• Offered by ANU College of Engineering Computing & Cybernetics
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering Computing & Cybernetics
  • Course subject Computer Science
  • Areas of interest Music, Computer Science, Advanced Computing, Human Centred Computing, Creative Arts

Do you want to create sound and music with your computer? Do you want to build new kinds of musical instruments? Do you want to be a part of a laptop band? This is the course for you!

This course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of music computing, including digital synthesis, algorithmic composition, and musical interface design. Students will develop their knowledge by creating computer musical instruments in music programming languages and developing new computer music works to present in concert with an ensemble of other students.

Modern music technology exists at the forefront of computing practice and involves new live programming paradigms, human interface design, digital signal processing, networking, and machine learning. Students will gain experience in these concepts and learn how to conceptualise and realise new computer music instruments, compositions, and performances. Students will engage with recent developments in sound and music computing, including within the research literature to develop a high level of knowledge at the cutting edge of computing for the creative arts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe and apply fundamental concepts and recent developments in sound and music computing.
  2. Apply collaboration skills with computer musicians through design feedback and critical self-reflection.
  3. Critically examine computer music systems, interfaces and performances in terms of recent developments in the field.
  4. Create a computer musical instrument, composition or interactive media work that reflects recent developments in the field.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Computer music diary portfolio 1 (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Computer music diary portfolio 2 (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Computer music artefact design proposal (20) [LO 1,3]
  4. Final computer music performance artefact and concert (50) [LO 2,3,4]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


12 two-hour lectures, 12 three-hour laboratory/workshop sessions. We will expect around 5 hours of self-study per week. The total workload will be about 130 hours over the whole course. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed COMP6710 or COMP6720. Incompatible with COMP4350.

Prescribed Texts

Prescribed texts not required.

Preliminary Reading

  • Dean, R. T. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 
  • Roads, C. (1996). The computer music tutorial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 
  • Kreidler, J. (2013). Loadbang: Programming Electronic Music in Pd. Hofheim am Taunus; Wolke Verlag. 
  • Collins, N., & d’Escrivan, J. (2017). The Cambridge companion to electronic music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Assumed Knowledge

This course is open to students in computer science, music, art, and elsewhere at ANU. You should have a strong interest in making music using computers and a willingness to learn new approaches to music and computer programming. You should have a strong background in your discipline having completed coursework at the first- and second-year level. 

It is recommended that students take COMP6720 before this course. 


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4980
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3819 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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