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Courses

MUSI2147 Film Music Composition

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to: • Develop composition techniques and approaches appropriate for a film score • Teach principles of construction, melody and bass and accompaniment • Teach techniques and principles of using MIDI in LOGIC • Enable you to start work on your own showreel of film score clips

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Film music in industry: the process
  • Compositional technique and methodology
  • Using MIDI in LOGIC
  • Chord sequences and voicings
  • Accompaniment roles (chord/bass/ countermelody/ non melodic line) composition
  • Principle of orchestrating from MIDI
  • Some mixing techniques
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Computer skills (mac)
  • Understanding and working within a professional brief
  • Analyse narrative
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Arrange Use MIDI to compose film music
  • Writing a short score by hand
  • Synchronisation and planning synch points
  • Orchestrating from MIDI
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Compose and arrange a film clip (Melody / Accompaniment / bass / Instrumentation)
  • Analyse film score (aesthetics / techniques)

Syllabus

A series of topics will be presented over the semester with each topic exploring compositional and lyric writing approaches. Examples of topics that may be explored include: • Theme writing • Using the Studio: MIDI, LOGIC, loading samples, synch points, tempo lines • Synchronisation • Temp tracks • Handling Dialogue / handling provenance and period • Compositional technique: handling changing roles through form • Narrative structure in film Examples of specific scores (among many others) which may be explored include: • John Williams: Star Wars Saga / Indiana Jones Saga/ Harry Potter Saga • Hans Zimmer: Inception / Dark Knight Trilogy • Bernard Herrman: Psycho / North By Northewest/ Vertigo • Alan Menken: Beauty and the Beast • Nino Rota: The Godfather • Anton Karas: The Third Man • Johnny Greenwood: There Will be Blood • Thomas Newman: American Beauty • Danny Elfman: Edward Scissorhands • Jerry Goldsmith: Planet of the Apes • John Barry: James Bond Saga • George Fenton: Planet Earth

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Individual tutorials • Workshops Learning activities include: • Individual study • On-line based research • Watching and studying films

TypeHours
Teaching24
Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

LOGIC. The module will use the LOGIC software in its teaching and assessment. This is already installed in the computer cluster, so independent purchase of it is not necessary

Sibelius 8. The module will use Sibelius 8 software in its teaching and assessment. This is already installed in the computer cluster, so independent purchase of it is not necessary

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Differentiation between 2nd and 3rd level work: Second and third years will be set different assignments. The third year assignments will be longer (i.e. longer text set) and more challenging (i.e. requiring more technical challenges). For 3rd level students taking this unit, expectations will be higher than those for 2nd level students, and the assessment criteria will be accordingly stricter. In particular: • Assignments should demonstrate a broader degree of focus and detail; control over material; formal sophistication; and reflect a more mature response to the set compositional task. • For score based work, optimal standards are required in terms of the physical appearance of work and the following the standards of good-practice musical notation. • For written work, optimal standards of presentation are required in terms of spelling, punctuation, and grammar; sophistication of vocabulary; provision of footnotes; inclusion of full bibliographic and related details; physical appearance of work, etc. In short, 3rd level students should aspire at all times to the highest possible levels of undergraduate work.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (3 minutes) 50%
Assignment  (3 minutes) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (3 minutes) 50%
Assignment  (3 minutes) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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