If you take this course, you must read and agree to the following policies.
We will use Max, by Cycling '74, for the entire course. You can do your work with Max in the studio (or sometimes in M373 in the Music Library), but you will progress more quickly if you install the program on your own computer (running macOS or Windows). If you have a laptop, you can then use it during class when we work on Max patching. This helps some people to learn the program better.
You can use Max with full functionality for one month for free. Installation requires a Cycling '74 account to move beyond demo mode, so that you can save files.
When your free month is up, you can rent Max by the month for $10 a month. It’s also possible to pay $59 for a one-year subscription (student ID submission to Cycling '74 required). If you can see yourself using the program for longer, consider buying a “permanent” license for $250 (academic). For more info, go here: https://cycling74.com/shop. See the “Students & Teachers” section on that page.
Sometimes students ask whether they can use the version of Max that comes with Ableton Live Suite. There are several things about this version that make it a pain to use for your work in this course. While we encourage Live users to learn how to write Max4Live devices, we would prefer that you do your exercises in the standalone version of Max.
Work on your assignments and final project may be completed in MC 304, the studio for this class. Please do not use the MC 302 studio, as another class is using it.
You reserve studio time via our web sign-up calendar. Click the studio link at the top of any course web page to go to this calendar.
We use keypad access codes for the studio doors. DO NOT SHARE YOUR CODE WITH ANYONE! Do not mention your code or anything about its construction (e.g., number of characters) on social media, or to anyone. Doing so reduces the security of the code, even if you don’t reveal it.
We ask that you respect the equipment and use your best judgment in protecting the security of the studio. Please be sure the door is securely closed and locked when you leave.
We continue to use an air purifier to reduce the risk of aerosols. Please set the purifier to its highest speed, and disable the PlasmaWave ionizer feature, before leaving the room.
Please do not invite guests into the studio.
Please report all broken equipment or software immediately to both Prof. Gibson and Prof. Wang (email links on the course home page).
You may do your assignments outside of the studio, if you have appropriate equipment and software. Even if you normally work in the studio, you might wish to have a basic setup of your own, in case you have to stay away from campus due to illness.
There are several kinds of work you do that will be graded:
- composition projects,
- practical assignments working with Max,
- listening responses,
- short quizzes on the reading, and
- two open-book tests.
You will submit in Canvas Discussions a series of listening responses to assigned pieces. These are graded pass/fail and must be done before the Tuesday class to receive a passing grade on the response.
The Max exercises are pass/fail, but they must be completed by the due date to pass. Exceptions in the case of incapacitating illness or a family emergency will be granted, but not for other reasons (too much other coursework, recitals, etc.). There are a lot of exercises, so missing one of them will not be disastrous.
The two tests and two projects receive letter grades.
The descriptions of all the assignments are online, linked from the syllabus page and from Canvas Modules. Assignments are due at your tutorial time, and must be submitted to Canvas by Thursday midnight, with any changes or fixes prompted during the tutorial. Late assignments may trigger grade penalties.
Timely completion of assignments is an important part of your grade. For the projects, which take longer than a week to do, we expect to see evidence of weekly progress. If you’re having trouble completing your work on time, it is your responsibility to contact your instructors for advice.
Here are the grade weights.
Class Participation applies to both the Tuesday class and tutorial. We understand some people have a harder time speaking up in class than others, put please make an attempt. One of the reasons to prepare the listening assignment is to help you have something to say in class. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions in class and tutorial, which also counts as participation.
Projects generally list some technical and musical requirements. How well you satisfy these requirements forms the bulk of your grade. In addition, there is a subjective component of your grade, based on our judgment of the musical quality of your submission.
Incompletes will be granted only as per University policy.
Because much of the material in this class can be absorbed only from hands-on experience and in-class observation, we strongly encourage you to attend the classes and tutorials. We find that students who do not attend regularly usually have problems doing well in the course.
Attendance at class and tutorial will be taken. This helps us to know who might be having trouble and lets us satisfy an obligation to report unexplained prolonged absence to the university. Excessive unexcused absences will affect your grade.
If you get a positive Covid-19 test result, have Covid-like symptoms, or have been instructed to isolate or quarantine, you should not attend class or visit the CECM studio. You will not be penalized for missing class because of this, and we will determine a way to help you catch up, on a case-by-case basis. Please let us know if you’re not feeling well, or if you need to be excused for some other reason, such as a religious holiday or university-organized trip. You are under no obligation to tell us specific things about your health status, and we will never ask.
Please comply with university guidelines for mask wearing while you are in class. This helps you protect your colleagues and instructors, in case you happen to be infected.
Absences will be considered excused only in the following cases:
- Illness. We will be very lenient with you, due to coronavirus concerns.
- Family emergency.
- Religious observances. Please submit this form at least two weeks prior to the anticipated absence.
- School-sanctioned event, for which excuse letters are written.
In all these cases, please notify both instructors by email before the missed class begins, unless there is a good reason why that is not possible.
Please do not ask us to excuse your attendance or late assignments because you have important work in other courses. You have to plan for this possibility.
Do not assume that you can move freely between different tutorial times to accommodate your changing schedule. Sometimes it’s possible for you to swap with another student, but we want to avoid having too many people in a tutorial.
There is no way to make up for unexcused absences or missed assignments, other than accommodations for illness. We do not offer extra credit assignments.
You should have multiple versions of every file you’re working on. You should have at least two recent copies of anything irreplaceable. Don’t keep them all on a single flash drive, which might break or get lost. Doing this is a critical part of making music (or doing anything else) with computers.
Also, develop the habit of saving in sequential versions. In other words, make a series of copies that reflects your progress on the project — for example, “my project Oct-10,” “my project Oct-11,” etc.
Catastrophic loss of files is not an acceptable excuse for a late project!
For technical questions, questions about assignments, or to set up individual help, email both Prof. Gibson and Prof. Wang (email links on course home page). We try to provide as much individual help as possible, since we understand this is a difficult subject to master. We encourage you to double-check manuals and the readings before contacting us, since either may provide answers to your problem. Don’t get into deep trouble before asking for help! That’s what we’re here for.
As in all your other courses, you will be held to Indiana University standards covering academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities (e.g., mental health, learning, chronic health, physical, hearing, vision, neurological, etc.) You must have established your eligibility for support services through the appropriate office that helps students with disabilities. Note that services are confidential, may take time to put into place, and are not retroactive. Please contact Disability Services for Students, or 812-855-7578, as soon as possible if you need accommodations. The office is located on the third floor, west tower, of the Wells Library, Room W302. Walk-ins are welcome 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
Bias-based incident reports can be made by students, faculty and staff. Any act of discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability can be reported through any of these options: 1) email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; 2) call the Dean of Students Office at (812) 855-8188; or 3) use the IU mobile App (m.iu.edu). Reports can be made anonymously (https://studentaffairs.indiana.edu/student-support/get-help/report-bias-incident/index.html).
As your instructor, one of my responsibilities is to create a positive learning environment for all students. Title IX (federal policy) and IU policy prohibit sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, and dating and domestic violence. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, or know someone who has, the University can help.
If you are seeking help and would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can make an appointment with the IU Sexual Assault Crisis Services at 812-855-5711 or contact a Confidential Victim Advocate at 812-856-2469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is also important that you know that University policy requires me to share certain information brought to my attention about potential sexual misconduct, with the campus Deputy Sexual Misconduct & Title IX Coordinator or the University Sexual Misconduct & Title IX Coordinator. In that event, those individuals will work to ensure that appropriate measures are taken and resources are made available. Protecting student privacy is of utmost concern, and information will only be shared with those that need to know to ensure the University can respond and assist. I encourage you to visit stopsexualviolence.iu.edu to learn more.
Course content is copyright ©2013–2022 John Gibson, Jeffrey Hass