Within the Music Design pathway, students develop a professional and artistic vision of and focus on designing music, based on their musical background and the projects they do during the MMus.

Study plan

As a student, you are expected to have an independent attitude and working method, which will continually be tested on a clear and well-founded vision of the future. You have described this vision of the future – your own focus on and vision of your future professional practice – in your study plan.

The two-year study programme consists of individual lessons, group lessons, ensemble coaching and subjects in preparation for the profession. In the research project, you will focus on a specific subject, either individually or in cooperation with other students.

What distinguishes the Music Design pathway

Music is not just about playing instruments and composing. Often, music has to be designed, which means that account must be taken of the suitable design and production processes and the context for which the music is created and performed. Other important factors are the application of technology, multidisciplinary collaboration and research. Alongside the quality of performance, composition and interpretation, all these factors influence the final musical product, and should therefore be determined by a musician. This vision and approach is what distinguishes the Music Design pathway.

Four strands

Within the Music Design pathway there are four strands:

-Music Technology: the focus is on the development and meaningful application of technology in the numerous situations – whether multidisciplinary or within a particular discipline – in which music design plays a role.

-Music Production: the focus is on the musical, contextual and production aspects that play a role in the production of music – from live performance to music on CD or other media, and from music for media to games and interactive installations.

-Sound Design: the focus is on the creation and application of sound and noise in settings that are usually multidisciplinary, such as film, theatre and games.

-Composition: the focus is on the creation and application of music in settings and contexts that are either multidisciplinary or within a particular discipline, from contemporary dance to the advertising industry, and from games to animation.

Who is it for?

The MMus – Music Design is aimed at students with a talent for and experience in music design. They have the passion and attitude necessary for developing into self-aware and critical professionals with a personal vision and focus, and reflective/investigative ability. The MMus – Music Design pathway is student-driven and oriented. Students develop themselves, and the school coaches, supervises and facilitates.

HKU provides workplaces and studios, lessons and teachers, working groups, the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students in innovative music design processes, and supervision in the form of coaching and guidance. The exact content and direction of the studies is the student’s own responsibility. At set times during the course, HKU assesses whether the level of the content and direction is high enough, sometimes assisted by external experts from the Netherlands or abroad.

Why opt for the Master of Music Design?

If, on completing your Bachelor’s degree, you want to dive straight into the music and (interactive) media industry, then you must do so and not contemplate the possibility of a MMus, as the industry gives you plenty of opportunity to develop your skills further.

However, if you want to develop and specialise further in combination with professional practice, or if you want to do more experimenting and research, then the MMus – Music Design is an excellent curriculum for doing so. The industry offers little scope for that sort of activity, as deadlines and budgets play the main role. The MMus – Music Design, on the other hand, provides an opportunity for design and research, through projects, artist-in-residences, workshops, masterclasses and other specialised study, design and research activities.

Through analysis of the aforementioned projects and activities, and by reflecting on context, process and end product, students then develop their professional and artistic focus and vision.

Focus on artistic development or research

Within the MMus course, the focus is on further artistic development or on the development of research skills and insights. Not that they are mutually exclusive, but artistic development concentrates mainly on designing, and research takes place mainly in relation to the student’s own design and development as a designer.

In developing investigative skills and insights, the research plays a much more dominant role and forms a precondition for being able to carry out a project, for example, while in designing it is used as a test of certain principles that have not been used in that way before by other music designers.

More information

If you are interested in the MMus, please contact Claudia van den Hoeven – MMus tutor (