Spring 2018»CITA 180 Course Syllabus

CITA 180 Course Syllabus

College of CharlestonJan. 7, 2018

CSCI/CITA 180 Ė Computers, Music and Art

Course Syllabus


Dr. Bill Manaris


Room: 326 Harbor Walk East Building
Phone: (95)3-8159
E-mail: manarisb@cofc.edu
Web: http://manaris.org

Office Hours:

MWF, 11:30am-12:30pm
Other hours available by appointment.

Course Description:

A course introducing the creative side of computing in the context of music, sounds, images, and other digital artifacts. Emphasis will be given to computer programming for music making, live performance, and interaction. Students will develop several digital artifacts and elementary musical compositions.

Prerequisites/ Requirements:

  • Must bring your laptop and headphones.
  • Basic computer experience (e.g., file organization and software installation).
  • Interest in music and developing skills in musical practice.
  • Course is open to all majors. No previous programming experience required.

Tentative Outline:

This course will introduce computer programming and music through the study, transcription, and creation of musical works. Music topics may include notation, scales, key signatures, intervals, chord construction, sight-singing, ear training, and readings in music history and aesthetics. Computing topics include data types, variables, assignment, selection, iteration, lists, functions, classes, events, and graphical user interfaces. Students will experience the computer as a musical instrument and a creative environment to develop fluency with musical practices, such as algorithmic composition, developing simple computer instruments, electroacoustic music, and minimalism.

The above outline is tentative; some topics may be added, others subtracted, as interest suggests and time permits.



Additional reading materials will provided via handouts and the class website.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the fundamentals of music theory.
  • Analyze music and create musical studies modeled on pre-existing works.
  • Perform rhythmic patterns and sing melodies.
  • Understand important developments in musical styles in the twentieth century and the present.
  • Apply numeric and string data types to represent information.
  • Use variables in program development.
  • Understand arithmetic operators and use them to design expressions.
  • Understand for-loops and use them to design processes involving repetition.
  • Understand if statements and use them to design processes involving selection.
  • Understand functions and use them to design processes involving modularization.
  • Use predefined classes in program development (object-based programming).
  • Understand events and graphical user interfaces and use them to develop simple computer-based instruments for electroacoustic music.
  • Learn basic principles for group collaboration.


To receive a passing grade for the course, you must average a passing grade on each of the following: assignments, tests, and final exam.
Scale: A: 90-100; B+: 85-89; B: 80-84; C+: 75-79; C: 70-74; D+: 65-69; D: 60-64; F: 0-59.

Final Grade Computation: Assignments (4-6) 30%, Tests (2) 40%, Final Project 10%, and Class Participation 20%.

Test Policies:

  • Attendance at tests is mandatory. You must complete tests with no discussion or sharing of information with other students.
  • Calculators, computers, cell phones, etc. may not be used during a test, unless otherwise directed.

Classroom Policies:

Assignment Policies:

  • Assignment grades will be based on creative inspiration, design, style, and correctness of result.
  • Assignments may NOT be submitted via email.
  • Submission instructions will be provided for each assignment.

Honor Code:

  • You must do your assignments alone (or with your teammates, for group assignments).
  • You are not allowed to discuss assignments and possible solutions with any person other than the instructor (or with your teammates, for group assignments). Any violation of these rules is an honor offense.
  • On assignments you will be asked to identify the person(s) you received help from, if any.

  • Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when suspected, are investigated. Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.

    Incidents where the instructor determines the studentís actions are related more to a misunderstanding will be handled by the instructor. A written intervention designed to help prevent the student from repeating the error will be given to the student. The intervention, submitted by form and signed both by the instructor and the student, will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in the studentís file.

    Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by the instructor and/or others having knowledge of the incident to the Dean of Students. A student found responsible by the Honor Board for academic dishonesty will receive a XXF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty. This status indicator will appear on the studentís transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the XX to be expunged. The F is permanent.

    Students should be aware that unauthorized collaboration--working together without permission-- is a form of cheating. Research conducted and/or papers written for other classes cannot be used in whole or in part for any assignment in this class without obtaining prior permission from the instructor.

    Students can find the complete Honor Code and all related processes in the Student Handbook.

Late Policy:

  • You have four "late" days for the whole semester. You may use these days as you wish for assignment submission. If you use them up, no late assignments will be accepted.
  • If you submit everything on time (i.e., use no late days), you will earn an additional 2.5 bonus points on your course grade.