Audiovisual: Music's Place in Film, Television and Art

Department: Music

Instructors: Steven Leffue and Kyle Johnson
Instructors' Emails:;
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

How are we to make sense of a world that surrounds us with lights, images, sounds and music? From YouTube to electronic billboards, music and image are an increasingly important part of our lives. AUDIOVISUAL: Music's Place in Film, Television and Art helps us make sense of that world by examining how music functions in significant films and artworks from the 20th Century. In the first half of this course, music from film, television and theater will be analyzed so that students will develop an understanding of the modern conventions of multimedia art and an appreciation for its possibilities. Students will then incorporate that knowledge into their own multimedia projects that will be developed and refined in the second half of the course.


Grades will be based on six in class writing assignments (10%), a midterm exam (20%), an audio project (10%), a video project (10%), a multimedia project (30%) and a final presentation (20%).

Topical Outline

Unit 1: Introduction to Contemporary Music and Video
The history of 20th Century art music. Musical concepts and vocabulary. The history of film and video. Video concepts and vocabulary.

Unit 2: Music, Video and Theater
Perfect Lives by Robert Ashley. [THE] Philip Larson and Edwin Harkins. Sam by Thomas DeLio.

Unit 3: Music Quoted In Film
Fantasia. Stanley Kubrick’s Use of Music in A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon. Music and David Lynch: Krzysztof Penderecki, 50s Pop Music, and his own compositions.

Midterm Examination
A midterm examination with multiple choice and essay questions covering the previously discussed pieces.

Unit 4: Audio Creative Project
Students learn basic audio recording and editing techniques and create small creative audio works.

Unit 5: Video Creative Project
Students learn basic video techniques to create short creative films.

Unit 6: Multimedia Creative Project
Students combine their knowledge of audio and video to create short multimedia works that focus on the interaction between the visual and aural domains.

Learn About the Application Process