MusM Composition (Electroacoustic Music and Interactive Media) / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Interactive Tools and Engines

Course unit fact file
Unit code MUSC40242
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Music
Available as a free choice unit? No


Interactive Tools and Engines focuses on a creative project involving the conception, development and creative use of an interactive musical work or system combining new media technologies and gestural interfaces. Projects may involve the use of interactive audio-visual tools or game-physics-audio engine tools. The course provides the knowledge to document and create interactive systems at a professional level, and how to ‘Pitch’ for ideas (blended virtual/in person as circumstances dictate); e.g. for computer music conference submission, and to probe the creative aspects deriving from the system.



  • To research and acquire the skills necessary to compose and effectively document interactive media works
  • To gain knowledge in the field of Human Computer Interaction and in sound-focused environments
  • To make effective use of project management tools and be able to work in teams with shared goals


Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand and discuss with clarity and conviction the design, prototyping, documentation, implementation and presentation (blended virtual/in person as circumstances dictate) of an interactive media project.
  • Understand theoretical and aesthetic aspects of interactive music systems and relate theory and practice to each other.
  • Assimilate relevant scholarly literature and relate its insights into the practice and experience of computer music, new instruments for musical expression and interfaces for real-time interactivity.
  • Confront, explore and assimilate unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires and practices.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to research and critically evaluate the use of computer software and interfaces for interactive media environments, such as real-time audiovisual processing, game-physics-audio engine software and tools, live electronics with acoustic instruments or interactive sound diffusion interfaces
  • Demonstrate the ability to prototype and document at professional level an interactive music work or project for submission to peer-reviewed international computer music conferences or “Pitch” presentations to funding panels (blended virtual/in person as circumstances dictate).
  • Plan, implement, evaluate and reflect critically on research in progress.
  • Synthesise inputs (materials, knowledge, instinct, tradition) in order to generate informed and personally owned outputs in varied formats.


Practical skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to envision, design and prototype interactive media content which may be presented at live interactive music concerts with instruments (acoustic or not), installation or site-specific projects (including game-tools oriented or locativeaudio).
  • Demonstrate technical skills to understand and implement real-time processing of sound (and visuals), strategies in designing machine-listening environments and the implementation of off-the-selve or custom controllers and interfaces in project-specific environments.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate the ability to design and fully document interactive media contents to a professional standard for use in a range of music-related professional circumstances, which may include prototyping larger scale open-form interactive media installations or locativeaudio projects.
  • Develop problem-solving skills when combining software, hardware and musical creativity
  • Work independently and in isolation but also in teams using next generation of online tools.
  • Develop awareness of professional protocols (for example, academic writing and presentation).
  • Respond positively to self-criticism and to the criticism of others while maintaining confidence in one’s own work.

Employability skills

Software-related skills Independent research and problem solving skills Alternative forms of documentation skills Presentation and digital communication skills Working to deadlines (tasks and projects) Time management and organisational skills

Assessment methods

Compositional Project 100%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on submitted work


Verbal feedback on work-in-progress


Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 12
Project supervision 1
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 265

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ricardo Climent Unit coordinator

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