MUSIC240-22B (NET)

Creative 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 creating music for screen idioms using a digital audio workstation (DAW).

Course content balances practical elements with theoretical and historical background, and is designed to complement the Music (BMus and BA) programme, Screen and Media (BA) programme, and Communication (BC) programme. The paper offers music, film, and computer science students an opportunity 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 experimental film

5. Commercial and corporate promotional video

6. Video game music and sound design

Some of the industry standard applications for putting music to visuals will be introduced and relevant principles covered. 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 take a fortnight to work through.

This paper has a blended delivery mode, meaning that face-to-face tutorials in a seminar-style format will be complemented by online materials which are made available via Moodle.

NOTE: In the event of a need to move to non-contact teaching – for example caused by a lockdown due to a recurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic – paper delivery will continue as scheduled but restricted to online teaching.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper 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. Students will understand the theory and historical background underpinning the practical work.

    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
23 Aug 2022
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
13 Sep 2022
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test
13 Oct 2022
No set time
4. Creative Project 2
18 Oct 2022
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Short exercises/quizzes
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
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 Da Vinci Resolve 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

Lack, Russell Twenty-Four Frames Under: A Buried History Of Film Music

Prendergast, Roy M. Film Music, A Neglected Art

Film Scoring

Bell, David A. Getting the best score for your film : a filmmakers' guide to music scoring

Davis, Richard. Complete Guide to film Scoring

Music Composition

Cope, David New Directions in Music


Adler, Samuel The Study of Orchestration

Blatter, Joseph Instrumentation and Orchestration

Ostrander, Arthur, and Dana Wilson Contemporary Choral Arranging

Russo, William Jazz Composition and Orchestration


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. You are also encouraged to browse both relevant online resources and the physical shelves of the Library. There are many stimulating and useful books and music scores held there. There also are many potentially relevant resources online, but treat them all with a critical awareness.

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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.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: MUSIC140 or MUSI140




Restricted papers: MUSI240

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