Music and the Moving Image
Philip Tagg, Faculté de musique, Universitéde
Outline of module (MUSI 223) developed at University of
Liverpool (UK), 1993-2002,
General information for
Music and the Moving Image, 1 [MUSI 223]
This module covers three main areas:  the functions
of music for the moving image;  the history of film and TV music; 
the aesthetics and semiotics of film music.
We listen to a lot of music and watch a fair amount
of footage, discussing in some detail music's role in communicating "what
the pictures can't say". In the historical section we cover the precursors
to film music, music for the silent film, music for "classical"
Hollywood movies, the widening of musical repertoire in post-war cinema,
the advent of TV and its influences on music for the moving image. Timetable
permitting, we usually end with a short survey of music video and music
for computer games. We also cover basic cinematic terminology and discuss
the technological aspects of music for the moving image.
The module is optional for all second- or third-year
students in the Music Department and in the IPM (W300, W310, W330, MAs),
as well as for Combined Honours students. It is a prerequisite for those
wishing to take the more composition-orientated module Music and the Moving
Image 2 (MUSI 224). Although advantageous, notational skills are not required
of those following Music and the Moving Image 1 (this module). However,
a keen interest in the subject and a good ear are essential.
By the end of this module students ought to have
a much better understanding of how music works in conjunction with moving
images. They ought to be able to approach composition with greater confidence
and have enough knowledge to be able to work more efficiently and with
greater confidence in other fields of musical or cinematic activity.
Course materials for Music
and the Moving Image, 1 [MUSI 223]
word | Recorded
Students on this module are required to read all
literature listed under Essential reading,
Other literature (recommended, not compulsory) is included (shown as bold
type) in the accompanying film music bibliography.
handouts for this module are available ONLY FROM THIS WEBSITE. I
neither store, classify, administer nor distribute any hard copy.
Essential reading (MUSI 223)
All titles written and/or edited
by P Tagg except where otherwise stated
Prendergast, Roy M (1977, 2nd ed. 1992). Film
Music: a Neglected Art. The history and techniques of a new
art form from silent films to the present day (268 pp.). New York: W
W Norton. ISBN 0-393-00862-2.
assignments, instructions, etc. (MUSI 223)
NB. PDF files can only be accessed using
reading (MUSI 223)
You should be well acquainted with
the following two documents:
You should have studied the following
(see also recorded materials)
Texts about silent film elsewhere
on the internet:
relating to The Mission (Morricone 1986)
from Ernö Rapée's Motion Picture Moods for Pianists
(New York, 1924)
to the restrictive practices of copyright law in this part of the world
with reference to education and research, no audio or video materials
can be centrally duplicated for the benefit of students on this or any
other module. The course tutor's personal recorded audio repertoire
collection of film music excerpts is, however, available to MMI1
students for individual listening purposes. These recordings
are accompanied by documentation of that repertoire.
in Music and the Moving Image 1 (MUSI 223)
Coursework assignments count for 60%,
the exam for 40% of assessment on this module.
Coursework is weighted as follows
film assignment (oral/written presentation) 9%
spotting and analysis assignment: 40% (cue
spotting 14%, analysis 14%, language and presentation
and participation: 11%
Exam in Music and the Moving Image 1 (MUSI 223)
This three-hour examination is scheduled
for some time (probably a Monday 1000-1300) in the second week of January.
The exam counts for 40% of assessment in this module. Coursework
counts for 60% of assessment.
The exam consists of three questions. The questions are of the
analysis (1 hour). You will be played a two short extracts on video
from a film. You will be expected to write with insight about the structures
and functions of music used in those extracts.
of questions requiring short answers. You will be tested on retention
of factual knowledge about [i] functions of film music, [ii] history
of film music (including topics covered in lectures and in the set literature).
question. You will choose from one of two topics and write an essay
discussing the relevant issue[s]. The topics offered will have been
covered in teaching sessions and/or in course literature.
Question 1 counts for 34%, questions 2 and 3 for
33% each of the total maximum marks for the exam.