Music Technology

What's the difference between First Study Music Technology and the BSc Music Technology?

The BSc (Hons) Music Technology course is co-delivered with the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE), and has a lot of significantly technical content. The BMus (Hons) and MMus programmes by contrast involve a lot more musical study, as well as having the benefit of weekly one-to-one lessons. Look carefully at both programmes and decide which is most appropriate for your interests.

Can I apply for both undergraduate courses?

Yes, you can apply for both courses.

Do BSc Music Technology and First Study Music Technology share course content at all?

The two programmes share a common backbone of music technology and sound recording modules that are designed to give you a strong technical understanding of areas such as studio recording, live recording, editing, synthesis, sampling, mixing, surround sound, mastering and recording project management skills.

Do Birmingham City University’s other courses, such as Sound Engineering and Production use the Conservatoire?

No, they don’t. But we encourage students between programmes to collaborate on an informal basis.

I’m into Music Technology, but I’m planning on coming to Conservatoire with a different first study (e.g. flute, viola, jazz piano). Are there any ways I can maintain my interest?

We have a range of 'elective' modules in music technology that you can undertake: Introduction to Sound Recording; Introduction to Electronic Music; DJing and Performing With Technology are available to all students. In addition you can consider spending some of your self-allocated first study hours with a music technology specialist teacher if you wish.

I want to be a BMus First Study Music Technologist, but I’m also really good at my instrument. Can I keep instrumental lessons going?

You can use your self-allocated first study hours with an appropriate instrumental teacher. You are also welcome to audition for ensembles and take part in elective-based ensembles.

I’m not sure whether to be a first study composer or music technologist…

The Music Technology department works very closely with the Composition department, and a number of staff teach in both departments. It’s quite easy for you to undertake composition work as a first study music technologist, and vice versa, and there are a lot of shared events and activities.

Do I need to be able to read conventional musical notation for the music technology courses at the Conservatoire?

Short answer is "yes". We won’t be asking you to sightread piano concertos, but you need to be able to follow a musical score, and talk in a common language with fellow musicians. For the BMus programme, you will need to be able to read notation to at least A-level/Grade 8 standard; for the BSc to at least GCSE/Grade 5 standard. For postgraduate students, your ability to read musical notation is actually less important, though we'd encourage applicants to be at the very least familiar with the basics. Most of our students have considerable ability on at least one musical instrument.

How employable will I be after the course?

Our courses attract good applicants and we work our students very hard. This makes them very employable, as well as making them suitable for postgraduate study. Our graduates have gone on to a wide range range of destinations including audio dubbing, game audio, live sound, mix engineering, mastering, equipment design, theatre sound, broadcast audio, music production, media composition, media production, radio production, sound design, major record label management, education and research, as well as recording studios all over the world.

Actually, I’ve always wondered, what actually is music technology?

The study of music technology is usually concerned with the creative use of technology for recording, manipulation, mixing and reproduction of music. It covers a lot of different but inter-related areas, from experimental live electronics, through programming to recording and production across musical genres. Courses titled 'Music Technology' tend to have quite a range of content and focus. At Birmingham Conservatoire we cover all areas of musical technologies to give students a broad base from which to build, whilst also allowing our students to specialise in the areas of music technology that really enthuse them, whatever that might be.