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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUS2030 Module Title: SCREEN MUSIC STUDIES
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MUS2030
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: MORRIS P Mr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards


Module Mark (%)


Online test 1 delivered through ULearn




Online test 2 delivered through ULearn




Essay of no more than 2,500 words on a topic given by module convenor.




Qualifying Condition(s) 


This module is available to all HE2 students in Music and Sound Recording except those on the Creative Music Technology degree programme.


Module Overview
This module gives a historical, theoretical and aesthetic overview of how music is used in film, TV, documentary and other places where it plays a secondary, narrative role.  Topics will include the functions of film music, music as a branding tool and the convergence of music and sound design.
Module Aims
To provide the student will an understanding of how music can play a narrative role in commercial, narrative multimedia.
Learning Outcomes

To demonstrate an understanding of the functions of film music


To be able to use a given model to analyse how music works in a narrative context


To explain the various roles and responsibilities in the writing of music for film, TV etc.


To describe the process of composing against a given brief or given media


To use semiotic theory to describe the narrative effect of music
Module Content
History and development of music in film.  The functions of film music.  Music for TV and documentary. The convergence of music and sound design on the screen. How screen music is designed, briefed and composed.  Semiotics of music.  Case studies supporting key topics in the module.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Ten 1-hour lectures, with supporting material on ULearn and via the University library collection of films.  Formative assessment will be via online tests on ULearn, which will help the students gauge their understanding of the key concepts and terms.  The summative essay will assess students’ ability to use the techniques learned to analyse how music works in a given piece of multimedia.
Selected Texts/Journals

Essential reading



Adorno, Theodor and Hanns Eisler 1994. Composing for the Films. London: Athlone Press.


Chion, Michel. 1994.  Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York: Columbia University Press.


Cook, Nicholas, 1998. Analysing Digital Multimedia. Oxford: OUP


Gorbman, Claudia. 1987. Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music. London: British Film Institute.


Sonnenschein, David, 2001.  Sound Design. Saline: McNaughton & Gunn



Recommended reading



Altman, Rick (ed). 1992. Sound Theory Sound Practice. New York and London: Routledge. 


Brown, Royal. 1994. Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.


Buhler, James; Caryl Flinn and David Neumeyer (eds). 2000. Music and Cinema Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.


Cooke, Mervyn, 2008. A History of Film Music. Cambridge: CUP


Karlin, Fred & Rayburn Wright, 2004. On the Track. New York: Routledge


Kassabian, Anahid. 2001. Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music. New York: Routledge.


Whittington, William, 2007. Sound Design & Science Fiction. Austin: University of Texas



Additional reading



Flinn, Caryl. 1992. Strains of Utopia: Gender, Nostalgia and Hollywood Film Music. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Gabbard, Krin. 1996. Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


Tagg, Philip and Bob Clarida. 2003. Ten Little Title Tunes: Towards a Musicology of the Mass Media. New York: The Mass Media Music Scholars' Press.



Journal papers and other additional reading will be given for specialist areas and case studies.
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