GE1128 - Music for Film

Offering Academic Unit
School of Creative Media
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
GE Area
Area 1: Arts and Humanities
Course Offering Term*:
Semester A 2020/21

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Hong Kong has one of the highest cinemagoers per capita in the world and it could be argued that cinema is an integral part of Hong Kong culture. Given this, very little study is offered within Hong Kong institutions of higher education in the area of film soundtrack studies. As compared to other similar courses offered at leading institutions abroad, this course is unique, as it has been designed by a film composer and not by a musicologist or film historian.

Using contemporary Hollywood filmmaking practice as a framework, students will learn the role and function of music and soundscape design (not sound effects) for film through 2hr weekly lectures and 1hr weekly tutorial case study sessions. Students will gain an appreciation and first-hand insight into the art and craft of creating music and soundscape design for film via summative and formative assessment tasks, ranging from movie soundtrack critiques, through to practical assignments requiring music and sound to be selected, placed and edited juxtaposed to moving image footage.

The main aims of this course are:

  • To bring awareness for none-musicians and musicians alike, as to the role and function of music for film and how to effectively integrate soundscape design to support storytelling.
  • To establish a framework, both historic and contemporary Hollywood film scoring practice will be examined, tracing key composers, their influence and impact to specific film genres across the 20th and 21st centuries. Within selected genres, scene types and their archetypes, musical treatments will be discussed and compared between the Hollywood approach and that of non-Western filmmakers.
  • To bring an understanding of the impact technology has had upon the filmmaking production process and how this has affected the music and sound creation process.
  • To reveal how recording real musicians can greatly enhance the emotional experience for an audience as compare to using virtual instruments generated via a computer.
  • To enlighten students of the associative power that music can have on the human experience and cultural context of cognition.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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School of Creative Media