MUSIC240-19B (HAM)

Music Technology 2: Music and Visuals

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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Paper Description

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An introduction to music for screen idioms and its composition through digital sound generation.

This course is designed to complement the Music programme, Screen and Media programme, and Multimedia (BMCT) programme. It gives music, film, and computer science students a chance to broaden their skills in screen music composition, and in non-linear music idioms. The MUSI140 pre-requisite ensures that students have some knowledge of new music technology and its application to modern music writing and arranging techniques.

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Paper Structure

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The paper consists of six modules, each two weeks long and is based on musical, technical and practical components.

The modules are as follows:

1. The music video

2. Feature film and television series

3. Generative music, interactive and multichannel diffusion

4. Short and/or experimental film

5. Commercial and corporate promotional video

6. Video game music and sound design

Some of the key principal applications of music to visuals will be touched on and relevant principles introduced. Students must work through all the modules but will choose any two to focus on, and their practical creative projects will come from these two choices.

Each module will consist of two lectures and two practical (lab) sessions, so will take a fortnight to work through.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes and aims

    This paper is designed to provide a practical introduction to skills and theory of creating music and sound design for audio/ video situations including the music video, music for feature films, sound and music for experimental film, sound design and music for corporate video productions, interactive and generative multimedia works, and music and sound design for video games.

    A very wide spectrum of musical styles and approaches will be incorporated.

    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assignment detail will be distributed separate to the outline on Moodle.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Creative Assignment 1
15 Aug 2019
No set time
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
16 Aug 2019
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test
8 Oct 2019
No set time
4. Creative Project 2
10 Oct 2019
No set time
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Tutorial material required for learning Max7, Ableton, and Vizzie will be made available in PDF format through Moodle.

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Recommended Readings

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Music and Visual Media

Bennet, James Gordon. Design Fundamentals for New Media, 2nd edition

Cook, Nicholas. Analysing Musical Multimedia

Roberts-Breslin, Jan. Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image Production

Film Music

Bazelon, Irwin Knowing the Score: Notes on Film Music. N.Y. : Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1975.

Bell, David A. Getting the best score for your film : a filmmakers' guide to music scoring Los Angeles : Silman-James Press, 1994.

Brown, R.S . Overtones and undertones : reading film music. University of California Press, 1994.Burt, George The art of film music : special emphasis on Hugo Friedhofer, Alex North, David Raksin, Leonard Rosenman. Northeastern University Press, 1994.

Flinn, Caryl Strains of Utopia: gender, nostalgia and Hollywood film music. Princeton University Press, 1992.

Kalinak, K., Settling the Score: music and the classical Hollywood film. University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Fred Karlin Listening To Movies : The Film Lover's Guide To Film New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994.

Lack, Russell Twenty-Four Frames Under: A Buried History Of Film Music. London: Quartet Books, 1997

Prendergast, Roy M. Film Music, A Neglected Art. London: W.W. Norton & Company (2nd Edition).

Film Scoring

Hagan, Earle Advanced Scoring For Films. Century City, CA: E.D.J. Music Publishers, 1989.

Hagen, Earle Scoring For Films. N.Y.: Criterion Music Corp, 1971.

Fred Karlin, Rayburn Wright On The Track : A Guide To Contemporary Film Scoring. Schirmer Books London : Collier Macmillan, 1990.

Music Composition

Cope, David New Directions in Music. Dubuque. IA: William C. Brown, 1971.


Adler, Samuel The Study of Orchestration. N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., (current edition)

Ostrander, Arthur, and Dana Wilson Contemporary Choral Arranging. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.

Russo, William Jazz Composition and Orchestration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.


Periodicals (in University Library):

Organized Sound


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Other Resources

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Extensive and intelligent listening is one of the primary ways to develop good composition and arranging skills and build a wide musical knowledge necessary to score for films in a sensitive manner. The University library subscribes to Naxos Music Library, which you have free access to as an enrolled student.

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Online Support

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Course information—including assignment specifications and technical material—will be loaded onto Moodle throughout the course. There will also be open forums on Moodle that students can use to ask questions to each other and the lecturers on course-related material.


Information on software will be provided in the lectures for the relevant assignments. Students may wish to use Max for the non-linear assignments. A student license for this programme can be purchased for a small amount (approximately $70). However, students may use any software and hardware they choose which is appropriate to assignments. The Lab computers have Max, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, East West samples and Garageband loaded on them.

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The workload is given in the lecture schedule and the three hours minimum lab book time student enter to complete all practical work for the course

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: MUSIC140




Restricted papers: MUSI240

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