Module code: MUSM053

Module Overview

The purpose of the module is to develop your existing knowledge of film music theory and scholarship as well as providing opportunities for suitably experienced students to enhance their practice in writing for the screen.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

BARHAM Jeremy (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 4

Independent Learning Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Familiarity with the basic history and theory of screen music

Module content

Analytical, historical and critical aspects of the module will address selected issues as they impinge on the functions and analysis of screen music, such as the sound of silent film, surrealism, the notion of diegesis, science-fiction and horror genres, screen music and temporality, pre-existent music, visual music, jazz on screen, film form and narrative structures

Repertoire will be selected according to the interests of the students and may include silent film, early non-Hollywood sound film, Hollywood Golden Age, Hitchcock, French New Wave, animation, documentary film, horror and sci-fi film, Bunuel, Eisenstein

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop new, historical, theoretical, critical and aesthetic concepts and practical skills. 

Preparation for, and execution of, the student-led discussions and the first (observational and analytical) assignment provide opportunities for formative assessment and feedback, and a stepping stone to the wider-ranging second assignment

Students will be required to conduct informal discussion at two points during the module, either singly or in groups, on a topic related to the lecture content

Both assignments offer opportunity for (interim) and final summative assessment

Coursework 1 (25% of final grade): analysis of the music and sound of a chosen film extract, involving observation in the form of a detailed cue sheet, used as the basis for critical comment on the function, placing, frequency, and structure of the music cues in relation to image, scene construction and narrative content. (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Coursework 2 (75% of final grade): EITHER an extended written project investigating a topic of special interest to the student (for example a single film, composer, set of related films, idea or concept, historical, analytical, or aesthetic issue within screen music studies); OR a mini portfolio of screen scoring, plus critical commentary outlining the methods and aims of the creative work produced (Learning outcomes 1-7).

Module aims

  • To address a range of historical, theoretical and technical aspects of screen (film/video/TV) media and associated musics.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate systematic understanding and critical awareness of the historical development of screen media and associated musics.   KCT
2 Demonstrate awareness of various aspects of screen music theory and technique such as film form, film and culture, film interpretation and the role of music in film narrative. KCT
3 Develop aesthetic understanding of, and practical skills and techniques in, image-music synchronization through editing, synthesis, computer scoring, and screen score analysis. KCPT
4 Demonstrate scholarly and practical skills commensurate with professional standards of research and scoring. CPT
5 Undertake critical evaluation of current research and associated methodologies and propose alternative hypotheses in the scholarly field. KCT
6 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques/methodologies applicable to your work. KCT
7 Demonstrate independent and self-critical learning and know when and how to make appropriate use of others. CT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module comprises 11 2-hour lectures.The lecturer will introduce key general concepts and specific examples in an overview of the field of study and the critical literature. This will be complemented by tutorial practical tuition (for composers) or tutorial academic discussion (for those choosing the essay option), and developed through class discussion and/or short, prepared presentations by students.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUSM053

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.