Musical composition in a digital environment

A project of musical composition and analysis in class

    School sections
    • Lower secondary school
    Educational subjects
    • Composition
    • Music and technologies

Musical composition in a digital environment

In this path, the computer became a creative educational instrument, capable of facilitating critical thinking and reflection in a transdisciplinary perspective.
Musical composition was viewed similarly to everyday compositions made of words, gestures and signs.
On such basis, a second-year lower secondary class composed music on the computer, using the resources put at disposal by a musical editing program, and rigorously implementing a project previously agreed upon.
The entire path was based on the systematization of a musical analysis, in which the composer-listener became part of the circularity that allowed to integrate the esthesic moment with the poietic one, and whose coordinates were interpreted according the perspective launched by Salvatore Sciarrino in the celebrated text “Le figure della musica.”
The comparison between the composition realized by the students and the pieces of great authors was particularly interesting, having in common an identical conceptual structure and composition mechanism.

Work tools

In order to implement the project easily, it is necessary to have at disposal a classroom equipped with a PC and an IWB, if the idea is to have a class work on a single composition. If wanting to work with small groups, it is advisable to use the IT classroom or find another solution that can allow each group to use their own PC.
It is necessary to install an editing program (in our case Adobe Audition) on each PC.
The mp3 files can be found online very easily: if wanting to use original material, as in our case, it is necessary to have a digital recorder (that allows to obtain a better recording quality), or even a mobile phone.

Educational purposes

The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.

    • Sound perception
    • Analysis
    • Comprehension
    • Composition
    Reading and Writing
    • Use of unconventional analogic music notation
    Lower secondary school
    • Understands and evaluates events, materials, and musical works recognising their meanings, also in relation to his/her own musical experience and the different historical/sociological context.
    • Capacity to conceive and create music and multimedia messages, also though improvisation or collective elaboration processes, using also IT tools, in critical confrontation with models belonging to the musical heritage
    Reading and Writing
    • Using different notation systems functional to reading, analysis and reproduction of pieces of music
    • Integrating one’s own music experience with other knowledge and practices using appropriate codes and codification systems
Educational targets


The students learned how to:
- identify, recognize and classify sonorous events; understand the function of the timbre and expressive characteristics of sounds within a composition context
- analyze the structure of a composition, recognizing its different segments, modularity and repetition processes; reconduct to units what listened to.
- establish relations of similarity and conceptual affinity between the structures of a composition realized in class and the musical compositions of contemporary and non-contemporary authors.


The students learned how to:
- use the musical editing digital program for a composition; correctly apply a good number of procedures to modify and process audio files; use the technical resources offered by the digital program to obtain results consistent with the collective planning, in which they participated actively, operating in a constructive way and with critical abilities.


The students learned how to:
- use different notation systems drawn up on the basis of the composition, sharing the relevant codes with the class; read and intervene on a digital score, operating on the characteristics of the wave form through the musical editing program
- integrate the musical composition procedure with the graphic-artistic procedure; compare and analyze the conceptual affinities with the graphic-pictorial works referable to the structure of the musical composition


Commenti inseriti
Slide "Musical composition in a digital environment"
Presentazione della buona pratica Download
Link utili
Rappresentazione grafica della composizione elettroacustica Click here
Materiali finalizzati all'azione didattica
[video] Interviste proposte composizione Download
Schemi compositivi Download
Valutazione dell'azione didattica
Griglia suono Download
Bibliografia e sitografia Download