How does the film’s use of music adhere or break with traditional film scoring trends?

Checklist for “A+” paper:
1. Analyzes one of the approved films, is submitted on time, is 5-7 pages of prose in 12pt.
font/double spaced, not including the title page and/or bibliography if you have one.
Avoids writing in the first or second person (I, you) and takes an academic/analytical third
person tone. Is well organized.
2. Contains few, if any, spelling, capitalization, formatting, or grammatical/sentence structure
errors. Uses italics for film names and quotations for song or track names.
3. Addresses the following musical aspects of the film through analysis and supporting
specific examples, using appropriate musical terminology: (a) Overall instrumentation and/
or orchestration for specific motifs, songs, or moments in the film (b) Use of leitmotifs or
recurring musical themes and what, if anything, they seem to represent. A discussion of
leitmotifs should include descriptions of their melodic contour, rhythm, tempo,
instrumentation and timbre used, and some examples of thematic transformation. In
discussing thematic transformation, you may wish to discuss how a composer varies the
tempo, rhythm, instruments used, accompaniment (if any), major/minor (happy or sad
feeling?), and how the mood of the the material changes (is it transformed into a march,
into a lullaby, is it dissonant?) (c) Discusses the lyrics, texts or song’s relationship to the
drama, if any.
4. Discusses uses of source music and/or underscoring and how they relate to each other or
overlap, if at all.
5. Discusses the music’s relationship with the overall drama and mood of the film, using
specific examples.
6. Discusses the music’s relationship with the imagery, visual aesthetic of the film. Here you
can include examples of music’s use during “montage” scenes, “cross-cutting,” “panning,” etc.
Final Paper
Due Wed., May 11 by 11:59PM via upload to “Assignments” tab on BlackBoard and to CSA
upload portal.
6-8 pages of prose
The final paper should follow the same instructions as the midterm, with a slightly extended
length and reveal a sense of overall perspective of 20th century film music history. In addition
to the questions above, please also consider the following for your final paper:
1. Discuss what, if any, trends in the history of film music the film demonstrates. Situate the
film and music historically based on the trends we have explored in this class. How does the
film’s use of music adhere or break with traditional film scoring trends?
2. Discuss the style or styles a composer or director relies on to support the total artwork and
why. Medieval/Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Avant-Garde, popular music (jazz,
rock, techno, R&B, etc.), world music, minimalism.
3. Makes insightful/thoughtful comments on the significance of the musical material and its
relationship to the drama, revealing a deep understanding of the composer’s intent and
offering a personal perspective on the total artwork.
4. Creates a sense of an overarching analytic perspective/thesis for the paper (Examples:
Focuses on the idea of music’s role in revealing “time and place” in Casablanca. Focuses on
music’s role in exploring the cultural shift of the youth in the late 1960s and/or the inner life
of Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Focuses on music’s role in revealing the confluence of
cultures and historically situating in The Mission in the 18th century.) Presents a compelling

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