Music/Scoring for Media Artists  


SPRING 2017 | April 3 - June 12, 2017
Office Hours – Monday 2:00 - 2:50pm and Tuesday 4:30 - 5:20pm at VAF 511

Our pedagogy of media is grounded in the conceptual and aesthetic fundamentals of contemporary media practice. Music can be a strategy ill-defined or clumsily “found” as a post-production asset in media assignments. This course will ask: What function does music serve? What techniques can be used to deploy music in ways that deepen the conceptual and aesthetic material of our work? How can our music do more than simply accompanying a scene? When and how can music and sound-design intersect?

Following up from lessons of sound-art and sound-design taught at the Intermediate level of the Media major, this Advanced production class rests on a belief that rigorous practice and research foster critical thinking, skill-learning, and creativity. This VIS 131 will provide prompts designed to teach students to make music for original media works. Students will be required to learn fundamentals of music theory and conventional software tools for composing, editing, and producing music. Students will learn from an intensive and practice-based approach to production, research, experimentation and critical engagement with the medium itself.

Readings will be made available on reserve at the library or handed out in-class.
THREE production workshops at the appropriate level must be attended at the Media Lab

50% will be based on assigned prompts
20% will be based on drills, film-score reports and presentation briefs throughout the quarter.
30% will be based on participation in discussions and critiques.

N.B. To be clear: walking through the door and sitting at your desk is not “participation” in a college-level class; more is being asked of you. Participation requires active engagement in the discourse of our course. Examples include: provide individual insight into examples show in class, provide feedback to peers during critique, visiting Office Hours with questions or ideas to discuss, active discussion during class-time. If you have discovered other ways to participate, please speak with me to discuss whether or not these variations will meet this high standard.

Music Pedagogy through Practice and Research
Students will be expected to demonstrate learning of new techniques and theories in this course. These include fundamentals of music theory, arranging, and production of music for motion-picture and media projects. Your homework will include both practical and research methods. You will be required to practice using the Pro Tools and Reason platforms to generate musical ideas, resulting ultimately in a polished score of a scene of original work. As research you will be required to watch films every week and analyze the use of music in key scenes or sequences. Watching and listening to the ways filmmakers utilize and produce music will be critical to developing techniques for your own creative and production choices.

I will only accept assignments late in an emergency situation about which you have spoken with me directly.If you miss class on a day something is due, I will not accept your work late. Late work will be accepted at Instructor’s discretion.

Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting. If you are away-from-class, you will be considered absent (notwithstanding absence due to illness - a note from student health-services or a doctor will be necessary). This class only meets once per week, which amplifies the need to attend all class meetings.

One unexcused absence = Lower final grade by one letter

Each additional absence = Lower final grade by an additional letter

Arriving to class late twice will be noted as an “absence.”


updated April 2, 2017