Music Technology Minor


The following is a list of courses offered in this program at Western. The official University Catalog contains more detailed and specific information about degree requirements for this major.

 CS 190 - COMPUTER SCIENCE I (3 credits)

An introduction to software development. Students develop applications using modern programming languages and techniques. Emphasis is placed on good software engineering practices for problem analysis, program design, documentation, testing and debugging. The course uses an industry standard programming language.

 CS 311 - EMBEDDED SYSTEMS (3 credits)

A project-based introduction to embedded systems. Students build and program systems that include microcontrollers and sensors, actuators, networking, motors, and cameras. Various applications involve robotics, remote sensing, sound processing, and kinetic sculpture.

Prerequisites: CS 190 and junior standing.

 MUS 129 - THEORY OF MUSIC I (3 credits)

A study of musical analysis, notation, and composition. This course concentrates on fundamentals such as major and minor scales, meter, rhythm, pitch intervals, key signatures, triads and inversions, simple chord building, harmonic progressions, and voice leading. (Offered fall) Prerequisite: MUS 100 or the equivalent. Corequisite: MUS 128.

 MUS 131 - THEORY OF MUSIC II (3 credits)

A study of musical analysis, notation, and composition. This course builds on knowledge gained in MUS 128 and MUS 129 and introduces non-chord tones; diatonic seventh chords, phrase structure and cadences, tonicization and rudimentary counterpoint. (Offered spring) Prerequisites: MUS 128 and MUS 129 with minimum grades of 'C.' Corequisite: MUS 130.


An introduction to musical representation and creation using computer programming code. This class explores musical concepts using functional language programming techniques. Primary topics include representation of musical structures through abstraction and thematic code-based composition using generative structures. Significant focus is placed on modern compositional styles that can be expressed using algorithmic tools.


Designed to acquaint students with music technology hardware (including MIDI-Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and a variety of software programs to enhance learning, teaching, and performing situations at all ages and levels. Students have the opportunity to work with available equipment. Offered in alternate years (Fall 2013). Prerequisite: MUS 100 or MUS 129 with a minimum grade of “C” or instructor permission. 

 MUS 313 - MUSIC PRODUCTION (3 credits)

An introduction to current production software designed to give students experience utilizing digital audio recording techniques and electronic sequencers. Students utilize sequencing and sound design software to create electronic music, demonstrate signal flow analysis using real and virtual hardware, understand and demonstrate a variety of microphone-based recording techniques, and create projects using a digital audio workstation. Prerequisite: MUS 131 with a minimum grade of "C." 

 PHYS 115 - PHYSICS OF MUSIC (3 credits)

A practical introduction to the physics of sound, with emphasis on music. Students investigate the properties of sounds produced by musical instruments. Topics include periodic functions, waves, resonance, overtones, frequency spectra, digital sound production and basic acoustic principles. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or above.

The new music technology minor at Western is designed for all students regardless of prior experience in music or technology.  This interdisciplinary program was developed in response to the increasing number of opportunities requiring a working knowledge of music and digital audio.  Employees with digital recording and producing skills have become extremely valuable assets among production companies, film studios, and advertising agencies. 

The music technology minor introduces students to music theory, acoustics, production techniques, and programming fundamentals in preparation for creative and professional opportunities in digital media following graduation.

Faculty & Staff


Assistant Professor of Physics
B.S., Linfield College; M.S., University of New Mexico; Ph.D., University of New Mexico.
Phone: (970) 943-2155
Office Location: Hurst Hall 118
Kenneth W. Todd
Senior Lecturer in Music
B.M., University of Nebraska at Omaha; M.M., University of Texas at Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2162
Office Location: Quigley Hall 209