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Digital & Popular Music

Certificate Programme in Composition and Digital Music

Course No. : 241-511530-01|Start Date : 20/06/2024


CUSCS Instructors

Language Used

Cantonese (supplemented with English)

Total Hours

120 hours (13 months)


54 sessions


Tsim Sha Tsui Oriental Learning Centre

Start Date

20 June 2024




7:00pm-9:30pm (Module 1 & 5)
7:00pm-9:00pm (Module 2-4)

Application Fee


Tuition Fee



Certificate programmes

QF Level


QR Registration No.


QR Registration Validity Period

01/09/2015 - Ongoing

Course Enquiries

2209 77502723 5569[JavaScript encoded]

Enrolment Enquiries

2209 0290

Closing Date for Application

9 May 2024

Programme Information

The writing of music composition and its application have undergone significant changes in the past decades due to the development of information technology. While the learning atmosphere of common instruments such as the piano or the violin is becoming popular in Hong Kong, the term 'music technology' and 'digital music' also emerged as a supplementary issue in both end-user and study level. Musical arts do not exist on their own but now correlate with electronic devices and computer software to facilitate playback, recording, composing, arrangement and performance. This certificate programme provides students with opportunities to stimulate their creativity in composing and equip essential concepts and skills during the making of music with digital devices. (Quota:18) (The course outlines and references are in English)

Course Content

1. Techniques in Music (30 hours)
This course provides the fundamental training of music theory, covering materials in tonal music including the principles of harmony, voice-leading and counterpoint etc. This is a course on harmony based on the works of composers of the Classical and Romantic Period (music in major and minor keys, triads, harmonic connections, etc.). A brief introduction of advanced harmony in Twentieth Century will also be covered.

2. Introduction to Music Technology (20 hours)
This module introduces the usage and application of computer software and electronic devices in music making. Theoretical and technical subjects concerned with audio recording and music production will be covered. Computer based Digital Audio Workstation, Logic Pro, and notation software, Sibelius will be used in this course. Basic computer skills are required.

3. Orchestration (20 hours)
The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic principles of orchestration. The focus will be on the instruments of the orchestra and their use in various ensembles. Emphasis is upon the development of practical orchestration skills such as transcribing and arranging. Several orchestration assignments, projects and exams will be used to assess student learning.

4. Composition I (20 hours)
The purpose of this course is to introduce the techniques and devices of composition. The focus will be on the techniques and process of music composition. Emphasis is upon the composition devices and skills such as planning and motivic development. Modern and traditional composition devices will be introduced in this class.

5. Digital Music Techniques I (30 hours)
The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic techniques for creating digital music. The focus will be on the approaches of producing and controlling pre-recorded and synthesized sound. Emphasis will be placed upon the application of these techniques on music composition and arrangement. Basic concepts and a brief history of the development of electronic music will also be covered in this course.

Entry Requirements

1) All students must possess a Grade 8 in their principle instrument and a Grade 5 Theory from the ABRSM or equivalent. An entrance music theory test will be given for each applicant during the interview, which is part of the process of admission to the diploma programme. AND
2) A minimum of 5 subjects with Level 2 in HKDSE or a minimum of 5 passes in HKCEE or equivalent (such as satisfactory completion of Project Yi Jin). OR
3) Mature applicants at the age of 21 or above who do not meet the above minimum admission but possess a demonstrated ability (e.g. good musical background or relevant musical experience and good performance in the entrance test) to pursue the programme are eligible to apply for admission.

Award of Certificate

To qualify for the award of Certificate in Composition and Digital Music, students are required to
- have an attendance of at least 70% for each module, and
- complete the required 5 modules and pass the assessments of each module.

Application Procedure

Please complete the 'Enrolment Form for Certificate and Diploma/Professional Programmes' in Block Letters. An application for admission must include the following:

1. Photocopies of the academic and music certificates
2. Tuition fee and Application fee

Applications should be mailed or submitted in person to SCS head office or enrolment centres.
(Your application will NOT be processed if copies of documents required are not enclosed.)

Methods of Payment:

1. Crossed cheque or bank draft, made payable to 'The Chinese University of Hong Kong'. Application fee and the tuition fee should be paid in separate cheque or bank draft.
2. Visa or Master Card ONLY. Please include the card holder's name, card number, expiry date and signature in the Enrolment Form.

Enrollment Centres

13/F., Oriental Centre, 67 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui
Unit 01, Basement 1, East Ocean Centre, 98 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
1/F., Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central
Tsui Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O (Opposite Yan Lam House)

Continuing Education Fund (CEF)

This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. This course is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level 3).

CEF Course Code: 32C124847
CEF Course Name: Certificate In Composition and Digital Music