Music Technology


Career preparation starts your first year at Western. Visit Career Services in Library 120 and online at to discover your interests, define your goals and land your dream job.

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For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 CS 190 - Computer Science I (3 cred.)

An introduction to software development taught in Python. Topics include control structures, I/O, functions, strings, lists, files, other data structures and basic algorithms that use them. Emphasis is placed on good problem-solving practices, testing and debugging.

 MUS 129 - Theory of Music I (3 cred.)

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, chord building, harmonic progressions, figured bass interpretation, and voice leading. (Offered spring) Prerequisite: MUS 100 or the equivalent.

 MUS 131 - Theory of Music II (3 cred.)

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, small forms, and cadences. This course completes the comprehensive study of diatonic, common practice harmony. (Offered fall) Prerequisites: MUS 129 with minimum grade of C.

 MUS 212 - Introduction to Music Technology (1 cred.)

Designed to acquaint students with music technology hardware (including MIDI Music 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.

 PHYS 313 - Physics of Music (3 cred.)

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 500 or above; MATH 099 or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-, or Accuplacer Advanced Algebra and Functions test score of 245 or above. 

Faculty & Staff


Sam Smythe headshot
Music Technology Instructor
Phone: 970.943.7025
Office Location: Quigley Hall 216


Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit our scholarships page.

Early Action Credit

If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • KWSB Radio: On air since 1968, KWSB is student driven, student staffed and open to anyone who wants to have their own radio show. 
  • Taylor Media Center: Houses film production studios, audio production studios and more.
  • Independent Physics Projects: Students are encouraged to work on projects and conduct research with Physics faculty.
  • Independent Computer Science Projects: Students have worked on projects such as facial recognition software, a gesture-controlled quadcopter, machine learning, Android apps, an online guided tour, commercial websites and self-guiding vehicles.


  • Band: Symphony and Varsity.
  • Vocal: Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
  • Jazz: Groups include the large Jazz Ensemble, “High Altitude” Dixieland Combo and Modern Jazz Combo.
  • Orchestra: Performs together regularly as a string ensemble, full orchestra and a small chamber group. Orchestra and Choir combine together to perform major works as well.
  • Other: Instrumental ensembles are open to all interested performers and include Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, String, Jazz Ensembles and Flute Choir, as well as additional small ensembles.

The Music Technology minor is designed for all students regardless of prior experience in music or technology. The program introduces students to music theory, acoustics, production techniques and programming fundamentals in preparation for creative and professional opportunities in digital media. Employees with digital recording and producing skills have become extremely valuable assets among production companies, film studios and advertising agencies.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Department of Music Program Director, Senior Lecturer in Music, Director of Orchestral Activities, Director of Applied String Studios
Office Location: 
Quigley Hall 209

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