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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 Students should have reached Grade V Theory (or equivalent), i.e. have a reasonable level of understanding of functional harmony.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents must have studied Music as a Major component of their degree programme for at least two years at a University elsewhere.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  31
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, External Visit Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. A project on music in the silent era (45%)
2. Essay on sound era (45%)
3. Presentation through course (10%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback for the project, essay and presentation within 15 working days of the submission date.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Familiarity with a range of academic approaches to film music (historical, theoretical, analytical)
  2. Awareness of the impact of technology and economics on the aesthetics of film music
  3. The ability to discuss and analyse the use of music in films in a critically-informed manner
  4. The ability to respond creatively to a selected film extract
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,historical,film music
Course organiserDr Annette Davison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2426
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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