Introduction to Film Music: History, Styles and Techniques
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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This course provides a wide-ranging survey of the many kinds of music that has been written for and used in films of all types during the past one hundred years. It pays particular attention to the origins of its many styles and effects found in the music of composers from the world of classical music, but it also considers some of the most significant composers of film music, such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Bernard Herrmann and John Williams.
The course syllabus will consider the following topics:
- The history of film music.
- The origins of its styles and effects found in the music of composers from the world of classical music – e.g. Richard Wagner and Gustav Holst.
- Case studies of seminal film composers and film scores, such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold (The Adventures of Robin Hood), Bernard Herrmann (Psycho, North by Northwest) and John Williams (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List).
Who is this course for?
Anyone who is interested in film music and who would like to know more about its history, musical styles and techniques.
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching are undertaken by means of lectures illustrated at the keyboard and through use of CDs and DVDs. From time to time, scores of the music under consideration are made available and, occasionally, historical documentation, the aim being to stimulate students into discussion and debate, and further exploration.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
It goes without saying that students’ understanding of the music studied in a course is usually considerably enhanced if they read and write about it. You will not have a formal examination but you will be asked to produce some written work. This need not be an essay: it can take the form of a course journal, portfolio, presentation, performance, or a class test. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Mervyn Cooke, A History of Film Music (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
- Kathryn Kalinak: Film Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2010)
- Peter Larson, Film Music (Reaktion Books, 2007)
What else is on offer?
If this course interests you then you should be aware that the Centre for Lifelong Learning offers a number of varied and exciting music courses. Please see our Choices Catalogue for further details, or visit our website, www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/ and click on ‘Music’.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.