Cal Poly SLO - Department of Music
Course Information - Music 324 (History of Film Music) - Fall 2013
Office: 132 Davidson Music Center
Office Hours: Tues 11-12; Wed 1-3; Thurs 12-1; other times by appointment—just ask!
Course Description: Music 324: History of Film is a G.E. C.4 (WRITING INTENSIVE) survey
course for all upper-division students that examines the history and
masterworks of music for films, beginning with the birth of the genre and
continuing to the present day. (For the C.4 Learning Objectives, please see http://ge.calpoly.edu/content/learning-objectives-and-criteria#arts%20and%20humanities.)
Special focus will be given to developing an analytic vocabulary for musical
elements, music's function within films, and for the technology of
film-making. The course consists
of lecture/discussions, guided and independent listening and film-viewing,
written assignments, and periodic examinations. It is NOT necessary to read music in this class—but it
is essential to come to class and to do the reading assignments to earn a good
The Textbook is Roger Hickman's Reel Music: Exploring 100 Years of Film Music, W. W. Norton, 2006. Please bring your book with you every day, and please do your reading before each class.
The Course Reader, which will be found in PolyLearn AND at the course website: http://cla.calpoly.edu/~amclamor/324Film/index.html (the password will be distributed in class).
Please PRINT OUT and BRING the reader with you to class EVERY day. It contains guidelines for the assignments, a glossary, helpful tips, and many other wonderful and exciting things.
You will be given loaner cds from the Music Department, to be returned at the end of the quarter. Set up regular listening times in your weekly schedule, and listen often! The individual tracks of the Recordings are listed in the Course Reader.
Prerequisites: completion of Area A and a foundation course in Area C.
Course Requirements (Please note: the percentages are calculated using the letter grades earned, not points; “the points don’t matter.” An “A” is calculated as 4.0, an A- is 3.7, a B+ is 3.3, and so forth):
I. Two Midterms (20% each), on Oct. 17 and Nov. 7. You will need an 882 Scantron for each.
II. Two Analysis Assignments. Guidelines and forms are in the course reader.
Viewer Guide Function Analysis is due Oct. 24 (10%)
Featured Film Function & Musical Analysis is due Nov. 21 (20%)
III. A Final, on Dec. 12 (30% of the grade). Again, bring an 882 Scantron form (and return the CDs)
IV. Set Your Alarm. A large portion of the material for which you are responsible will come out of
the class lectures. It is impossible for you to 'hear' the music and 'see' the videos we covered when you review someone else's notes, so regular attendance is essential! Moreover, you need to be completely present “mentally,” so cell phones are to be turned off during class; laptops, tablets, etc., should have their wireless access disabled. If you are going to be away from campus for two or more class meetings (attending conferences, etc.) this course is not recommended for you.
V. All course requirements must be completed in order to receive a passing grade; all assignments should be completed independently. This includes developing the cue-sheets for each paper, bibliographic citations, etc. (Please see the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities website for Cal Poly’s guidelines concerning Academic Dishonesty: http://www.osrr.calpoly.edu/)
Music 324 - History of Film Music - Course Outline - Fall 2013
Week 1 Sept. 24 Tues. The Tools of Music Ch. 3; Reader pp. 7, 16-19, 24
Sept. 26 Thurs. The Tools of Music Ch. 1, 2
Week 2 Oct. 1 Tues. Functions of Film Scoring Ch. 4; Reader p. 14
Oct. 3 Thurs. Functions of Film Scoring Reader pp. 22
Week 3 Oct. 8 Tues. Functions of Film Scoring
Oct. 10 Thurs. Functions of Film Scoring; Sample Quiz (ungraded) Reader pp. 15-19, 21
Week 4 Oct. 15 Tues. Functions of Film Scoring
Oct. 17 Thurs. Exam I
Week 5 Oct. 22 Tues. Film / Film Music Operations Reader p. 25
Oct. 24 Thurs. Film / Film Music Operations; "Silent" Films; Viewer Guide Ch. 5-8
Function Analysis Due
Week 6 Oct. 29 Tues. "Silent" Films; Birth of Talkies Ch. 9; Reader pp. 15-16, 20, 26-28
Oct. 31 Thurs. Talkies; Rise of the Symphonic Film Score Ch. 10, 11
Week 7 Nov. 5 Tues. Symphonic Film Scores and the International Film World
Nov. 7 Thurs. Exam II
Week 8 Nov. 12 Tues. "1939" Ch. 12; Reader p. 29
Nov. 14 Thurs. The Golden Age Ch. 13; Reader p. 21
Week 9 Nov. 19 Tues. Styles and Genres: Film Noir Ch. 15, 17
Nov. 21 Thurs. Styles and Genres: Thriller/Suspense/Horror; Featured Film Ch. 18, 21, 22
Week 10 Nov. 26 Tues. Composer Focus: Bernard Hermann
Nov. 28 Thurs. [No Class Meeting - Thanksgiving Holiday]
Week 11 Dec. 3 Tues. Styles and Genres: Western Ch. 25, 29, 30; Reader p. 30
Dec. 5 Thurs. Beginnings and Endings Ch. 31, 32, 34
Finals Dec. 12 Thurs. Final – 4:10 PM - 7:00 PM (Please bring back your Loaner CDs)