Fundamentals of Composition, Arranging and Technology
Music: Creative Music Technology
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Engineer, producer, composer? Whatever your professional goals are, our Creative Music Technology degree can help you to achieve them.
Combining your existing musical talent with an in-depth knowledge of music production hardware and software, you’ll spend your time recording and producing music and sound for bands, ensembles, your own compositions, film, radio and games. Our state-of-the-art industry standard recording studios will be available to you throughout your degree. These facilities are maintained by our amazing technical team, who are always on hand to offer support.
What’s more, as a Creative Music Technology student studying at Salford, you’ll have access to Manchester’s thriving arts and music scene. Whether you’re part of the crowd, performing in front of one, or mixing the show, there’s plenty of creative opportunities for you to get involved in.
- Work in exceptional facilities to gain an understanding of contemporary music technology practice
- Develop a wide range of skillsets designed to open up careers in the music industry
- Explore a range of creative music technologies in the context of performance style, compositional technique and musicological discourse
In the 2021 Guardian league tables, our Creative Music Technology degree was ranked the number one course of its kind in the North West and number two in the UK.
Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Music courses. In addition to the traditional three year degree route, you have the option of pursuing additional training and academic tuition by undertaking our four-year foundation option.
This is for you if...
You’re a musician who wants to take their craft to the next level using leading music hardware and software.
You want to learn from established musicians and music technology professionals on a course which has a strong track-record for producing successful graduates.
You want to be part of a diverse and vibrant music community in Manchester.
All about the course
So, what does studying a Creative Music Technology degree involve? At Salford, you’ll not only develop as a professional musician, but also be equipped with the technological knowledge and skills needed to take your music to the next level.
You’ll begin by focusing on refining your craft, learning about composition, arranging and performance, as well as developing practical musical technology experience along the way. This will give you a valuable skill base as you move into your second and third year, when you’ll dive headlong into our three core areas of study; Studio Recording and Production, Audio for Media and Studio Composition.
In your final year, you’ll work closely with your supervisors and peers, focusing on two areas of specialist study, chosen from Studio Recording and Production, Audio for Media and Studio Composition.
Want to find out more? Get a better understanding of what you'll be covering in each module below.
The core aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for composing and arranging music in a variety of styles. You will gain a working knowledge of the key aspects of instrumental voicing, score layout, formal design and the manipulation of texture. The module also provides an introduction to location recording techniques, appropriate sequencing software, musical acoustics and their relationship to music technology.
Continuing on from Musicianship Skills in Semester one, this module consists of Individual Performance (weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition), Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (Conducting). Within the Ensemble component, you will have the opportunity to join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, Choir or Function Group.
Applied Composition and Technology
This module will provide you with a strong understanding of advanced diatonic harmony, melodic writing, and technical skills concerned with rhythm as applied to the broad field of composition. You will explore the creative uses of a range of microphones in relation to musical instruments and acoustic environments and be introduced to techniques of sound synthesis using a range of hardware and software-based synthesisers.
You will choose one of the following options for each semester:
Music and Society: Antiquity to Enlightenment
This module engenders a sense of history and an awareness of significant cultural epochs and the music associated with them. It relates performance styles, compositional techniques and musicological discourse to particular historical periods.
Popular Music Style and Genre
This module introduces a methodology for the analysis of style in popular music, problematising the concepts "style" and "genre" along the way.
Music and Society: The Modern Era
This module explores the continual interaction between “art” music and “popular” music, demonstrating the relationship between musical techniques/practices, ideology and historical contingency. You will be introduced to a broad range of repertoire and explore the historical development of competing canons in relation to social class, available technologies and prestige.
Interpreting Popular Music
This musicology module investigates meaning in popular music texts by introducing a method of semiotic analysis specifically designed for popular music texts and supplementing that with a range of theoretical perspectives aimed at understanding popular culture's place in 21st century Britain.
Studio Composition allows you to compose directly with studio-based technology, moving away from the need to represent compositional material through a traditional score. The technology investigated will have a direct influence on compositional output, and although human performances on traditional instruments can be integrated into the composition, there is an expectation that much of the work will be constructed within a Digital Audio Workstation. The module investigates synthesis deeply and requires students to demonstrate creative use of both hardware and software. The technology is investigated covering a broad range of defined genres, with the intention that students begin to develop a distinct individual compositional voice.
Audio for Media
This module will encourage you to use your unique skillset as a musician to create soundtracks for film and audio drama productions. You will be introduced to sound design, foley, scoring for film and recording dialogue and sound effects in the studio environment. You will also apply and develop digital audio editing, synchronisation and mixing techniques to refine your final stereo soundtrack.
Studio Recording and Production
This module is designed to give you a solid foundation in studio engineering and production practice. Particular attention will be given to microphone technique, signal flow and an investigation of strategies by which the needs of both engineer and performer(s) can be reconciled in the studio environment. Students will gain an understanding of historical developments in the field, exploring many musical genres. As aspiring producers, students will be guided through the process of developing a clear production aesthetic from the outset of a recording project.
Professional Development in the Creative Industries
Focusing on current economic structures and potential development, this module provides an in-depth examination of the UK creative economy. You will explore concepts of copyright, authorship and ownership and gain an understanding of the processes involved in successful personal development planning.
Advanced Studio Composition
This module is designed to build upon the techniques explored in the level 5 module Studio Composition (sequencing, synthesis and sampling / editing) and introduce students to composing for and within a 5.1 / 7.1 surround environment. There will be an exploration of electroacoustic compositional techniques around the themes of spectromorphology, abstract and abstracted synthesis, landscape and narrative and a historical analysis of how this practice relates to popular electronic music compositional practice. The module explores the concept of compositional interface, encouraging students to become deeply aware of how the technology they engage with shapes their compositional output.
Advanced Studio and Location Recording
This module is designed to develop existing skills in the studio environment (building on the L5 module Studio Recording and Production), working towards the completion of ambitious multitrack projects of a releasable quality. The module includes an investigation of mastering processes and places emphasis on the engineer / producer nurturing the best possible performances from the musicians involved. The module will also introduce the practice of recording live public performances, covering a wide range or acoustic and amplified ensembles, on location.
Advanced Audio for Media
This module builds on introductory concepts from Audio for Media, requiring you to now develop advanced creative audio techniques for application to film, tv, radio, animation and video game soundtracks. This will include spatial audio mixing techniques, post production practices including ADR, sound effect design, audio for both linear and non-linear formats (e.g video games) and mixing to specific delivery requirements.
This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Arts Administration, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.
Negotiated Major Project
This module will enable you to develop your chosen areas of study in two final projects, equipping you with the skills, guidance and portfolio of work to take into your next venture, whether this is professional work or postgraduate study.
By broadening your work experience in areas requiring a leadership and/or team role, this module gives you the opportunity to further develop your own professional practices. You will gain experience in one of the following areas of professional practice: music events management, sound reinforcement, business enterprise, and community music in its broadest sense.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What Will I Be Doing?
As part of this music technology bachelor’s degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons, with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.
You will take part in a series of lectures throughout your degree, followed by a seminar which will give you the opportunity to discuss topics in more detail with your fellow students. For this reason, we encourage students to make notes during lectures to be better equipped for seminars.
Masterclasses are a great way to learn from professionals who are already enjoying careers within the industry. You’ll meet visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music industry who will share their knowledge and experience with you.
Your musical ability will be developed in two ways; on an individual basis and as part of an ensemble. Individual instrumental tuition will help to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary. Ensemble tuition will help to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary when performing with other musicians.
You’ll also explore concepts and develop research techniques within a workshop environment. This will consist of a mixture of class-based discussion and activities, as well as library and archive work. It will provide you with the opportunity to develop creative ideas and to interact with leading scholars in the field.
Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), ‘Blackboard’, supports every module within the course.
Assessments are an important part of your academic journey, giving you the chance to put the skills and knowledge you’ve learned into practice.
For this music university course, your assessments will include coursework assignments. These could be compositions; arrangements; recordings; media presentations; notated scores; essays; dissertations; projects; oral presentations; critical evaluations; and analyses. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.
You’ll also be assessed through examinations and be supported throughout your academic journey by music professionals that’ll help you to develop new skills and give you greater confidence.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Music courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our university music courses are based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of Music on campus.
Our full range of music facilities include:
Recording Studios - our six studios, all of which are large enough to accommodate both bands and chamber classical / brass ensembles. They also contain everything from analogue recording hardware and tape machines, extensive microphone collections, a large selection of drum machines and effect processing possibilities, and a diverse array of software platforms.
Voice Acting Studio – our recording environment for radio drama or video game production. It is possible to achieve a range of capture, from foley recordings in the acoustically flexible ‘live’ room to extremely dry spoken word in the ‘dead’ room.
Computer Suite – passionate about learning music software from experienced technical demonstrators? Our twenty-six workstations (iMac; audio interface; controller keyboard; headphones) are equipped with licences for all of the software we teach. The current software provision comprises of Logic X; Pro Tools; Ableton; Max MSP; Sibelius; Soundtoys; GRM Tools and a huge selection of Universal Audio and Waves plug-ins. This software is also available across all studio spaces.
7.1 Mix - a teaching space designed for mixing in 7.1 and 5.1 surround. The space is used extensively in the teaching of our Advanced Studio Composition and Advanced Audio for Media modules.
Studio 9 – Composition Lab - this studio facility is equipped with an impressive range of hardware including many synthesizers such as DSI OB6, Korg MS20, Roland Juno 106, Moog Sub Phatty, Korg Volca FM, Vermona DRM Mk3 accessed through a full MIDI interface / patchbay. The space is acoustically treated and equipped for 5.1 mixdown.
Rehearsal Facilities - our New Adelphi Building houses twenty-six rehearsal spaces designed to facilitate popular and classical ensemble rehearsals, individual practice, one-to-one instrumental tuition and ensemble teaching. The rooms are well specified with a wide range of carefully chosen and well-maintained equipment including drumkits from DW, Sonar, and Yamaha; Keyboards from Nord and Roland, guitar amplification from Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender, Orange and Marshall and Bass amplification from Ampeg, Mark Bass and Aguillar.
One-to-one Tuition – we have individual spaces that have well-maintained Yamaha acoustic pianos, a selection of classic keyboards and Bluetooth amplification for playback. All performance spaces have natural light and have been acoustically treated (absorbent and reflective) to suit discipline.
Our performance assessments, public concerts and masterclasses take place across a number of spaces on and off campus. We operate a high-quality modular PA system which is employed across:
Peel Hall - a three-hundred seat concert hall with excellent acoustics. The hall is used extensively by our large ensembles.
New Adelphi Theatre - the 350-seat theatre features flexible seating configurations to suit a range of events and performances. It is equipped with a range of intelligent and generic lighting, a highly adaptable EM Acoustics PA system, and a high-powered Christie projector.
Atmosphere - our student union bar and venue host a number of staff and student led performances throughout the year.
What about after uni?
So, what can you do with a music technology degree? Simply put, the possibilities are endless! Many of our graduates have gone on to become signed recording artists, but you don’t need to be famous to have a successful career within the music industry. Studying a music and technology degree opens up the door to a wide variety of roles, including session musicians, studio producers and live sound engineers. You could become an events organiser, or even go on to tutor others as a music teacher or lecturer.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
Our music university courses have direct links with professional institutions such as:
- The BBC Philharmonic
- Halle Orchestra
- National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
- National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as well as the ‘Sounds from the Other City’ festival.
- We have a good working relationship with many venues in the local area including Islington Mill.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this Creative Music Technology degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your Creative Music Technology personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in music?
- how have you been involved and what did you do?
- have you had active involvement in Creative Music Technology and what did you do?
- what musicians and organisations inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the music sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this Creative Music Technology degree is the right choice for your future goals.
For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group seminar discussion – either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.
Normally, we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face audition. At the moment though, we’re reducing the number of people we have on our campus. For your audition you’ll preform your principal instrument you wish to study for our practice-based modules. Although this is not a compulsory requirement, ideally you should be of grade 6 / 7 ABRSM standard with solid theoretical knowledge. Composition and arranging portfolios can be used in support of your application if you are looking to pursue study beyond performance. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
English Language requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred. Maths at grade C/level 4 or above is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
104-120 points. Applications can be considered without a Music A level.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
DMM to include music
Access to HE
Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 104 – 120 including Music
104-120 points including Music
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-120 points including Music
31 points, to include 5 (Higher Level) in Music
Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including Music
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,600per year|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15900per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W374