Spring 2021 - CA 386 C100

Film Music: An Overview of the Relationship between Music and Moving Pictures (3)

Class Number: 7938

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Distance Education

  • Prerequisites:

    60 credit hours.



This course examines the role of music in the viewer's experience of moving pictures. Beginning with the early 1900s, the lectures will introduce important composers, directors, films, genres and historical periods. Specific films and other works will be analyzed. Students who have taken this course previously as special topics may not take it again for further credit. Students with credit for FPA 386 may not take this course for further credit.


CA386 is about the moving picture and the connection, since film’s inception, with music. CA 386 Film Music surveys the history of music (and sound) in cinema, examines various film genres, time periods, and styles, analyzes specific films, and presents studies of a few selected composers and directors. CA 386 is also an exploration of the notion of music and particularly film music as a kind of language - in so far as music is able to subvert, affirm and/or direct the expectations of the viewer, often creating an immediate rapport with the viewer/listener. As such, the study of film music leads one to re-examine one’s conceptions of music and sound in both the cinema as well as in other contexts. Note that this course does not assume that the student has any specific music training.


  • Assignment 1 25%
  • Assignment 2 25%
  • Discussions 20%
  • Final Exam 30%



This course does not have an assigned textbook. Students are responsible for the weekly readings in the individual modules. There are also film clips and audio files located throughout the course; students are responsible for viewing this content.

Centre for Online and Distance Education Notes:

All CODE Courses are delivered through Canvas.  Students will have access starting the first day of classes.   

Required Readings are the responsibility of the student to purchase. Textbooks are available for purchase online through the SFU Bookstore's website. 

All courses have an Additional Course Fee of $40.This fee is not associated primarily with physical materials. This also supports developing tools and rich web resources embedded throughout the activities, assignments and videos.

If your course has a take-home exam, please refer to Canvas for further details. 

Students are responsible for following all Exam Policies and Procedures (e.g., missing an exam due to illness).

NOTE: This course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change. Please check your course details in Canvas.

*Important Note for U.S. citizens: As per the U.S. Department of Education, programs offered in whole or in part through telecommunications, otherwise known as distance education or correspondence are ineligible for Federal Direct Loans. This also includes scenarios where students who take distance education courses outside of their loan period and pay for them with their own funding, and attempt to apply for future Federal Direct Loans. 

For more information about US Direct Loans please visit and to read our FAQ on distance education courses, please go here: http://www.sfu.ca/students/financialaid/international/us-loans/federal-direct-loan.html

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).