
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Charles Martin
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
    • Yichen Wang
    • Brent Schuetze
SELT Survey Results

This course is available so that senior students can pursue, under supervision, topics that are not covered in the regular curriculum of some aspect of computer science. The activities in the course will be some combination of lectures, reading, writing and project work, as appropriate to the topic. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Learning Outcomes will be determined for each individual student and recorded in an 'Independent Study Contract' at the beginning of the course.

Research-Led Teaching

Laptop Ensemble applies research from the fields of music technnology and new interfaces for musical expression to teach sound and music computing in a collaborative environment. Students will come into contact with cutting edge computer music research and have the chance to explore the new creative computing possibilities enabled by recent developments in these fields.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

students are expected to bring:

  • their laptop (hence the name)
  • headphones if available

Laptop Ensemble related resources are described here: https://comp.anu.edu.au/courses/laptop-ensemble/resources/

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Computer music tools and resources, Digital audio
2 Digital Synthesis 1 Computer music diary 1
3 Sampling 1 Computer music diary 2
4 Algorithmic Composition 1 Computer music diary 3
5 Networks and Collaboration Computer music diary 4
6 Interfaces 1 Computer music diary 5; Portfolio 1
7 Algorithmic Composition 2 Computer music diary 6
8 Synthesis and Sampling 2; Live Coding Computer music diary 7
9 Demo Day LENS Demo Day
10 Networks 2: Topologies Computer music diary 8
11 Computer music artifact development Portfolio 2
12 Computer music artifact development
13 (exam period) LENS performance and artifact submission

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Weekly Computer Music Diary 0 % 1
Portfolio 1 15 % 1
Portfolio 2 15 % 1
Demo Day Presentation 20 % 1
LENS Performance 50 % 1

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


  • Students are expected to attend all workshops for the course as these learning activities are collaborative.
  • Students are expected to attend and participate in the final laptop ensemble performance to complete their final assessment for the course.


Part of the final assessment will involve a live laptop ensemble performance in the exam period. Students must participate in the performance: https://comp.anu.edu.au/courses/laptop-ensemble/assessments/lens-performance/

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Weekly Computer Music Diary

In each of weeks 2-8 and 10 you will create a short computer music performance either by yourself (60s) or in a small group (180s). Each performance will cover one aspect of computer music that you will cover in the previous week. This assessment is not marked, but it will be played back each week to the class for peer feedback and it is required to complete the portfolio assessments.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Portfolio 1

Portfolio 1 articulates your combined reflections on your computer music diary submissions for the specified weeks, explaining how each one explored the theme and creative criteria for that week. Include figures, screenshots, and code excerpts in your documents as necessary.

Portfolio 1 should be 1000-1500 words and is submitted in markdown format through GitLab in week 6.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Portfolio 2

Portfolio 2 articulates your combined reflections on your computer music diary submissions for the specified weeks, explaining how each one explored the theme and creative criteria for that week. Include figures, screenshots, and code excerpts in your documents as necessary.

Portfolio 2 should be 1000-1500 words and is submitted in markdown format through GitLab in week 11.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Demo Day Presentation

This is a demo in week 9 of student's work-in-progress (WIP) for the final laptop ensemble performance. It’s not expected to be an “artistic performance” like the final performance will be, you’re encouraged to talk through what it can do so far, how it will evolve as the final performance approaches, and even raise open questions you have about the rest of the design process.

You must present your LENS artefact to the rest of the class in a 5 minute in-class demo, followed by 5 minutes of questions. You can bring your own laptop/other gear, and we will connect it to the PA (we’ll discuss the “tech rider” stuff in the week 8 workshop).

In addition to the demo, you must submit all the necessary patch files/code/sounds/video assets associated with your demo, along with a plan for your demo in markdown format (up to 250 words) through GitLab.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

LENS Performance

The LENS performance is the major project for this course. Each student will create a computer music system that can be performed live by a group of students at a live concert. This could take the form of a new computer music instrument or composition that a group of performers can control.

The LENS performance will be assessed in terms of quality of the artifact you have created and through a live performance. This is the culmination of your hard work in the LENS course, and it won’t be a dry, boring exam—it’ll be a live gig where you can invite your friends.

We are looking for performances (and associated artifacts) that are sophisticated in terms of fundamental concepts in music computing, have a high design/compositional quality, and that allow a high level of expression and collaboration during performance. Your performance must involve at least three laptop ensemble performers and you must participate in at least two other performances.

There are two representations of your LENS performance: the ensemble performance at the final gig, and the performance materials you’ll submit through GitLab. The performance will be scheduled during the exam period and the performance materials will be due shortly afterwards.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

All assessments will be returned online through ANU Teaching GitLab. See the course website for details: https://comp.anu.edu.au/courses/laptop-ensemble/

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assessments is not available.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Charles Martin

Research Interests

music technology, new interfaces for musical expression, intelligent interfaces, human-computer interaction, embedded systems

Charles Martin

By Appointment
Yichen Wang

Research Interests

Yichen Wang

Brent Schuetze

Research Interests

Brent Schuetze

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions