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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Film Music to 1950 (MUSI10075)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course combines historical, theoretical and analytical approaches to the role of music in film up to the mid-twentieth century. The course is organized around a series of films and key readings, with each class focusing on a particular idea or issue, supported by suggestions for follow-up viewing, listening, and reading. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to explore how the role of music in film may be viewed in political terms. Examples of class topics might include discussions of mainstream "classical" scoring, early experiments in synchronized sound, film scoring and the Second World War, film music and gender, the role(s) of song, film and music and the avant-garde.
Course description Each teaching block on the course has a different focus: block 1 - the silent era; block 2 - the synchronized sound era. The students will work towards a presentation in either the first or second block. In each block, there will be an exploration of historical context, incorporating a discussion of technology and economics as well as aesthetics, theoretical arguments (for or against film music, what film music 'should' aim to achieve etc.), and examples of analysis/interpretation. Each week's screening will form the basis of the lecture/seminar to follow. In relation to the silent era, students will have the opportunity to present practical work, which may then feed into their first assessed project. This might include an exploration of improvisation to silent film: whether historically informed, or based on current techniques and tools, and/or an exploration of producing sound effects to image/speaking to film. In the classes focused on the sound era, students will present on scholarly literature and/or analyses of particular film sequences.

Films will likely be drawn from the following list, but will also include examples from early one/two reel films, and examples of experimental shorts (both silent and sound): Way Down East (1920) Metropolis (1926), Applause (1929), King Kong (1933), 42nd Street (1933), Rebecca (1940) The Big Sleep (1946), The Red Shoes (1948), Scott of the Antarctic (1948).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Music 2A: Music and Ideas from the Middle Ages to Viennese Classicism (MUSI08060) OR Music 2B: Music and Ideas from Romanticism to the Late Twentieth Century (MUSI08061) OR Composition 1 (MUSI08067)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
A primary focus of this course is to enable students to develop an awareness and understanding of academic approaches to film music, drawing on both musicology and film studies. Students will be expected to discuss and analyse the use of music in films, drawing on a range of approaches. Students will thus develop analytical skills and critical awareness. Through study students will also develop research methods, the ability to read critically, the ability to evaluate arguments and articulate their conclusions in written and spoken presentations.
Students will familiarise themselves with a number of set films, which will form the basis of the classes. They will develop an awareness of the impact of technology and economics on the aesthetics of film music. They will also familiarise themselves with theoretical texts concerning film sound and music.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 2-hour Seminar in weeks 1-5, 7-11.
2-hour Film Screening in weeks 1-5, 7-11.
KeywordsFilm Music history hstorical
Course organiserDr Annette Davison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2426
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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