This course is an introduction to classic film scores, music written for movies from the late 1920s to the 1960s. At the same time, we will deal with film sound in general: the technology that made silent movies talk, the rules and tricks of sound and music production for film, and the scientific and aesthetic theories behind different approaches to the soundtrack. One goal of the course is for students to learn to listen analytically to what is heard on a soundtrack. Another is to get a sense for the ways that European classical music (opera and symphony) influenced and continues to influence film composers. Students do not need to read music for this course: we deal with film music on an aural basis and look at musical notation occasionally. Some Musical background (for example, playing an instrument) could be helpful.
In a two-part post, the Penn Gazette Arts and Culture blog features music listening suggestions from various staff and faculty at the Music Department. Both Part 1 and Part 2 highlight some new and interesting summer listening suggestions.