B.S. in Music Technology
Develop new technologies for the music industry.
The Music Technology degree prepares students to develop new technologies for the music industry and related sectors through a combination of rigorous professional training in music with intensive interdisciplinary study in electrical engineering, computer engineering, design, and arts entrepreneurship.
Note that this is not a program in music production, sound engineering, or music editing. Instead, it is intended for students preparing for commercial or entrepreneurial careers in music/audio hardware design, software or app development, consumer electronics, music streaming services, and multidimensional audio at companies like Apple, Moog, Ableton, and Samsung. Our goal is to train you to be inventors and designers of new music technologies, rather than users of existing technology.
Since musicians are the end users of the products you will be developing, it is important for you to be trained in music as well: how it works; how it is composed, performed, and heard; and how to explain its historical and technological progress. This is to help you integrate and communicate a range of musical styles, performance practices, and creative projects with the design, development, and implementation of advanced music technologies.
What is Music Technology?
As the music industry and music itself evolve, technology plays a larger and larger role in its creation, performance, production and consumption. Recent technological innovations, such as new electronic musical instruments, commercial online distribution platforms, and mobile music applications, have fundamentally changed every stage of the music-making pipeline. Often the technologies that musicians rely upon were developed by engineers with no formal training in music, and they fall short of the needs of the end users.
There is an increasing need for educated professionals with sophisticated skills in both music and technology development in the arts and entertainment industries, software and professional audio corporations, education, music hardware manufacturers, and manufacturers seeking to integrate music into their products (think cars, computers and media applications). These developments have created a need for technologically literate musicians and artistically creative engineers to develop and operate the technologies at the core of modern music-making.
Why Music Technology at NC State?
Throughout your time as a student in our music technology program, you will develop a diverse skillset.
- Gain deep understanding and practical skills within the related fields of electrical or computer engineering
- Learn to identify and solve music technology problems utilizing skills in project development, testing and production
- Develop supporting skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship and industrial design
- Build a foundation of theoretical and practical skills in music
- Understand what it means to perform as a solo or ensemble musician and how technology impacts musicians
- Build practical skills with current music technologies
The undergraduate major in Music Technology is an interdisciplinary program that provides a foundation of theoretical and practical skills in music and electrical and computer engineering to prepare students to design, develop, and implement advanced music technologies. Throughout the program, you will focus on integrating a broad range of musical styles, performance practices, and creative projects with the design, development, and implementation of advanced music technologies, in close partnership with an engineering discipline.
In addition to a variety of supporting courses and a two-semester senior design project, it has three primary components:
- A musicianship core (29 hours including applied and ensemble study)
- An engineering core (26 hours including calculus and physics)
- A music technology core (18 hours)
Each student will select a concentration in either Software and Digital hardware (SDH) or Electronics and Circuits (EC). Learn about each area of study below.
Software and Digital Hardware (SDH)
Students pursuing the Software and Digital Hardware concentration will take an additional 9 hours of engineering courses focusing on the design of computing systems.
Electronics and Circuits (EC)
Students pursuing the Electronics and Circuits concentration will take an additional 10 hours of engineering courses focusing on the design of electronic systems.
Start Your Application
Please contact Tom Koch with any questions about the music technology degree program or the admissions process.