“… each sound, each structure is a promise …” – Gottfried Michael Koenig

Sonology is the field of study involving experimentation with electroacoustic music, computer music and sound art. The pioneers of the age of electronic music include figures such as Edgard Varèse, Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis: composers with an inquiring mind who dared to move off the beaten track.

Instead of composing with sounds, as is generally the case in instrumental music, in sonology the sound itself is composed in such a way that it gives expression to musical form. This can take place on the basis of the physical principles of sound, on the basis of perception or on the basis of purely compositional ideas.

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 one of the conservatoire’s Creative Departments, with an extensive network of partners that includes the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris, the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI), 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 in Sonology (which is taught in English) you will carry out an independent research project. You can enrol for the master’s programme if you have obtained a Bachelor of Music 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 of Music in Sonology programme hold a bachelor’s degree in subjects such as composition, computer science, musicology or graduated as performing musicians.

During your master’s course you will write a thesis, which will document your project and place it in a wider context. This means that, in addition to your artistic activities, you will be writing extensively under the guidance of a mentor from the Institute of Sonology. We have produced a thesis style guide 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. Many graduates of the Sonology master’s programme pursue a career as a composer, an artist, a sound designer, a computer programmer, a teacher, or combinations of these. A relatively large proportion of graduated students go on to follow a PhD programme.

Since 2014, we also offer a Double Degree master’s programme in Audio Communication & Sonology in association with the Technische Universität Berlin.

More information about courses and the department can be found on sonology.org





2 years


Master of Music in Sonology

Tuition fee

Check 'Tuition fees'

Department head

Kees Tazelaar


Leslee Smucker: mail

Introduction Royal Conservatoire