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Film Music

Musicology 408 u.grad. (#16240) / 508 grad. (#16245) (class discussion list)

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:10 a.m.—4:30 &
Thursdays 8:00 p.m.—ca. 10:30
Weekday d iscussions on Central Campus in Burton Memorial Tower, #702
Evening screenings on North Campus Media Union (Room #1180)

Professor Mark Clague or 734/647-4580

Office hours: immediately after Mon./Wed. discussions or by appointment

Course Materials

Required Texts: are available at Shaman Drum Bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor (313 S. State, 2nd Fl. / 662—7407).

1. Larry Timm, "The Soul of Cinema," ca. $40

2. Michel Chion, "Audio-Vision," ca. $20

3. Aaron Copland "What to Listen For in Music," ca. $6

4. Knowing the Score, edited by David Morgan (optional)

5. Additional readings will be made available as needed via the CourseTools site.

Listening for the course will be made available online through the CourseTools site. The best locations from which to audition these examples are the Listening Lab at the School of Music and any of the other campus computing labs. Modem connections are not fast enough to allow for online listening. You will need headphones (available for check out at all labs). Please complete the listening assignments before each Wednesday class or, at the very latest, before the Thursday evening screening.

Thirteen complete films will be shown and discussed over the course of the semester. You are expected to view each film when listed on the syllabus, either by attending the Thursday evening screening, using a library copy, or by renting the video on your own. You are not required to attend the screening, although some preliminary discussion may take place there. Videos have been placed on reserve at three locations: the School of Music Library, the Film and Video Library (2nd floor, Undergraduate Library), and the Film and Video ProgramÕs Donald Hall Collection (1st floor, Frieze Building).

Discussion questions will be posted for each film immediately following its screening. You are required to visit the CourseTools site and respond at least twice to each film topic. You may respond directly to the discussion questions or to a colleagueÕs observations. Questions will also be posted for most listening assignments and readings. You are required to respond at least once to listening topics. Therefore a total of three postings are required of you each week. Be careful not to fall behind in this task. Posting shortly after viewing the film is recommended.

A brief quiz will be given at the beginning of class every Monday during the course. There will be no quiz the first Monday of the term or the first Monday after spring break. Quizzes serve to reward participants who have completed viewing, listening, and reading assignments on time and have participated in discussions in class and online. Your two lowest quiz grades will be dropped. No make-up quizzes will be offered.

All assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on the day that the assignment is listed. Films should be viewed in advance of the Monday discussion for each unit.


Grading Scale

Course grades will be evaluated using a point system measured against a straight (non-curved) grading scale:

Points Resulting Grade   Points

Resulting Grade

above 935 A   735 - 774


900 - 934 A-  

700 - 734


875 - 899 B+  

675 - 699


835 - 874



635 - 674


800 - 834



600 - 634


775 - 799



below 600




Regular Assignments
12 Quizzes (25 ea., drop two lowest grades)               250
Film Accompaniment Project                                    100
Film Cue Analysis                                                    125
Final Project                                                           150
Group Introduction to a Film                                      75
Online and Class Participation (75 pts. x 4)                 300

Extra credit
Final? Exam                                                              25
Film Music report on current films or recordings (2p.) 20
Timm Chapter Review Questions                                10 each
Composer bio and works list to add to course site        40
2-page course evaluation paper                                   25
Suggesting Course Material                               up to 25

graded on scale of 1000, max. submitted. 1100

NOTE: If you find that you are having trouble in the class, please come and talk to me. I rarely if ever change a grade unless a mathematical mistake has been made, but I can make practical suggestions for how to improve your performance on the next assignment in hopes of raising your mark overall.

Late Work

Your grade will be penalized 5% if a project is turned in one class late and 15% if it is two classes late. Work late more than two classes (one week) will not be accepted, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.

Make-Up Policy

In order to keep the class operating smoothly, quizzes cannot be made up, regardless of the reason for an absence. You can complete extra credit work if your grade has been damaged by an unavoidable absence.


Regular attendance is one aspect of your class participation grade. While I do not take attendance, I do notice regular absences. If you are going out of town for more than one class period, please let me know. You can continue to participate online from any web connection. Points for quizzes or other assignments missed should be made up using extra credit.

Academic Integrity

Cheating and/or plagiarism are not acceptable. Collaboration and research are encouraged when such is cited. The University has clear, published policies on this matter that will be followed in this class. (Go to for more information). It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of this policy. Your name or signature on each test or assignment will be taken to be your pledge that you have read, understood, and followed these guidelines. If you have any questions, at any time, do not hesitate to speak with me. The minimum penalty for cheating will be a zero on the assignment and a grade penalty of -5% against your final grade.


Discussion Notes

Diversity Statement

At the core of this discussion based class is a mutual respect for the ideas, beliefs, and experience of others different from oneself. I expect and demand that courtesy be extended to all voices in the class. If an individual threatens to dominate a discussion and thereby silence others, I reserve the right to interrupt the discussion. Please be considerate of and respect such interruptions. Everyone will have a chance to be heard.

Email Discussion List (

An email discussion group has been set up for this course, primarily for last-minute announcements. I will subscribe all class participants to this list using the information on your online course registration form. The email group will allow me to post reminders, questions, and suggestions regarding the class. Students may also post questions, when no appropriate forum exists on the CourseTools site. Although I will try to repeat all important information during class time, please check your email on a regular basis so that you don’t miss these notices.

Formatting Your Discussion Submissions

CourseTools will recognize standard html coding when it is contained in square brackets: [code here]. Standard format codes include:

  • Bold [<b>Text to appear bold here</b>]
  • Italics [<i>Text to appear bold here</i>]
  • Underline [<u>Text to appear underlined here</u>]
  • Size [<font size = "+3">Larger Text Here</font>]
  • Color [<font color = "#009900">Green text here</font>] Other colors are #000000 = black, #750000 = red, #990099 = purple




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