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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click to navigate through frequently asked questions about the Bachelor of Science in Music Technology degree program.

For more questions and inquiries, email us at bsmt@music.gatech.edu.

What is Music Technology | Music Tech at Georgia Tech | How to Apply | Internships, Study Abroad, Scholarships | Courses and Research

What is Music Technology

Music technology is an interdisciplinary field that captures the intersection of music with different technological and artistic domains. It is the development and study of tools used to create, capture, perform, edit, or analyze music and audio.

Music technologists research and create software, hardware, algorithms, and products that improve the creation and consumption of music.

The study of music technology has many outcomes from the creation of new instruments, advancements in our understanding of music, design of acoustical devices, development algorithms for musical analysis, improvements to recording hardware, creation of consumer software products, and many more.

Music production is the process of creating, recording, and editing music. A music producer leads the creative and technical process of producing a song. A music producer must have strong creative and musical skills and an understanding of the equipment used in recording studios.

Music technology requires more technical skills from engineering disciplines, in addition to musical skills. Music technologists build the tools that music producers use to create music.

Both require creativity and musical knowledge; producers need to be creative in their composition/arrangement, while music technologists need to be creative in developing solutions to advance the process of music making.

The Music Technology program at Georgia Tech focuses on music technology. Students are required to take a Mixing and Recording course, however this course is taught from a more scientific perspective and music production is not the focus of the degree. It is common for GT Music Tech students to have a passion for music production, and they chose to study music technology to have a deeper understanding of the tools they use to produce music.

Music technology is a rapidly expanding field, with employment opportunities at music product companies, big tech companies, startups, and media companies. Specifically graduates may work in fields like music/audio hardware design and manufacturing, music software and app development, music streaming services, consumer electronics, automotive audio, and immersive and multidimensional audio.

Our alumni work at major companies such as Apple, Google, Dolby Digital, Bose, Ableton, Moog, Samsung, and Universal Audio.

Music Tech at Georgia Tech

As a top 10 public research university, Georgia Tech offers internationally renowned programs in the heart of Atlanta, giving students opportunities for research and real-world experience, and its focus on innovation gives graduates an edge.

Our interdisciplinary degree program educates the next generation of designers, developers, leaders, and entrepreneurs in music tech. We combine technical and artistic training to produce graduates who can create innovative new music technology hardware and software products. School of Music students learn from and work alongside internationally recognized faculty, and our focus on research at the undergraduate level differentiates our degree from other programs.

We frequently host recruiters and industry leaders to speak about career opportunities. Industry reaches out regularly to our faculty to announce job and internship offers; these are forwarded immediately to all undergraduate and graduate students. A growing alumni network connects graduates with current students.

The GT School of Music focuses on music technology instead of music performance. Our curriculum combines traditional music courses with courses in engineering, math, and science. Though music technology students must take at least 4 ensemble courses and 4 courses of music theory, there are no private, individual music lessons. We focus on using technology to make music and creating technologies to advance music making.

You do not need to play an instrument to be a music technology student at Georgia Tech. However, you should have a background of musical experience, whether that is producing music in a DAW like Logic, singing in a choir, mixing sound for theatre, or playing an instrument in a band. All Music Technology students must participate in four music ensembles and complete coursework in music theory. 

We offer a dual degree program for exceptional undergraduate students to complete their Bachelor's and Master's degree in 5 years. For more information about the dual degree program visit, https://music.gatech.edu/dual-degree-program

The School of Music is located on the West side of Georgia Tech's Atlanta campus in the Couch Building. Our students learn and research primarily in the Couch Building and in the music annex of West Village.

How to Apply

You will apply to Georgia Tech through the Common App, and when you select music technology as your desired major, you will be prompted to submit your portfolio within the application. For more information about applying to Georgia Tech, visit https://admission.gatech.edu/first-year/

You only need to apply and submit your portfolio through the Common App. Please do not send portfolio submissions via email for first-year applications.

Your portfolio should include a brief narrative of your interest in music technology as well as 2-4 samples of your work submitted as private YouTube URLs or other links. In the narrative, you can explain the skills you would bring to the program and explanations of technical or creative works that were meaningful to you. Examples of work samples include solo music performance videos, music you have composed or produced, any music technology projects, and any technologic projects such as software or hardware.

Internships, Study Abroad, Scholarships

Our undergraduate students have had opportunities at Bose, Dolby, Delta, Panasonic, Universal Audio, and a variety of music tech startups. Our students can start getting internships as soon as the summer of their first year. We encourage our students to apply for internships, and we bring employers to meet with our students throughout the year to encourage networking and positive career outlook. 

Georgia Tech has many opportunities for financial assistance and scholarships, and the School of Music awards a small number of scholarships and fellowships each year to exceptional music technology students. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid at https://music.gatech.edu/scholarships-fellowships-assistantships

Georgia Tech has many opportunities for students to go abroad. Because our courses are taught consecutively once per year, we recommend studying or working abroad during the summer semester to avoid delaying your academic progress in the music technology program. However, we encourage students to pursue Georgia Tech sponsored study abroad programs that fulfill course requirements for their concentration or minor, and we encourage students to apply to summer internships internationally. Learn more about options abroad at https://ea.oie.gatech.edu

Courses and Research

Year 1 & 2 - Fundamentals of Musicianship I - IV – Integrated sequence in music theory, aural training, music technology, and music literature.

Year 2 - Introduction to Audio Tech I & II - Critical understanding of, and hands-on experience with, the fundamentals of digital audio technology. Topics include sampling, quantization, digital effects, music information retrieval and audio coding.

Year 3 - Project Studio Technology - Thematic project in music technology driven by a foundational research question.

Year 3 - Project Studio Analysis - Thematic project connecting music theory, musicology, performance practice and musicianship through intensive study of a single musical genre or composer.

Year 4 - Music Technology Capstone I & II  - Implementation of a large-scale hands-on project, culminating in public presentation.

Recording and Mixing - Overview of concepts, techniques, hardware, and software used in audio production, as well as aesthetic concerns and considerations.

Laptop Orchestra - Analysis, rehearsal, creation, and performance of music for laptop orchestra.

Perception and Cognition – Consideration of how humans process musical sound, covering the basics of the human auditory system and the experience of musical sound.

Additional electives in areas such as: computer music composition, computational music analysis, digital signal processing for music, interactive music, and history of electronic music.

The Music Technology degree at Georgia Tech is built on an interdisciplinary curriculum. All students complete coursework within another department to enhance their understanding of a specific part of music technology. Students can select from an Electrical Engineering concentration, Mechanical Engineering concentration, or a general concentration as fulfilled by the completion of one of Georgia Tech's over 60 minors. Popular minors to fulfill the general concentration include computing, industrial design, business, and psychology.

The School of Music incorporates Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology research into all our degree programs. Every student majoring in music technology is also a researcher, collaborating with our faculty on groundbreaking topics in our five labs: Brain Music, Robotic Musicianship, Computational Music For All, Computational and Cognitive Musicology, and Music Informatics. In their 3rd and 4th year, students take project studio and capstone courses which center on research.

Students can also pursue research opportunities outside of their music technology course work through the VIP program, the Research OptionPURA, and independent research opportunities. Learn more about undergraduate research at http://www.undergradresearch.gatech.edu/node/97.

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