Centre for Music and Technology
The study of music technology focuses on a combination of the technology used to produce music and creative music performance and research. In the music technology programme, you will become a highly skilled specialist in both music and technology. The department is a tight-knit unit of approximately 60 students.
In a nutshell
- Target degree: bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, master’s degree in musi
- Scope of the degree: BA + MA, 180 + 150 credits (3 yrs. + 2.5 yrs.), master’s degree, 150 credits (2.5 yrs.)
- Field of art: Music
- Organiser: the Sibelius Academy
- Next time to apply: January 2019 (new students admitted every other year)
- Studies begin: at the start of the academic year in August
- Person responsible for the degree programme: Head of Department Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski
- Other teachers responsible for the education: Päivi Takala, Otto Romanowski, Miikka Huttunen, Alejandro Olarte, Matti Heinonen, Kalev Tiits, Andrew Bentley, Niko Laasonen
Objective of the studies and career opportunities
Music technology students will acquire the skills needed in order to pursue a career in the field of music in a wide range of professions, including sound engineer, producer, sound systems designer, concert mixer, composer of film, stage and game music or electro-acoustic music, sound artist, performer, designer of digital instruments, expert in digital sound processing, and developer of music technology tools. Something that all of these occupations have in common is that they require the knowledge of different music genres, sound material, sound behaviour and effects, music technology tools and work methods, as well as the listening of music on a wide scale and the ability to justify one’s own artistic choices. A degree in music technology can lead to a wide range of professions, which is why it’s all the more important that students take on an active role in building their own study and career paths. Gaining experience through international studies and traineeships is an important aspect in the student’s development.
Contents and structure of the education
Music technology studies are divided into focus areas, which all offer different perspectives into working as an expert in music technology.
- Recording and sound/music production
- Venue amplifying
- Media and sonic arts
- Electro-acoustic music
- Building experimental instruments for sound art and performance
- Tools for creative work in music and technology, methods and development work
- Applied music
- Music technology pedagogy
You will learn at least the basics of several of these focus areas and choose an area of specialisation by the time that you have moved over to master’s studies
The music technology department provides teaching in small groups and one-to-one. The studies include studio work, lectures, workshops, and master classes. The teachers are experts from Finland and from abroad. One of the most important partners for the music technology department is the Aalto University’s media laboratory Sound in New Media. University of the Arts Helsinki’s music technology students can attend courses and workshops at the media laboratory and develop professional and social contacts with its students.
SAMA: Sound Art & Sonic Arts education
The education in sound art and sonic arts combines the knowledge of UniArts’ three academies: Sibelius Academy, the Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy Helsinki. SAMA is a University of the Arts pilot program to develop mobility and collaboration between the academies.
How to apply
Applications to the music technology programme are invited every two years, and seven to eight new students are accepted. The entrance examination in music technology has several stages. These include a written work demonstration, a written examination, practical workshops, and an interview with an audition on a musical instrument. The selection board is interested in the applicants’ musical and sound arts-related background, their motivation for music technology studies, their possible practical experience, and their artistic orientations.
Research, doctoral studies and other further training
After graduation, you’ll have the option to apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in research-oriented doctoral studies, arts-oriented doctoral studies or applied doctoral studies. At the Sibelius Academy, you may complete a Licentiate of Music (LMus) degree and a Doctor of Music (DMus) degree. A master’s degree in music technology will also give you the eligibility to apply for doctoral studies in the same field at international universities.
Current research projects
- Acoustic Localisation Techniques for Interactive and Locative Audio Applications
- Electroacoustic music performance and improvisation: a pedagogical toolkit
- Narrative in Acousmatic Music
- Research Group in Interdisciplinary Improvisation
- Software Tools for Electroacoustic Improvisation
- Sound & Motion Research Group
Art created in the music technology department is connected to both study and research: it either supports them or is created by them. Artistic activities in the music technology programme include student concerts, performances of visiting international teachers or other composers’ works, recording Sibelius Academy productions, and collaborations in staging performances of contemporary music, multimedia events, and electroacoustic music.
Six well-equipped studios at the Helsinki Music Centre are available for music technology students. The studios are used by all Sibelius Academy students with music technology students as one of the biggest user groups. The studios are also rented out as necessary. If you are interested in renting a studio, please contact Head of AV department Marko Myöhänen at marko.myohanen (at) uniarts.fi.
In addition to the permanent staff, the music technology department is regularly visited by international experts. The department has previously been visited by Robin Minard, Ludger Hennig, Leigh Landy, Jim Anderson, Robert Normandeau, Wayne Siegel, Roland Cahen, Marko Timlin, Derek Holzer, John Richards, Francesco Giomi, John Young, David Griesinger, Manuel Rocha Iturbide, Bob Katz, Andrey Smirnov, Natasha Barrett, Dinah Bird, Ka Ho Cheung, Dorit Chrysler, Josep Comajuncosas, Simon Emmerson, Charles Dye, Shinji Kanki, Michihito Mizutani, Henrik Möller, Jean-Philippe Renoult, Denis Smalley, Jean-Claude Risset, and Jukka Ylitalo.
- Decoster-Taivalkoski Marianne (Head of Department)
- Heinonen Matti
- Huttunen Miikka
- Olarte Alejandro
- Romanowski Otto
- Takala Päivi
- Bonsdorff Markus
- Hemmi Risto
- Laasonen Niko
- Mahlamäki Sandra
- Mattila Riku
- Moreno Josué Pietro
- Klemola Sami
- Montes de Oca Alejandro
- Schlienger-Tuomi Dominik
- Strahlendorff Matti