UCSC Music Technology Background Essays is an online music technology reference text. The site contains 18 technical essays on music technology topics. Each essay includes illustrations and links to related topics. The topics are Sound Propagation, Acoustics for Music, Hearing and the Ear, Sound Spectra, Decibels, Dynamic Range, A Primer on Microphones, Basics of Analog Recording, Basics of Digital Recording, Some Basic Electronics, Sampled Sound Processing, The Mathematics of Electronic Music, Simple Harmonic Motion, A Look at Un-Electronic Instruments, Acoustic Treatment of Home Studios, Making Connections, Making Waves from Numbers, and MIDI.
The major learning goal of this site is to teach students the fundamental concepts that underlie music technology.
Target Student Population:
This site is directed at college level music technology students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer and Internet skills are the only prerequisite knowledge needed to access and use this site.
Type of Material:
Online texbook or reference.
The site should be used as an online music technology textbook or reference.
Works well with any computer with an online connection.
Evaluation and Observation
The text is clear and accurate and contains a lengthy and detailed discussion of each topic.
The background essay on microphones does not include a discussion of ribbon microphones.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The clearly written and detailed text and illustrations are areas where this site is particularly effective as a teaching tool. The text is also easy to read and offers many easy to grasp examples of how a concept works.
The lengthy text for each topic may present problems for instructors wishing to adapt and organize the material for their own instructional sequence. The site also lacks any interactive component.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is easy to use for both students and teachers.