MUS 149 Spring 2013 The Language of Film Music

Film composers, once viewed as less serious than their concert music counterparts, have become celebrities today. John Williams, James Horner, Howard Shore, and Carter Burwell are as well known as Stravinsky, Holst, Shostakovich, and Strauss. The only symphony orchestra many people hear today is the one at the movies and when people do attend concerts, the music often reminds them of film scores. The way we perceive cinematic narrative is highly dependent upon the way the composer scores it. We may not always be conscious of the composer?s craft, but we almost always know how we are supposed to feel or think about what is going on in a film because of the powerful musical cues. How did this language of film music evolve and where did many of the iconic musical gestures come from? These questions will be explored along with specific techniques film composers have used over the years to manipulate our perception of the visual narrative. We will look at and listen to films from different periods, observe which techniques evolved, which have changed very little, and consider when an idea is borrowed and when it might actually be new.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: assignments, midterm, final. Assignments will consist of listening/viewing as well as re-interpreting film clips with music you will compose or borrow. Midterm and final also will also involve viewing/listening.
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: juniors and seniors, music majors and potential majors
Department Notes:
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 3478
MUS149-01(S) LEC The Language of Film Music Division 1: Languages and the Arts David S. Kechley
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Bernhard Presser Choral 3478
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