Spring 2024 - CA 386 OL01

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

Class Number: 6517

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:


  • 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.


Course Overview

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, 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 - insofar as music can 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.


  • Discussion responses 20%
  • Assignments 1 & 2 50%
  • Assignments 3 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.
Important Note on Browsers for Film Viewing: The film clips in this course are best viewed in Chrome or Firefox. Safari may be incompatible.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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