This course provides an advanced tutorial in the auxiliary skills of orchestration without which even the most talented composer cannot fully realize his or her work. Although at the top levels of the craft, these tasks are frequently assigned to specialists, at the beginning of a career, the ability to orchestrate one's own work is a critical advantage. The technique of dramatic orchestration, as contrasted with concert orchestration of long-form pieces, is an art in itself, and will be thoroughly examined. Specifically, extended dramatic techniques for strings and percussion, effective use of the brass section, orchestrating for minimalism, and integration of nonorchestral, global, or electronic instruments in the score will be examined. Students explore differences in orchestration for television, film, and video games, orchestrating for small and unusual ensembles, and advanced overdubbing techniques combining sequence and live instruments.
This advanced course builds on the techniques learned in FS-615, Video Game Scoring Techniques. In this course, students explore complex interactive scoring techniques and direct application of middleware technologies (Wwise and Fmod). Students focus on advanced interactive composition techniques including designing and composing thematic elements and motifs that work across multiple cues. Students also explore advanced recording techniques and session flow for video game music. This course prepares students strongly for entry-level work in music at a game development company or as freelance game music professionals. Students experience advanced game music creation workflow using version control technologies, sound design and editing, batch file conversions, and modern approaches to scoring to video games. Additionally, students explore advanced topics in the video game and interactive industries including contracts, licensing, toolsets, and job opportunities.
This course provides students an advanced study of music supervision and editing for motion pictures, television, and video productions. Students complete in-depth investigation of the job responsibilities and tasks of the music supervisor and music editor for various film and TV scenarios. Students explore the aesthetic and technical aspects of spotting, selecting, editing, licensing, and dubbing of all types of music for dramatic situations. Students learn musical soundtrack design concepts, including placement and integration of songs, source music, and temp-tracked underscore cues for creating a complete film's temp score. Students also explore additional duties and techniques, including preparations for pre-records and on-set playbacks, music licensing procedures, budgeting, preparing click tracks and picture cuing for scoring, as well as editing and conforming MIDI tracks and Pro Tools multitrack surround projects to picture. Students also learn organization and file management within the music team's workflow process.
This course is an introduction to the tonal vocabulary and instruments of selected world folk and art music traditions. It presents students with the challenge of writing pieces that combine indigenous and Western orchestral traditions in a visual and dramatic context. The musical palette of the composer of music for the screen is no longer limited to the colors of 19th-century romantic or 20th-century modernist concert music. The approach of contemporary artists owes much to their embrace of folk traditions, ranging from African ceremonial music and Indonesian gamelan to Pakistani qawwali, Al-Andalus, and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern forms. As the language of cinematic expression becomes more universal, the music that supports it must strive to escape the confines of convention and stereotype and aim for a multimodal language. This course seeks to outfit composers with the tools to move beyond those limits and set out on the path of global artistry.
This is a project-based course geared toward composers for visual media. Students learn basic aspects of recording, editing and mixing in the modern DAW environment. Students master general concepts of music pre-production, signal flow and signal processing, as well as the specific workflow of Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro X. Students also learn to achieve professional results and create realistic mock-ups. This course is a prerequisite for FS-632 Recording, Editing, and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 2. In the two consecutive courses, students learn the complete production process from pre-production, recording though the mixing and delivery stage of music for visual media.
This course is a continuation of FS-631 Recording, Editing and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 1. Students learn more advanced aspects of professional audio editing, mixing different music styles both in stereo and 5.1 surround, mastering, as well as delivery in the modern DAW environment. Students master Melodyne, Elastic audio, Beat Detective, acoustics and advanced mixing techniques with Pro Tools and Logic Pro X. Students create professional-sounding projects within the Pro Tools and Logic DAW environments.
Building on skills developed in FS-533, Conducting for Scoring Sessions, this course offers advanced study of the art of conducting as a tool for composers in the recording studio and/or the scoring stage. Students learn complex conducting techniques and gestures to further develop their role as a composer-conductor. In this course, students expand the different ways and forms of communicating with people in different roles, with the goal of increasing success in the recording session, and focusing on effectiveness and efficiency. Students learn different recording methods, such as overdubs, recording by sections, recording full orchestra/ensemble versus family section recording, etc. Students also learn how to develop a wider and deeper listening criteria, by internalizing and acknowledging more complex cues and ways of conducting them, and also developing strategies and techniques to be able to react effectively in real time at the scoring stage or recording studio. Students develop and experience the role of the music producer in a deeper way, buildling on development from their previous recording sessions. Students also learn other content related to the music producer, such as recording locations, budgeting, contracts, planning, and organization.
Scoring for film, television, and video games students are required to complete a culminating experience that serves as both a practicum and a bridge to the professional world. The tangible end product of this experience is a master's thesis, which may take the form of an original score, scholarly paper and/or research project, or other enterprise that offers an original solution to the problem of marrying music to visual media, specifically, film, television, and video games. The thesis will be conceived and developed as part of directed study course work, and will be realized in the final seven-week semester. In conjunction with preparation for delivery of the thesis (e.g., final orchestration, preparation of pre-lay elements, final drafting of paper, or execution of business plan), all students undertake a professional internship related to the goals outlined in their thesis proposal. These internships may occur in composer studios, music production and/or supervision companies, post-production houses, entertainment companies, etc. The student works in consultation with his/her faculty advisor and/or the program director to develop his/her unique project and internship plan, the goal of which is a professional outcome. A thesis committee evaluates the final project that results from the culminating experience.
This course explores 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 sequencing applications, such as QuickTime, tempo, meter, and synchronization. Emphasis is also placed on maximizing dramatic expression through use of the available software tools.
This is the first semester of a 2-semester course sequence, admission to which is highly limited. Admitted students must take both FS-P484 in fall and FS-485 in spring, and must either have passed or taken COND-361 concurrently in the spring semester. This class will begin the composition of a complete score for a feature length film of the silent era. The final composed score will be performed live with the film in a performance at a local theater in the final weeks of the spring term. The students will each score, arrange, orchestrate and conduct the music for a reel (12-15 minutes) of the film, using thematic material provided by and under the guidance of the instructor.
Students work closely with their faculty advisor to conceive and develop their culminating experience—a practical, creative, or research project enabling the student to make a contribution to his/her field of study and to develop their academic and career goals. Meetings between the student and advisor begin during the first week of the first semester (or during orientation) and continue until the final week of the program. Students present ideas, receive feedback, advice, support, suggestions, guidance and more from their advisors as they design and execute their culminating experiences and plan their academic and professional careers. Advisors guide students in meeting the various deadlines and milestones required as students complete their culminating experience, prepare for graduation and prepare for their careers.
Students work closely with their faculty advisor to conceive and develop their culminating experience—a practical or research project enabling the student to make a contribution to his/her field of study and to develop their academic and career goals. Meetings between the student and advisor begin during the first week of the first semester (or during orientation) and continue until the final week of the program. Students present ideas, receive feedback, advice, support, suggestions, guidance and more from their advisors as they design and execute their culminating experiences and plan their academic and professional careers. Advisors guide students in meeting the various deadlines and milestones required as students complete their culminating experience, prepare for graduation and prepare for their careers.