Music Design

The Music Design research programme is all about researching processes needed to design music or sound.

Music Design as a research programme

The Music Design research programme researches the various creative processes involved in music design in the broadest sense of the word: composing a piece of music, but also designing sound. We gather specific knowledge about music design and the processes involved, and the ways we can pass on that knowledge to the whole professional field, including music education, for example.
We also develop interactive and innovative applications for music design that help others in, for example, the music and gaming industry, healthcare and education. Our work can be classified in three main themes: Music Design Processes, Music Design and Interaction, and Music Design and Education.

Music Design Processes

Films, animations, music and games are all created through unique creative processes, in which designers from a variety of disciplines work together. These design processes differ per discipline and domain. This theme focuses on the totality of these unique methods, strategies, processes, collaborative forms and uses of technology in both monodisciplinary and multidisciplinary contexts.

As the music technology discipline is constantly developing, we regularly explore new contexts. Knowledge of the design processes involved can help train music designers to operate within these contexts.

Read the results of this programme

Music Design and Interaction

Music and sound can be designed for interactive use. The project Klinkende Pleinen, for example, researches how sound behaves on a square if you place certain objects on it. This allows you to make deliberate changes to the auditive and spatial experience of a square. In an audiovisual treatment room, another project conducts research into the influence of sound and image on the behaviour of autistic children.

In order to experiment with interactive design processes, HKU has developed a laboratory that focuses specifically on interaction: the Sonic Interaction Lab (SiLab), which can be used by researchers and students.

Read the results of this programme

Music Design and Education

Music Design processes are also used for educational purposes. For example, digital design products developed at HKU like and Luisterminuut are used in music education. In Tanzania and Zambia, students learn how digital technology can help them use traditional music patterns and sounds in producing contemporary hiphop or trance. This breathes new life into historical cultural values.

Read the results of this programme


Have a look at all publication of Music Design


In September 2016, the HKU Music and Technology, (which includes the Music Design research programme) organised the International Computer Music Conference in collaboration with the Gaudeamus Music Week. The conference programme included various special concerts, alongside installations, lectures, papers, panels and workshops. Read the review of the event, the programme (pdf, in Dutch) and the proceedings (pdf), or take a look at the ICMC-website.


For more information about the Music Design research programme, please contact the programme leader Jeroen van Iterson or Martijn van Gessel.

Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan 50
3582 VA Utrecht
Tel. 030-2520334