An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Video: Tunes and Tech Merge at MIT

  • Nicole Estvanik Taylor
  • Slice of MIT

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“There are a lot of different places around the country that offer music technology programs,” says Eran Egozy ’93, MNG ’95 in a new video from MIT News. According to Egozy—who returned to campus in 2016 as a professor of the practice in the Department of Music and Theater Arts—two factors make MIT’s program unique. One is a population of students whose talent and enthusiasm for music is matched by an equal interest in computers and engineering. “What’s amazing is that there are quite a lot of MIT students who totally fit that profile,” he says. The second factor is MIT’s quintessential hands-on approach to teaching. “Students who come in and take our classes in music technology will be able to build the tools that everyone else around the world will end up using to do whatever they need to do.”

Music has been an important feature of the MIT landscape for decades. These days, more than 1,500 students enroll each year in MIT music classes, and music is among the most popular of the Institute’s 42 minors, as well as the basis for dozens of extracurricular activities. Soon, the campus will also have a dedicated music building, to be constructed adjacent to Kresge Auditorium. It makes sense that at MIT this growth in musical activity would tap into the latest technological possibilities. Music Technology has become an official area of curricular focus—along with Performance, Music History/Culture, and Composition/Theory—with six subjects offered during the fall 2018 semester.

“I was an undergraduate student here at MIT and I was also at the Media Lab as a grad student,” Egozy says in the video. “At the time, we didn’t have a lot in terms of music technology, certainly not at the undergraduate level. And one of the things that I’m really excited about now, coming back 20 years later, is to be able to create classes and introduce classes of music technology to all the students here who really want to combine this great interest they have in music and engineering into one discipline.”

Read more about the Music Technology program at SHASS News, and revisit the Slice of MIT podcast’s 2015 interview with Egozy about his experiences as co-founder and former chief scientist of Harmonix Music Systems, where, with Alex Rigopulos ’92, ’94, he helped to produce the landmark video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

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