MUS 149
The Language of Film Music Spring 2020
Division I

Class Details

Filmmakers have relied on music from the earliest days of silent movies (often accompanied by live musical performance) to our present age of slickly-produced YouTube videos. Along the way, trends have arisen (and have been artfully thwarted) in countless film scores, whether constructed from preexisting works or specially crafted by composers like Max Steiner, Duke Ellington, Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, James Horner, Micachu, or Björk. In this class, we will look at and listen to films from different periods and cultures, observing which techniques evolved, which have changed very little, and considering when an idea is borrowed and when it might actually be new. We will also discuss the impact this language has on the experience of the viewer, and how film music functions in the wider culture. Assignments will consist of listening/viewing, responding in writing, and re-interpreting film clips with music you will compose or borrow.
The Class: Format: lecture; discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3839
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: assignments, quizzes, midterm essay, final creative project; midterm and final will also involve viewing/listening
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: given to juniors and seniors
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: FMST Core Courses

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