Computer Requirements - Music

Computer Requirements


The Department of Music does not require the purchase of a laptop computer for Music majors. Music students have access to Apple computers in the Piano/MIDI Computer Music Lab in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; computers are used for required courses such as Digital Notation and Electroacoustic Music, among others. Students taking music theory and composition use the Music Lab computers for composition.

We recognize that students may wish to purchase their own laptop computers to enhance their study while at UMass Dartmouth. Though the purchase of a MacBook Pro laptop computer is not required, we do make the following hardware and software recommendations for students should they wish to purchase their own:


Students wishing to configure personal computers should follow these guidelines:

  • Screen size:
    It is recommended that students purchase the largest screen size that can be afforded. Larger screens facilitate higher productivity though work can be accomplished on smaller screens.
  • Connections:
    All machines need to have an Ethernet connection.
  • RAM:
    There is never enough. We recommend at least eight gigabytes of RAM.
  • Hard Disc Space:
    Minimum 500 GB. You can always add external hard drives or portable storage devices as needed.
  • Optical Drive:
    Select a drive that allows you to burn DVDs. This will be helpful in developing portfolios and backing up large animation or video files.
  • Camera for Skype video conferencing.
  • Adaptor for a VGA connection to a projector.

Note: For University pricing, please visit the UMass Dartmouth Apple Education Store


Microsoft Office 365 is required for PowerPoint presentations and editing cabilities. Adobe Creative Cloud is recommended for students who may need to do graphic work. Additional Music software recommendations include: Sibelius (music notation); Reason (audio production recording/editing); Ableton Live (composition/ audio production); Reaper (audio production); Max/MSP (audio production).

This software package enables students to interact with the software programs used in CVPA so they can submit assignments, participate in collaborative projects, and share work with instructors and fellow students. Not all of the above software is needed for all applications. It is recommended that students investigate their potential use of the software prior to purchase.

Microsoft Office 365 free download

Adobe Creative Cloud for students and teachers