80 new cues

March 18, 2010

Our students in the Music History, Culture and Creativity have a final project that involves providing music to a one minute clip of film, excerpted from the actual working print from which Paul Chihara worked. The excerpt is from a famous anime film and has SMPTE time-code streaming on top.

The class of 80 each has to score this one minute segment using only QuickTime Pro 7 ($29) and Audacity (available on both platforms and free). Quite a few students used GarageBand. The three professors have been discussing composing, and affect and effect and issues in film music around the world; we’ve had two guest lecturers speak about film music from different perspectives; and NOW they get to compose film music themselves! This is a real coup for me; the notion getting a class of 80 students composing film cues as naturally as if they were doing harmony exercises.

I am also quite satisfied that they taught themselves. I went over the process once in class, I put up a forum that so they could ask each other technical questions, and many used it.

In that adding music to video/film is becoming technologically easier and easier, why not add it to the list of musical exercises all music students should be required to do?

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