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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Common Courses

Postgraduate Course: Music and Image (ELCC11023)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe purpose of this MSc course is to encourage in-depth understanding of the relationship between the imagery and cinematographic techniques in diverse film traditions (and some operas), and their accompanying musical scores. The transition from 'silent' cinema to quite a wide range of sound/talking film approaches to the cinematographic art will be studied. Traditionally most film score composers had background training in European classical music but as the years on influences on film music have been more diverse to include popular and electronic music.
Course description The course will familiarise students with the principles and debates of intermedial research, develop their analytical skills, and prepare them for the requirements of specific assignments, within respective intellectual frameworks. In particular it will help them develop their skills both in music analysis and cinematographic techniques and the points of intersection and areas of synergy between the two.

Set works will include:-

Weeks 1&2: Opera

Mozart The Magic Flute
Verdi La Traviata

Week 3: Silent cinema

Emile Raynaud's Pantomimes lumineuses (1892)
Eisenstein The Battleship Potemkin (1925) - extracts
Chaplin Modern Times (1936)

Week 4: First sound film

Crosland's The Jazz Singer (1927) with Al Jolson

Week 5: Hollywood golden age and film noir

Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929)
Lang's The Secret Beyond the Door (1948)

Week 6: French classic, 'new wave', and Italian

Vigo's Zéro de conduite (1933) (extracts)
Fellini's La Strada (1954)
Resnais Hiroshima mon amour (1959)
Godard's A Bout de souffle (1960) (extracts)

Week 7: British cinema

Schlesinger's Billy Liar (1963)
Cattaneo's The Full Monty (1997)
Loach's My Name is Joe (1998) (extracts)

Week 8: Students propose films/film extracts for analysis and discussion in class

Week 9: Indian cinema

Mehboob's Mother India (1957)
Ray's Jalsaghar (1958)

Week 10: Japanese cinema

Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953)
Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Student Learning Experience

Classes will begin with an introductory talk from the Course Organiser accompanied by a powerpoint presentation in which key issues will be set out in relation to the given topic of the week.

This will be followed by group work discussions oriented by supplied questions, with some group tasks to be accomplished. There will be short individual and group presentations. Ultimately students' achievement, i.e. evidence of the evolution in their learning in this area, will be demonstrated and measured in their end of semester assessed essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework

30% - Individual in-class presentation
70% - End of semester essay
Feedback Students will receive individual feedback for their coursework submission. Hence there will be written feedback to students' end of semester essays, but also formative assessment accompanied by verbal feedback in the course of the semester. Each student will prepare and deliver a presentation to the whole group in the course of semester, an exercise which will offer the opportunity to give him or her verbal feedback on progress made. Students are welcome to discuss their essay plans with the Course Organiser and will have the possibility of coming to their office hour to speak in private regarding their work.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Use a number of research technologies, including online resources and databases.
  2. Identify and formulate research problems in Intermediality, drawing upon peer-reviewed secondary resources.
  3. Develop skills in literary, film and visual analysis.
  4. Develop the ability to approach analysis of multimedia artforms.
Reading List
Essential Reading

Abbate, Carolyn Unsung Voices: Opera and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century Princeton University Press, 1991

Abel, Richard and Altman, Rick The Sounds of Early Cinema Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2001

Booth, Wayne The Craft of Research Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016

Desjardins, Christian Inside Film Music Composers Speak Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2006

Inglis, Ian, ed. Popular Music and Film London: Wallflower Press, 2003

Mera, Miguel and Burnand, David eds. European Film Music Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006

Swynnoe, Jan G. The Best Years of British Film Music, 1936-58 Woodbridge, the Boydell Press, 2002

Tambling, Jeremy Opera, Ideology and Film Manchester University Press: 1987


Bordwell, David. Film Art: An Introduction, New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2020.

Cottrell, S. Critical thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Davis, Darrell Picturing Japaneseness: Monumental Style, National Identity, Japanese Film New York: Columbia University Press, 1996

Gibbs, John. Mise-En-Scene: Film Style and Interpretation. New York: Wallflower Press, 2002.

Glyn Davis, Kay Dickinson, Lisa Patti, and Amy Villarejo, eds. Film Studies: A Global Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Godfrey, Jeanne. How to Use Your Reading in Your Essays, London: Macmillan Education, 2018.

Lampl, Kenneth Film Music the basics (Routledge, 2024)

Ryan Michael. A Complete Guide to Literary Analysis and Theory. Abindon Oxon: Routledge, 2023.

Silverman, Jonathan, and Dean Rader. The World Is a Text: Writing About Visual and Popular Culture, Ontario, Canada: Broadview Press, 2018.

Soles, Derek. 2003. Writing an Academic Essay: How to Plan, Draft, Revise and Write Essays. Taunton: Studymates.

Wennekes and Audissino (eds) Cinema Changes: Incorporations of Jazz in the Film Soundtrack Brepols, 2019


Egorova, Tatiana Soviet Film Music: An Historical Survey Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997

Eyman, Scott The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-30 The John Hopkins University Press, 1997

Flinn, Caryl Strains of Utopia: Gender, Nostalgia and Hollywood Film Music Princeton University Press, 1992
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills research and enquiry
creative problem solving
critical and reflective thinking
articulate communication
personal and intellectual autonomy
self-organization and effectiveness
KeywordsIntermediality,Film techniques,Musical scoring,Narrative exposition
Course organiserDr Samuel Coombes
Course secretary
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