Online Computer Music Courses Overview

Many schools offer online courses in computer music. These courses may cover several aspects of the field, such as editing, mixing and composing music.

Online Courses in Computer Music

Below are course descriptions of some commonly offered online courses in computer music.

  • Digital Audio Course: This online computer music course shows students how to create music using computers, keyboards and industry-standard audio software, such as Pro Tools. Beside general topics in music composition and songwriting, students also learn about MIDI sequencing. Such courses are commonly included early in an undergraduate or certificate program, and prior musical training is not typically required.
  • Music Mixing and Mastering Course: This online computer music course introduces students to music mixing, editing and mastering using industry-standard software applications. Students learn and apply music mixing concepts, which include monitoring, dimension and balance. They compare diverse styles of music, such as electronica, country, classical and jazz. Music recording projects are often a requirement for course completion. Students may have to purchase music editing and recording software.
  • Electronic Composition Course: Typically offered as part of a master's program in music or music composition, this online computer music course focuses on using electronic hardware and software to create original works of music. Courses are offered fully online; students might need to buy computer software used for music composition.
  • Electronic Music in Music Education Course: This computer music course is designed to teach elementary and secondary school educators the basics of electronic music so that they can incorporate music software and hardware into the curriculum. This course may be offered fully online or as a hybrid course with some hands-on training required on campus. Students must have a relatively modern computer and Internet access. Generally, this online computer music course is offered for graduate students or as a continuing education option for music teachers who have already earned a bachelor's degree in music.
  • Remixing Course: In this course, students will remix various types of music in different styles in order to gain a better understanding of the art of remixing. The course will also focus on audio editing techniques and software.
  • Introduction to Game Audio Course: This online course will cover the production and engineering of audio for video games, preparing students for employment in the industry. Basic sound effects will be addressed, including advanced software techniques. This is often a more advanced course and requires some previous experience with game music.
  • Music Writing and Production with the iPad Course: Students in this course will learn about recording, mixing and mastering music with an iPad. MIDI and audio interfaces will be covered. Students will also learn about creating sounds with digital synthesizers as software.

Program Information

Online courses in computer music, sometimes also referred to as digital or electronic music, are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. These classes may be part of a degree program in music education, technology or composition. Some degree programs, such as a Master of Music in Computer Music Composition, focus heavily on the digital aspect of music production and composition, while others include online computer music courses as part of a more general music education. Given the nature of the subject, some courses offer on-campus training in addition to lectures.

Course requirements for online computer music courses may vary significantly based on the school and focus of the program. Some courses may require specific software, such as Pro Tools and Sibelius notation software, for composing, recording and editing music. Knowledge of computer music languages and computer programming may also be required for some courses.

Students with a passion for learning about creating music with computers and software will find plenty of options for online courses. Certificate and undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available in addition to individualized courses.

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