Film Scoring Major

Develop a foundation of creative musical skills, including composition, counterpoint, orchestration, conducting, and computer/synthesis skills, and learn the technical basis and mechanics of preparing synchronous music for use with visual media. Students will also develop an interpretive sensitivity to the dramatic effectiveness of music as suggested or demanded by emotional and dramatic considerations. To demonstrate mastery of these skills and concepts, students will complete a portfolio that will include a finished score of a short film, fully produced and synchronized, a similarly produced and synchronized main title theme for a television series, a professional resumé and letter of application suitable for the purpose of career placement and advancement, and a recording including a variety of musical examples composed and produced by the students and selected to function as a demo to accompany an application portfolio.

Students will study acknowledged masterpieces of film scoring and through this exposure will develop an aesthetic vision and the ability to recognize and discuss quality work in film scoring. Interpersonal and other situational skills will be developed through the cooperation necessary to realize finished projects: working with performers, studio personnel, and technical assistants, and participating in other students' projects.

Film scoring majors will develop sufficient skills and knowledge to function as a composer, orchestrator, music supervisor, and music editor or technical production worker in the film and television industry, and will have sufficient knowledge of basic concepts to adapt with success to the changing conditions that are typical of the entertainment industry.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a major in film scoring, students will:

  • Sketch and compose stylistically appropriate music in a variety of dramatic styles
  • Orchestrate dramatic music using appropriate instrumental tone colors and voicings
  • Conduct to picture and to electronic metronome, conducting multiple meter and tempo changes
  • Create and edit temporary and final sound track recordings to picture for a complete media work
  • Create orchestral mockups and electronic scores using current sequencers and sample libraries 
  • Record and mix scores and music stems using current software and hardware
  • Analyze the dramatic arc of a musical score for a film or other extended media work
  • Apply legal knowledge, business acumen, and marketing techniques to the operation of a small business
  • Develop a concept for a score and create an appropriate musical form for it

Download the film scoring concentrate courses. Students are strongly encouraged to verify their course requirements with the Office of the Registrar.

Film Scoring Links