MUS2001 – Film music

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores the multifaceted relationships between music and the moving image developed during the history of cinema. We will discuss music’s various functions in the history of film music from silent film, through classic Hollywood film scoring, to more recent approaches that inform and challenge our narrative perception. By investigating the historical, technological, and aesthetic discourses surrounding music and image, this course aims to clarify the ways in which music is capable of communicating what pictures ‘cannot say’, and the extent to which the unspoken rules of soundtracks and film scoring make the combination of music and image the powerful pair that it is.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, the student will:

  • be familiar with the language and experience of sound and music in film
  • be familiar with the elements of soundtrack production and its relationship to the moving image to which it pertains
  • have developed awareness of historical, commercial, and social factors in the entertainment industry
  • have gained skills in aural and visual perception, critical assessment, and reasoning, and applied these skills to written work
  • be able to perform a music-image analysis as a basis for discussion of roles that the soundtrack plays in film


- Admission to the University of Oslo


The teaching will consist of lectures and seminars, with 8 double period sessions of lectures, 8 hours of seminars, and two individual (or small group) coaching sessions of up to 30 minutes each. In addition, weekly film showings will be arranged. Attendance is obligatory.


Three-day take-home examination at the end of the semester. Students will be set an assignment in which they will have a choice between three films to analyse (only one film can be chosen). The assignment should be limited to a maximum of 10 pages of approximately 2,300 characters (not including spaces). Bibliography, appendices, and/or diagrams are not included in the page count. The assignment can be written in English or a Scandinavian language.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring 2021


Spring 2021

Teaching language