Composition Electronic MusicThe study

Composition Electronic Music

About the study

Bachelor Music
Mode of study
Music and Technology
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Like all graduation paths, Composition for Electronic Music offers a mix of music, sound, and technology. In this field, you focus on how to experiment with sound and technology to create your own style of music. For instance, you might engage audiences in your musical realm through a live performance at a festival or an interactive music installation.

We train you to become a composer who dares to look beyond the boundaries of music. Your expertise lies in experimenting with sound and technology in a completely unrestricted manner. You express yourself in your own novel way and know how to offer your listener exactly the musical experience that you’re aiming at.

You learn all this by trying out and experimenting in projects. And while you are actively creating, you also get to learn the theory. We constantly challenge you to broaden your perspective. Not only do we provide you with the latest tools and methods from composition and technology, but also teach you the underlying principles, so you can apply them in your own way. You work with various music genres and cultures, enabling you to make more informed musical choices.

Naturally, you are not expected to master all the technology right from the start. More important is that you're willing to try out new things and dare to challenge your own conceptions about music. Whether you end up in mainstream electronic music or become a creator of your own art installations, doesn't matter to us. What we do care about, is that you develop a broad enough perspective to make your own well-thought decisions and are able to build a lasting and versatile career.

Composition Electronic MusicWhat you will learn
Composition Electronic Music

What you will learn

  • You develop musical insight and understand the structural components of various types of music and sound.
  • You learn all about composing music in innovative contexts. For example, within the profession of creative system design, composition, sound design, music production, sonic interaction design, and studio technology/live audio.
  • You learn to come up with creative solutions through concept development and research.
  • You learn entrepreneurial skills. What does the professional field look like? How can you best present yourself? How to get clients and assignments? You will know how to prepare yourself for your career.

Year 1

The first year is the same for all students. You are introduced to many diverse and general subjects: the structures of the various musical genres, the characteristics of tones and sounds, how technology can be used to create and manipulate sound, and the basics of programming. You not have to excel in all subjects. The main purpose of this broad introduction is that you get a general overview of the work field. You thereby lay the foundation for your own position, while you learn to cooperate in a team.

Year 2

In the second team, you maintain your broad perspective, yet also start zooming in on your own future position within the professional field. You do this by selecting two of the seven focus areas within the course. You focus on these areas in two blocks, each consisting of projects, task groups and theory classes. Both the theory and the practice are meant to teach you how to make your own creative productions, in the way that appeals to you personally.

Year 3

In year 3, it’s time to choose your professional and artistic profile within your field. Like in the second year, you start with two blocks that are aimed at your focus areas, again with projects, task groups and theory classes. After that, you do an internship in which you put everything you learned so far to the test in practice. The year ends with a large project in which you further sharpen your profile and knowledge. You can also do this abroad.

Year 4

In year 4, your projects are complemented by a thorough research that supports your creative practice and further distinguishes your own personal profile. The second part of the year is spent on your graduation, that serves as the bridge between your studies and your future professional practice. Within a company, collective or a network that you form with a number of fellow students, you work on assignments that are focused on practice. This work also serves as your calling card to your future work field.

Composition Electronic MusicWhat you will be creating
Composition Electronic Music

What you will be creating

Composition for Electronic Music is about more than just composing. You become an innovative sound and music designer, and a specialist in all kinds of electronic and electro-acoustic music. You often work on your own music, but you can just as well execute projects and assignments for clients. Think of an interactive performance at a concert venue, or a sound installation for a festival.

As a Composer for Electronic Music, you usually work as an independent professional on projects or assignments. You often collaborate with others and interact with different fields, such as visual arts, dance, or documentary. You know how to translate your artistic vision into the fitting sound or musical experience, and how to utilise technology for this. Additionally, it's essential to be able to switch quickly between various tasks, forge a link between your vision and its practical implementation, and involve others in your plans.

For these reasons, the work field has a high demand for people who have learned more than ‘mastering a trick’, but who bring along their own vision and maintain a clear overview. As a graduate from our course, you have your own, well-substantiated vision on composing music in its various contexts. That enables you to offer a valuable contribution to each project you’re involved with. In short: the professional field is looking for you!

Composition Electronic MusicEnrolment and admission
Composition Electronic Music

Enrolment and admission

Language requirement

The programme is only taught in Dutch. To be enrolled you must meet the Dutch language requirement. Find more information here.

Detailed information about requirements, application and admission, can only be found on the Dutch language version of this page.

Go to Dutch page

The video below (in Dutch) explains everything about the admission process for the courses at HKU Music and Technology.

Admission dates

There are various admission rounds, that each have two selection days. When you enrol, your admission exam is planned on the next admission round.

Are there still open positions?

You can still register for the academic year 2024-2025. Please keep into account that any applications received after 15 January will only be processed when there are still open positions. Therefore, it might occur that the course is full.

Prior Education

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent. You must also have sufficient artistic aptitude.

Selection procedure

Apply with your DigiD through Studielink

Once you have applied through Studielink, HKU will inform you by e-mail of the admission procedure and you will be assigned to the first admissions day. This date is binding.
The online preparation consists of a number of home assignments, which you will need an average of three weeks to complete. Have you applied for more than one course at Music and Technology? Then the assignments count for all those courses at once. That means you only have to do them once.

If you deliver your assignments on time, you will be invited to the first admissions day.

There are two admission days.

On day 1, you take an online test. In 45 minutes, we test your knowledge of general music theory, your solfege skills (intervals, triads, including inversions, rhythmic dictation and melodic dictation, your knowledge of music technology and acoustics, and your calculation skills. You will be informed per email whether you may continue with the second admissions day. This depends on the test results and the assessment of the material you have delivered online.

If you continue with the second admission day, you have a meeting with the admissions committee. Here your submitted materials are discussed, together with your vision on the course and the professional field. It is an open conversation, in which we hope that you present yourself as a suitable candidate in the best possible way.

After about three weeks, you will hear per email whether you are admitted or not.

Study Costs

HKU has two types of tuition fees: the statutory tuition fee and the institution tuition fee. Which one applies for you, depends on your situation.

Would you like to find out what fee you will have to pay? Go to our tuition calculation page.

What are the requirements for my laptop and software?

For your admission:
HKU Music and Technology deliberately chooses not to offer any advice on software or hardware in preparation for the admission. This is because the tools that a candidate uses are not that relevant. Most important during the admission is that a candidate shows they have successfully created a musical work with the technological means they had available, and that they can explain and tell about the creative judgements and decisions they made. These technological tools can be very diverse in nature, from old tape recorders, analogue mixing consoles and 4-track cassette decks, to contemporary software such as MaxMSP, Logic, Protools, Cubase, FL studio and Ableton. Hardware may range from AKAI MPC's, to free open-source software such as PureData, Ardour and Audacity.

For the admissions, being proficient in the specific DAWs that we use at the school is not required. However, being skilled in any type of DAW is regarded as a plus.

For students:
M&T deliberately chooses not to set any specific requirements for soft- and hardware. Although you could theoretically complete the course without your own software and hardware, many students choose to use their own laptop and software, be it Windows, MacOS or Linux. In general, each student decides for themselves during the first period of year 1 what setups works best for them, often based on the info and advice from fellow students and teachers.

Any other questions?
Please contact the HKU Service Desk Student Affairs:
T: 030-2091540
  • A laptop or computer is essential.

Would you like to know more?

Please check our frequently asked questions first. Can't find what you're looking for? You can contact the Service Desk Student Affairs. They can help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.