Film Scoring Courses
Intensive Introduction to Film Scoring
This intensive introduction to the field of film scoring is intended for current and prospective film scoring majors, as well as other students looking for a more in-depth exploration of the field of film scoring. In addition to the investigation of the aesthetic relationship between film and music, discussion of the many functions of film music with analysis of its most effective application to dramatic situations, and exploration of career opportunities in film and television music, this course will present early opportunities for a student to start scoring simple film cues.
History of Film Music
A survey of music in feature-length films from the silent period to the present day. An overview of stylistic scoring approaches that represent the most significant developments in the field. Discussion of works of composers who have contributed extensively to the development of film music, including representatives of newer trends in recent years. Extensive visual examples will be combined with independent aural analysis of a wide range of scores.
Dramatic Scoring 1
This course combines analysis and composition techniques in order to provide students with the basic musical skills necessary for composing music for film. Focus is placed on how musical form derives from the dramatic flow of the film. Course work includes in-depth analysis of existing musical examples which demonstrate the building blocks of composition. These building blocks include melody, harmony, rhythm, and form as applied to specific dramatic situations. Students will compose several short original pieces modeled after the various analysis examples presented. This course is the first of a sequence of three core composition courses in the film scoring major.
The Language of Film
This course provides film scoring majors with an introduction to how film makes visual and narrative meaning through the language of film, which includes camera, frame composition, lighting, production design, acting styles, editing, dialogue, plot, genre, themes, sound, and point of view. Students will learn to read and analyze film from a film studies perspective. Written assignments and in-class activities will reinforce writing, reading, and oral communication skills, with the goal of strengthening students' abilities to communicate with directors.
Analysis of Video Game Music Techniques
This course provides students a thorough overview of the history, theory, aesthetics, and application of interactive scoring along with an introduction to the video game and interactive industries, including career opportunities, contracts, licensing, practices, and toolsets. The course includes analysis of interactive music as found in video games, the internet, installations, sound art, and concert composition. This course can stand alone or serve as the first in a series of three courses that make up part of the Video Game Scoring Minor.
Film Music Composition Seminar
Intended as a complement to FS-341 and/or FS-441, this course is designed to provide a link between composition and scoring techniques by addressing specific challenges of dramatic music composition. Application of compositional devices intended to help advance the drama; exploration of different concepts and methods as creative music resources for current and future scoring assignments.
Dramatic Orchestration for Film
This course focuses on the exploration and application of traditional and contemporary orchestration techniques to support and achieve intended dramatic effect. Regular assignments involve the use of orchestration as an important compositional tool to successfully meet the emotional requirements of a wide variety of dramatic situations.
Dramatic Scoring 2
The technical and aesthetic aspects of composing and recording music for picture using various synchronization methods: to a click provided by a MIDI sequencer and to a studio clock or stopwatch. Film and video formats, measurements, and conversions, as well as scoring procedures and rehearsal techniques will be covered. Students will compose and record three projects: sequenced, sequenced combined with live players, and a free timed-to-clock project using a live ensemble.
Master Film Composers
Throughout the history of film, a handful of composers have had an extraordinary and formative impact on the art of film scoring. Composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, and more recently, Thomas Newman, have invented, extended, or defined the grammar and vocabulary of film music. This course will take a full semester to closely examine the work and career of one composer in a rotating set of seminal figures in film scoring history. By studying their work, their impact on film music language, and how their careers developed, students will gain valuable lessons in the art and profession of film scoring.
Study of specific techniques of post-romantic composition commonly found in film underscores. Techniques studied include intervallic structures, polytonality, independent triads, and parallelism/constant structure. There will be extensive traditional score and film music analysis, as well as scoring projects based on each technique.
Computer/Synthesis Applications for Film Scoring
The use of MIDI/audio sequencing in scoring to picture, in conjunction with sample playback and synthesis software. Special attention is paid to the film scoring capabilities of Macintosh sequencing applications using QuickTime, tempo, meter, and synchronization in the process of scoring music to picture. Emphasis is also placed on maximizing dramatic expression through use of the available software tools.
Interactive Scoring for Video Games
This course features applied approaches to scoring for video games and builds upon the foundations learned in FS-271. It presents a solid understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to prepare students for entry-level work at a game development company or as a freelance game music professional, including experience with typical game music workflow and approaches to scoring video games. This is an intensive scoring course including collaborations with game design programs and weekly or biweekly scoring assignments.
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