Study information

“Beauty begins where science and art collaborate.”  -Edgard Varèse

Sonology is the field of study involving experimentation with electroacoustic music, digital music and the art of sound. . The pioneers of the age of electronic music include figures such as Dick Raaijmakers (who studied at the Royal Conservatoire), Steve Reich and Edgard Varèse, sound composers with an inquiring mind who dared to move off the beaten track. Whereas sounds are the building blocks for composing instrumental music, practitioners of sonology design and  compose the sounds themselves – digitally, on the basis of physical principles of sound and on the basis of perception, but also purely on the basis of compositional motives.

The explosive pace of advances in the field of (computer) technology and electronics is also creating new possibilities for music and composition. Sonologists investigate these possibilities and add new elements to the musical domain. We are not bound by conventions or stylistic dogmas, but stretch the limits of the genre. It is an important role that we play and one that is integral to the world of new music. 

The Institute of Sonology is a creative department with an extensive network of partners that includes the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris, the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI), the Studio for Elektro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam, Studio LOOS in The Hague, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Game of Life Foundation in The Hague.

As a student in the two-year Master of Music in Sonology (which is taught in English) you will carry out independent research projects. You can enrol for the Master’s programme if you have obtained a Bachelor in Sonology or an equivalent degree in another course. However, the Master’s programme is not an extension of the Bachelor’s programme. Many students in the Master in Sonology programme had a Bachelor’s degree in subjects such as composition, computer science, musicology or philosophy or had graduated as performing musicians.

One of the specialisations in the Master’s course is Instruments & Interfaces, a programme that is offered in association with STEIM in Amsterdam. Since 2014, we have also offered a dual Master in Audio Communication & Sonology in association with the Technische Universität Berlin.

During your Master’s course you will write a thesis, a project that we will place in a wider context and document. This means that, in addition to your artistic activities, you will be writing extensively under the guidance of a mentor from the Sonology department. We have produced a style guide for these research projects and you will be able to consult earlier studies. We also maintain a close relationship with our alumni, some of whom remain attached to the institute or continue their research as a PhD student elsewhere. In our experience, many graduates of the Master’s programme in Sonology pursue a career as a composer, an artist, a sound designer, a computer programmer or a teacher of either multimedia or art or both. A relatively large proportion of graduate go on to follow a PhD programme.






2 years


Master of Music in Sonology

Tuition fee

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Department head

Kees Tazelaar

Related studies

Introduction Royal Conservatoire