Music and Sound for Film, Television and Media - CMAT5080

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Richard Lightman checkmark-circle


The module investigates music for media in both theory and practice. The focus will be on music used in moving image media, including an exploration of musical languages and compositional techniques commonly deployed in relation to moving images. Students also study film music history, gaining insight into critical approaches that have informed the practice.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 22
Independent study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Individual Film Composition Project (5 min) 80%
Reflective Commentary (600 words) 20%

Reassessment methods

like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Altman, R. (2000). 'Inventing the Cinema Soundtrack: Hollywood Multiplane Sound System'. In: Buhler, J & Flinn, C. eds. Music and Cinema. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Cooke, M. (2008). A History of Film Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Davison, A. (2003). Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice: Cinema Soundtracks in the 1980s and 1990s. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Donnelly, K. ed. (2001). Film Music: Critical Approaches. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Kalinak, K. (2000). Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Karlin, F. (2004). On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring. London: Routledge.
Kassabian, A. (2001). Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music. New York: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. understand the key facts, concepts and principles relevant to contemporary audio-visual theory;
2. understand interrelationships between music and other arts forms, particularly the moving image;
3. record, create, adapt and edit audio for visual media using a wide range of tools, techniques and equipment, including specialist software;
4. understand the history and development of music and sound for film and it informs current practice;
5. explore, compose and evaluate musical ideas in relation to the moving image.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. gather, evaluate and synthesise evidence including the identification of reliable academic sources;
2. assimilate different theoretical and aesthetic systems of thought and to relate theory to practice;
3. examine assumptions, concepts and hypotheses critically in the light of evidence, to make informed choices and to apply insights from one area of study to another;
4. synthesize inputs (knowledge, materials, information) in order to generate outputs in written or practical format.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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