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    A critical examination of film music from the late nineteenth century to present day, including film music genres, composers and styles.

    Students will explore music styles in film, techniques of scoring, and the commercial side of film music. This paper examines the relationship between sound and image, while developing critical skills in listening and viewing. Students are introduced to key theoretical literature, works and composers.

    About this paper

    Paper title Film Music
    Subject Music
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level MFCO or MUSI points
    MUSI 266
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
    No prior musical knowledge in music notation and theory is required.

    Teaching staff

    Paper Coordinator: Professor Henry Johnson

    Teaching Staff: Professor Henry Johnson
    Professor Peter Adams

    Teaching Arrangements
    One 1-hour lecture, one 2-hour screening and one 50-minute seminar per week.

    Please contact the School of Performing Arts office for information about required readings.

    Course outline

    Please contact the School of Performing Arts office ( for a copy of the most recent paper profile.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Develop a critical understanding of the role of music in film
    • Gain a familiarity of the characteristics of the sound-image relationship
    • Develop an understanding of film music within broader social and cultural contexts
    • Gain an awareness of famous film composers and their works
    • Develop an understanding of the role of technology in the development of music and film
    • Gain the ability to identify diverse types of film music
    • Develop skills in interdisciplinary research
    • Develop skills in the critical appraisal of diverse types of film music


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system

    Film Screening

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 09:00-10:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-22
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