Computer music option

In addition to the regular engineering program requirements, the computer music option requires completion of the following courses:

Plus a total of 3.0 units from the following list:

  • CSC 475 (1.5) Music Retrieval Techniques
  • ECE 484 (1.5) Audio Signal Processing
  • MUS 401C (1.5) Acoustics
  • MUS 406A (1.5) Advanced Sound Recording Techniques
  • MUS 406B (1.5) Sound Recording Seminar
  • MUS 407 (3.0) Computer Music Seminar


  • A course in this option may be replaced with another course relevant to this option with the permission of the Department.
  • MUS 407 is a two-term course taken in the fall and spring.

Enrollment in the computer music option is limited. Students must apply for admission before registering in any of its required courses. Students currently registered in the program can visit course syllabi, notes and lab instructions for detailed course information. Computer engineering students enter this program option in their second year of studies. Please see below for more information on this option.

The fields of digital audio and computer music are very interdisciplinary, and include applications of many engineering subjects such as digital signal processing, real time operating systems and computer communications networks.

A flavor for what can be done by combining music and engineering can be read in various journals and conferences, including:

The program of study includes courses in:

  • Recording techniques,
  • Computer music,
  • Audio signal processing,
  • Musical acoustics,
  • Music information retrieval

Other ways to take music courses:

The disciplines of music and computer science have a natural affinity. The history of music over the last half century has been very largely a history of its attempts to take in and adapt the new possibilities afforded by technological innovation. Conversely, a knowledge of music and audio-related applications has become a valuable and very practical part of a computer science or electrical engineering program. Over the years there have been a significant number of students from electrical engineering and computer science who have worked at projects - on occasions thesis projects - in the electronic and computer music studios of the music school, and a smaller number of music students have migrated to engineering - at UVic and elsewhere - to pursue studies in audio engineering.

Digital audio is a rapidly growing and complex field. It is an essential component of digital video (films and video games have audio), and can also stand alone (music). In fact, it is growing so rapidly that it is difficult to identify specific career paths; in all likelihood the field will look quite different by the time the first students are graduated from this program. What can safely be said is that jobs will be there. The following list of career areas may give some idea of the scope. It is not suggested that this program will prepare students to move directly into any or all of these, but it should give them a solid foundation.

  • Film and television audio
  • Audio for video games (e.g. Electronic Arts in Vancouver, revenues of several billion dollars)
  • Studio recording
  • Internet audio formats: design, delivery, translation, migration
  • Audio recording formats: design and delivery
  • Music-related software: design and delivery
  • Music-related hardware: design and delivery
  • Remote, collaborative music events (including remote rehearsal and performance)
  • Music pedagogy: web design and delivery
  • Design of new (virtual) musical instruments
  • Sonic environments
  • Sonic recognition

How to apply for permission to register in MUS 306 or MUS 307 or MUS 401C as elective course.

  • Registration in music courses is restricted to students in various music degree programs.
  • Applications from students in other programs will be considered in the first week of term
  • MUS 207 Music Science and Computers or equivalent background is the prerequisite for MUS 306 and MUS 307.
  • Any available spaces will be allocated to the most qualified students based on the information provided in the application form
  • Your application will be acknowledged upon receipt
  • Notification of permission to register will be sent during the first week of term.

Advice on CS/Music and ECE/Music programs is available from:

Computer music faculty and staff: