Carnegie Mellon University


Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology

Sonic Arts

Sonic Art is a creative expression that uses sound as its primary medium. Just as visual artists create landscapes, portraits, and narratives through light, color, and form, sonic artists craft transformative experiences through sound, noise, and music.

Students in the Sonic Arts minor explore the processes and products of digital sound design and music production. They receive basic training in key component areas: principles of computer music, sound synthesis, spatialization, and core practices in sound design. Combining this training with courses that bring together experts from many disciplines, they create experimental music and explore emerging applications and markets for sound design, music creation, and performance.

Sonic Arts Minor - Minimum of 45 Units

One Computing Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice
  • 15-110 Principles of Computing
  • 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
  • 60-212 Intermediate Studio: Creative Coding

One IDeATe Portal Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • 18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts
    • Other IDeATe Portal Courses by permission only. Consult the IDeATe advisor.

IDeATe Sonic Arts Courses - Minimum of 27 Units

  • 15-322 Introduction to Computer Music
  • 33-114 Physics of Musical Sound
  • 54-166 Introduction to Sound Design for Theatre
  • 54-267 Conceptual Sound Design
  • 54-509 Theatrical Sound System Design 2
  • 57-337 Sound Recording
  • 57-344/60-407 Experimental Sound Synthesis
  • 57-347 Electronic and Computer Music
  • 57-358 Introduction to Electronic Music (note: portfolio required for registration)
  • 57-359 Audiovisual Composition
  • 57-421 Exploded Ensemble
  • 57-458 Business of Music
  • Additional courses as available. Please check IDeATe Courses for the options for the current and upcoming semester.
Double-counting:  Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

Sonic Arts Faculty

The Sonic Arts faculty represent Carnegie Mellon's expertise in Computer Science, Drama, and Music. They carefully oversee the collaboration of students while delivering the IDeATe Sonic Arts courses. Learn more about participating faculty here.