New Interfaces for Musical Expression


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

This module focuses on the study of real-time interaction from two perspectives, conceptual and technological. Making music has always integrated the paradigm of rich and complex human creativity. The conceptual component of this course examines performance practices using advanced real-time technologies for interaction design and signal processing. From this perspective, the concepts of 'controller device', ‘synthesis/processing’ and 'mapping' are studied in depth. Musical context is a core focus in the class, including studying expert interaction, analyzing concepts such as playability, explorability, non-linearity, control, expressiveness and/or virtuosic interaction. The technical aspects of the course require studying and implementing both software (programming) and electronic transducers (sensor / actuator)-based designs for real-time interaction and performance. Different programming languages for signal processing and methods for interaction design are studied, as well as real-time communication protocols.

Learning objectives


Students who complete this course must gain the following knowledge:

  • Understand the concepts and history of real-time interaction for musical expression
  • Understand the concepts of musical controller, mapping and feedback, including protocols for real-time interfaces for musical performance
  • Understand real-time human-computer interaction in a musical performance perspective


Students who complete this course must gain the following skills:

  • Apply knowledge to the design of a prototype interface for musical expression, using modern digital fabrication techniques
  • Apply methods and theories for real-time interaction design, programming of signal processing, and appropriate design of electronic transducer based interfaces


Students who complete this course must gain the following competencies:

  • Synthesize their own idea, from concept to realization, of a New Interface for Musical Expression, via the application of appropriate methods and tools to the design of a real-time interactive sound synthesis or processing system comprising a human interface appropriate to the concept

Type of instruction

Refer to the overview of instruction types listed in § 17.



Name of examNew Interfaces for Musical Expression
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
Permitted aids
With certain aids:
Please see Semester Description.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleNye interfaces for musikudtrykkelse
Module codeMSNSMCM1203
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Copenhagen
Responsible for the module


Education ownerMaster of Science (MSc) in Engineering (Sound and Music Computing)
Study BoardStudy Board of Media Technology
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture, Design and Media Technology
FacultyThe Technical Faculty of IT and Design