Professor: Huck Hodge, DMA • Office: 325 Music
This course will survey of some of the most representative films and film scores of the last 100 years while laying the groundwork for students to acquire the skills necessary to critically engage with film as a multi-media experience. Special attention will be paid to aesthetic questions arising from the fusion of sound and image as well as the psychological, political and philosophical resonances that result from this union.
Students will gain exposure to the techniques used in many artistic media that touch on the boundaries of the musicology of film (opera, theater, television, video games, etc.). In addition, they will acquire an understanding of the nature of film music‘s cultural importance, and the degree to which it can shape our emotional, philosophical and political response to cinema. This will enable students to enjoy film-going with a more thoughtful and critical eye and ear than before.
Course grades will comprise the following components:
- Attendance and Participation [10%] Attendance is mandatory. You will be required to participate in discussions in almost every class. To this end you must complete all the reading before the scheduled discussions. We will use a random number generator to determine which students will be called on to respond to questions/prompts in class.
- Assignment/Presentations [5%] 1. Masking Exercise | 2. Commutation Test
- Quizzes [15%] There will be 3 online quizzes given throughout the quarter. These will cover material from the lectures, readings and films.
- Midterm Project [30%] Using only sound effects create a 2 / 3-minute Musique Concréte composition / story.
- Final Project [40%] The final will involve scoring of a brief scene from a short silent film. You must use original or pre-existing (compilation) music AND sound design. You must pay close attention to the interaction of sound and image. You will also write a 3-page (750-word) statement describing how the techniques and ideas presented in class influence your piece.
6/18: Introduction: syllabus, goals, requirements | The beginnings of cinematic sound, the legacy of the 19th century, close listening. Diegetic/non-diegetic music, empathetic/anempathetic music, demonstration of masking exercise.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
pay particular attention to the sound / music at these points:
1:45 - 2:00, 2:30-2:40
Force Theme - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Leitmotiv through the Saga
Original Imperial March Star Wars Episode V Empire Strikes Back
Imperial March - Star Wars VI Return of the Jedi - Darth Vader's Death
(AN)EMPATHETIC / (NON)DIEGETIC?
6/20: Screening: Alexander Nevsky
(MPAA rating: NR)
6/21: Discussions on Film/Reading | Formalism and Realism | Masking Exercise
6/25: Film and desire, psychoanalytic perspectives, the Tristan chord
Vertigo: Preliminary Discussions
6/26: Screening: Vertigo
(MPAA rating: PG)
6/28: Screening: 2001: a Space Odyssey
(MPAA rating: G)
7/2: Discussion: 2001: a Space Odyssey | Commutation Test
7/3: Commutation Test | Musique Concrète | Discussion of Reading #5
Requiem for a Dream
Once Upon a Time in The West (1968) | opening sequence
7/4: NO CLASS
7/5: NO CLASS
7/9: Continue Discussion of Musique Concrète
Screening: Elephant, TBA/ Preliminary Discussions
(MPAA rating: R for disturbing violent content, language, brief sexuality and drug use - all involving teens)
7/10: Discussion of Film / Reading #6 || Midterm Project Presentations
7/11: Midterm Project Presentations
7/12: Screening: Mulholland Drive
(MPAA rating: R for explicit nudity and sexual situations, strong language, violence and disturbing images)
7/16: Discussions on Film / Reading #7
7/17: Final Project Presentations
7/18: Final Project Presentations
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