MUSI2044 Film Music
Course Type: disciplinary elective for music majors/minors, free elective for others
Prerequisite: NIL
Instructor: Professor Giorgio BIANCOROSSO
Semester: First Semester 2022/23
Time: 1:30pm-3:20pm, Tuesday
Venue: CPD-LG1.22 Rehearsal Room
What does music contribute to a fiction film? When is it used? And why is it there in the first place? Directors use music with an effect in mind and it is music’s force in the “here and now” of the movie-going experience that we will try to describe. To do so, we will study films from various cinematic traditions through the various ways in which music functions within them as a powerful meaning-making element. Under the assumption that film is an audio-visual medium, we will examine individual works representative of different genres––musicals, horrors, dramas, comedies, and cartoons. Consideration will be given to the relationship between music and image as well as music and sound as they emerge from close readings of individual scenes. We will also look at how music is represented in the story world of the film, whether a character performs, listens to, or ignores it.
At the end of this course, students who fulfil the requirements of this course will be able to:
  • appreciate the combination of music and moving images from a new, and theoretically more informed, perspective;
  • demonstrate a deep awareness of music in cinema and its roots in drama, radio, and the use of music in everyday life;
  • utilize a broad conceptual and perceptual toolkit for the appreciation of film as a sonic art.
Midterm ‘Take-Home’ Exam 50%
Final Paper 50%
  • The Transition from ‘Silent’ to ‘Sound’ Cinema
  • Film and the Radio
  • Symphonic Scores
  • Film Genres: the Musical
  • Famed Collaborations (I): Hitchcock/Herrmann
  • Famed Collaborations (II): Fellini/Rota
  • Kubrick and the Use of Classical Music
  • Sounds of Hong Kong Cinema
  • The Film Composer: Homage to Morricone
Selected readings and listening/viewing materials are either available on Moodle or on reserve at the Music Library.