Jon Klein

Associate Professor
617 747-2445
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"I'm self-taught when it comes to film scoring. I got interested in it just through meeting people. My first film score, in 1974, was a 14-minute tabletop animation. The only 'click' I had was an old practice metronome. I didn't think I could trust it to be accurate, which led me to write the score in such a way that the synch wouldn't be lost. I broke things up with a lot of comical little spaces; it actually ended up being good in terms of the comic timing."

"Being technically oriented, I spend a lot of time learning stuff on my own. Learning the technology is a matter of having to use it, I think. I even authored three software programs that are used in editing classes in the department."

"In teaching the technology, I try to do projects that I know will be the fastest way to get material across to the students. I want them to learn the essence of something so that they can work with it right away. I also try to develop task-oriented tutorials on what students need to know to get something done, then hopefully they can go on from there. I point the way for students to keep learning on their own."

"With dramatic scoring I tend to emphasize the ongoing process of vocabulary development, both in terms of what's happening dramatically on the screen and in terms of musical vocabulary to express shadings of emotions that support the scene. This is a collaborative business. You have to be able to adapt to limitations, because there's always something you're scoring to, something more important than your music: the message the filmmaker is trying to get across, the action, and the dialogue. So music has to be supportive, but not get in the way."

"I hope students will go away with a glimpse of what they don't know. It's all too easy to be limited by the unknowns you're not aware of. Everybody has to go through the process of realizing that there is so much more that we don't know and have to find out."

Career Highlights


  • B.A., Brown University
  • Composer and arranger credits for television, commercials, film scores, jingles, corporate films, and videotapes
  • Extensive studio experience