|Music 469 - Fall 2017
Music in Motion Pictures
What is this class about?
...the ART of music in film and video. This course will discuss the process and procedures of identifying, composing, editing and mixing music and sound to motion pictures. Important composers and film scores from the Hollywood tradition will be studied within historical context. The course will guide students in what to listen for in the music and will enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of music for film. True understanding of a film score comes from observing the entire film in an appropriate cinematic setting. Our class schedule does not allow for full feature presentation, so you are encouraged to see the films under discussion in their entirety outside of class.
What materials will I need?
In addition to the text, you will need a binder with paper for note taking and handouts. Some assignments and quizzes may be submitted as computer files. You will have access to a computer in Coulter 374 should you need the advantages of this lab. You are eligible for a personal folder on the server in this lab. Please back up your work often. You should have a flash drive or other recordable media with you for this purpose. Keep them in a protective case.
What is expected of me ?
Participation is important. There are several different academic programs represented in this class, each with their unique perspectives on film. The effectiveness of this class is dependent on sharing of ideas among ourselves.
Attendance is important. If you need to be absent for any reason, please let me know in writing by email. This includes any field trip permission forms. These must be submitted before the event. After three unexcused absences (a week of class) university policy allows for your overall letter grade to be lowered by a full letter grade per subsequent absence.
Punctuality is a courtesy. Students arriving late to class will not be allowed to take any quiz in progress and will lose grade points. Material in addition to the assigned readings will be presented in class so careful attention to note taking applies. (For more information about university policy regarding attendance, please refer to the WCU Undergraduate Catalog.)
Listening, observing, and analysis are critical elements of this class. Many of your assignments and quizzes will include these activities. Some files will be posted on the Blackboard link for this class. Audio and video files are posted there (instructions below). Some DVDs and other materials are available in Hunter Library. Listening and film identification quizzes drawn from this material will be given periodically throughout the semester.
Instructions for logging on to Blackboard
A Blackboard account has been established for this course. This is a site for online resources that can assist you in learning material for this class. Assignments, handouts and quizzes will be posted on this site. In order to locate the class you must first log on to Blackboard. To access the site, click the Blackboard link on Western's homepage or you can type the web address https://wcu.blackboard.com/ into the URL box of your web browser. The Blackboard home page will load. You will be prompted for a username and a password. Blackboard requires you to login using your Catamount email account username (everything before @) and your email password (PIN). A list of classes available to you on Blackbard will appear. Select the course title (Orchestration and Arranging) from your list. The 469 Blackboard home will load. The site links should be self-explanatory. To access quizzes, click the "Assessment" button, and then click the assigned quiz link. Email or call me if you have problems! Help is available through IT services on campus at the contact information below.
The direct number for Blackboard 24/7 Support Hotline: 1-866-374-8144
IT Services Helpdesk 828- 227-7487, Monday through Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm
Toll free 866-WCU-7ITS
After Hours (5:00pm – 8:00am) weekdays, holidays, and weekends
IT Services Helpdesk 828- 227-7487, option 1
toll free 866-WCU-7ITS, option 1
Reading and Viewing Assignments.
Reading and viewing assignments for each class meeting are given in the class schedule. Although not all of this material will be discussed in class, you are responsible for the content. Questions for quizzes and exams will be drawn from this material as well as classroom presentations.
Quizzes and Exams.
Quizzes drawn from the reading and viewing assignments will be given periodically as well as midterm and final exams on material covered during the semester. These may be available via Blackboard. The final exam will be held Wednesday, December 11, from 3:00 to 5:30 PM in FPAC 130
Will I have to write a research paper?
Yes, but as a series of short writing projects that will be submitted in stages (listed below). You will choose ONE film to analyze (with approval). The analysis will include a title page, synopsis of the film, cast and crew list, a composer biographical sketch, a composer filmography, spotting notes, and a musical analysis of a cue drawn from the film (a listening guide). The project will conclude with a 10-15 minute classroom presentation near the end of the semester. Assignments are to be submitted in electronic form (.doc, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .mov, .pps, etc.). The project must be drawn from a composer and film scores OTHER than the eight films highlighted in the Karlin text. The procedures are outlined below:
1. Select a film that is representative of the important work of a prominent film composer. Write a brief synopsis of the film, 1-2 pages. Include a title page. Attach a list of the cast and crew - the important film personnel including writer, director, producer, cinematographer, composer, prominent cast members. etc.
2. Develop a brief biographical sketch of the composer, 1-2 pages. Attach a chronological filmography of the composer, listing major films scored and date of release. IMdb.com is a good starting point but other sources should be consulted as well. Be prepared to discuss composer biographical details in subsequent classes.
3. Create spotting notes for the film. Identify and list the musical cues in the film, providing a cue number and start and stop times for each cue. Cues often coincide with scenes and titles and may be drawn from DVD indices. Large cues that span more than one scene may be broken into smaller ones. List each cue and give the location, a brief description of the start and stop points, key hits and the basic action of the scene. This is a time consuming process that will require repeated viewing of the film. A Microsoft Word file "Spotting Notes Template" is provided to properly format the assignment.
4. Choose at least one important musical cue from the film and analyze the music. Discuss the function of the music. Consider the form and phrase structure; harmonic language and melodic construction; tempo, meter and rhythmic elements; instrumentation and tone color; dynamics and other expressive qualities; and any aesthetic or external considerations (such as leitmotifs or special effects). How does the music work with the other sound elements in the cue? It is these factors as they relate to the film action that is the main focus of the discussion. A Microsoft Word file "Cue Breakdown template" is provided to properly format the assignment
This will be a listening guide to accompany the cue. Include a cue timeline and identify the musical characteristics at each point. Think of this as a chronological outline of the main points of your analysis. The presentation will be delivered to the class members to follow during your class presentations. Representative listening guides are available as examples for clarification.
5. The completed paper! Create a short ANNOTATED bibliography of
sources for your research. You may use liner notes and special
feature information from DVDs, but you should include at least three
other reputable sources. Avoid sources exclusive from the web. We will upload a PDF of the combined projects as a single file to a shared folder so that we can share our work with one another.
NOTE: This will be included with the submission of the completed paper reflecting any revisions or changes to the previous submissions.
6. Depending upon the size of the class, all students will present the representative cue to the class. Handouts and the listening guide to accompany the music in text format are acceptable but PowerPoint, interactive DVDs, Web pages or other displays that incorporate audio, video, graphics and text are preferred.
Movies were made to be seen in a theater where high quality image and surround audio add to the experience. Films are shown regularly in the University Center, a good opportunity to see current features.
Films presented in this course are selected for the significance of the relationship between music and drama. Please note that some of these may be "R" rated and may contain adult themes, language and visuals. Ratings beyond this level are considered inappropriate for class presentation. Themes and other subject matter for the films and videos discussed in class do not necessarily reflect personal viewpoints of the instructor or those of the university.
Cell phone/Electronic Device Policy:
Electronic devices are to be turned off and put away before class begins, unless the instructor has been notified ahead of time that you have a reasonable expectation of receiving an emergency call. Text messaging is not permitted at any time during class. Using a laptop computer during class for an unrelated activity (i.e. email, Facebook, games, etc.) is not permitted. The instructor reserves the right to confiscate the device for the class period and reduce your course average by 5% per incident. Much of our class time involves viewing film clips and listening to music. It is best that you give your full attention to class activities.
The CourseEval web evaluation links will be active in the last few weeks of the semester. Please take advantage of this opportunity to give us your feedback on the class.
Academic Honesty Policy:
Western Carolina University, a community of scholarship, is also a community of honor. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students work together to achieve the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense at WCU because it threatens the quality of scholarship and defrauds those who depend on knowledge and integrity. Academic dishonesty includes the following:
A. Cheating. Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
B. Fabrication. Intentional falsification or invention of information or citation in an academic exercise.
C. Plagiarism. Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in an academic exercise.
D. Facilitation of Academic Dishonesty. Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty, such as knowingly allowing another to copy information during an examination or other academic exercise.
For specific information on procedures for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty, see relevant sections in the Students Handbook and the Student Success website under Student Community Ethics.
Office of Disability Services:
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. Students who require reasonable accommodations must identify themselves as having a disability and/or medical condition and provide current diagnostic documentation to the Office of Disability Services. All information is confidential. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at (828) 227-3886 or come by Suite 135 Killian Annex for an appointment.
Student Support Services:
Student Support Services provides support to students who are either first-generation, low-income or those who have disclosed a disability with: academic advising, mentoring, one-on-one tutorial support, and workshops focused on career, financial aid and graduate school preparation. You may contact SSS at (828) 227-7127 or email email@example.com for more information. SSS is located in the Killian Annex, room 138.
Writing and Learning Common (WaLC):
Electronic format (with hyperlinks):
The Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC), located in BELK 207, provides free small-group course tutoring, one-on-one writing tutoring and academic skills consultations, and online writing and learning resources for all students. All tutoring sessions take place in the WaLC or in designated classrooms on campus. To schedule tutoring appointments, log in to TutorTrac from the WaLC homepage (walc.wcu.edu) or call 828-227-2274. Distance students and students taking classes at Biltmore Park are encouraged to use Smarthinking and the WaLC’s online resources. Students may also take advantage of writing tutoring offered at the Biltmore Park campus on certain days of the week; call 828-227-2274 or log in to TutorTrac and select “Biltmore Park Writing Tutoring” for availabilities.
The Mathematics Tutoring Center: (455 Stillwell, http://mathlab.wcu.edu, 227-3830) provides tutoring in all lower-division math and many CS courses, help with mathematical concepts in other disciplines, and workshops on study skills specific to mathematics courses. Tutoring is available on a drop-in basis, 9-5 and 6-9 pm Monday-Thursday, and 9-5 on Friday or by appointment.
Academic Calendar: includes dates for all breaks, university closures, final exams, etc. The academic calendar can be found at: http://www.wcu.edu/academics/campus-academic-resources/registrars-office/academic-calendar.asp.