Sound and Music Computing, MSc in Engineering

Academic content

Academic content

Photo: Copyright Multisensory Experience Lab, Aalborg University Copenhagen

The master's programme in Sound and Music Computing at Aalborg University consists of four semesters (120 ECTS credits). In the 1st semester, you will learn about sound processing, music perception and –cognition as well as new interfaces for Musical Expression. In the 2nd semester, you'll work with the theme Sonic Interaction in your project. You will have courses in Embodied Interaction, Sound and Music Signal Analysis and Physical Models for Sound Synthesis. In the 3rd semester, you have even more options – you can study a semester at a foreign university, you can follow research courses at AAU, or you can carry out a project in collaboration with a company. The 4th semester is entirely reserved for working on your master’s thesis, and thus, there are no courses.

For further information, please see the curriculum for Sound and Music Computing.


All bachelors enrolled in the programme who have not obtained their bachelor's degree from Aalborg University must take part in a course on problem based learning (PBL) as part of the 1st semester project. In case non-AAU bachelors get credit transfer for the 1st semester, they will be asked to take part in a course ensuring that they are trained in working according to the PBL-model. Read more about PBL here.

1st semester; Foundations of sound and music computing

In the 1st semester, you and your group have three options of focus in your project. You may choose to construct an application within sound processing, new interfaces for music, or you can choose a combination of the two. Through this project work, you will learn to apply a sound machine and to design and implement a system which uses sound as in- or output.

Courses In the 1st semester

  • Sound processing
  • New Interfaces for Musical Expression
  • Music perception and cognition

In the 1st semester courses, you will among others be working with digital sound effects and signal processing, and you will learn about the way in which people perceive sound- and music signals. In addition, you are going to work with multivariate data and statistics as well as pattern recognition (e.g. speech recognition).

2nd semester;Sonic interaction research

In the 2nd semester, you will work with the theme Sonic Interaction in your project group.

Sonic Interaction involves design of sonic interaction with focus on one of three areas; interactive product design for sound, sonic interaction in art or interactive ultra sound.

Courses In the 2nd semester

  • Embodied Interaction
  • Sound and music Singal analysis
  • Physical Models for Sound Synthesis


3rd semester; Sound and music innovation


The project work in the 3rd semester concerns development and evaluation of a new system focusing on either commercial aspects and / or socio-cultural implications and / application of the system in science generation.

Courses in the 3rd semester

  • Research in sound and music computing

This course is about analysis of new research results within sound and music. This could for instance be music retrieval, music perception and –cognition, sonic interaction design, analysis of sound and music signals or new interfaces.

Two of the following are chosen:

  • Multimodal perception and cognition
  • Prototyping and fabrication techniques
  • Machine Learning for Media Tehnology

"Multimodal perception and cognition" is about creating digital interactive solutions where you apply knowledge on human perception and cognition as well as the opportunities and limitations which the human cognitive system imposes on a designer. In the course “Prototyping and fabrication techniques”, you will learn how to make a product from idea to finished concept.

4th semester; Master’s thesis in Sound and Music Computing

There are no courses in the 4th semester, because it is entirely devoted to working on your master’s thesis. You may carry out your thesis alone or in a group.

All photos: Copyright Multisensory Experience Lab, Aalborg University Copenhagen.

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau