Weeks 1–2: Foundations

Before we can get into music theoretical concepts, we need to establish some concepts fundamental to all study of music and media.

Aug 22: Introduction

This week, we’ll have meta-discussion about the course in general and sign up for discussion leading on various topics.

Due Wednesday before class

Find a YouTube clip (or whatever platform) of some example of film/TV/video game music that you love. Be prepared to discuss briefly what you find so compelling about it. Submit your response here. I’ll use this list to create assignments each week.

Due Saturday at noon

Please indicate your top 3 preferred readings for discussion leading by filling out the form in Teams (it’s a tab in the General channel).

Aug 29: Terminology

This week’s readings are meant to give you a framework to understand what’s at stake in analysis of music and multimedia.

Reading due Wednesday before class

Writing due Saturday at noon

Watch the scene of WALL-E (2008) where WALL-E meets EVE. Use this chart to guide you in how to listen more attentively than you would by default. (You don’t need to submit the chart.)

Write a paragraph that answers the following questions:

  • Is the music diegetic or non-diegetic?
  • Is the music narrative or non-narrative? (we didn’t discuss this enough in class to answer it, I think!)
  • What are the functions of the music in this scene?
  • Which of the analytical approaches outlined in Neumeyer and Buhler (2001) would you most like to use to further analyze this scene, and why?


Readings are always available in the Readings folder on Teams.

  • Levinson, Jerrold. 2006. “Film Music and Narrative Agency.” In Contemplating Art, 143–83. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206179.001.0001.
  • Neumeyer, David, and James Buhler. 2001. “Analytical and Interpretive Approaches to Film Music (I): Analysing the Music.” In Film Music: Critical Approaches, edited by Kevin J. Donnelly, 16–38. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.