The Art of Film Scoring – Lesson 2
Thematic Analysis

34m 02s beginner Beginner
Author: Chris Fitzgerald

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The Art of Film Scoring is a 6-week primer into the technical and psychological aspects of film composition. Through the course we will cover film music history, thematic analysis, music theory and composition, technical aspects of film scoring, and self promotion tips including resources for website creation and audio and film publishing. The course is taught by film composer Chris Fitzgerald, Berklee College of Music alumnus and former Manager of Training & Programs for Berklee. No prior film scoring experience is necessary. Students are required to own a computer with MIDI sequencing and audio recording software to complete course homework. Throughout the course, students will score a scene from a film, finishing with a complete demo score piece.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Intelligently analyze the function of music in film
  • Spot the differences between score and diegetic music
  • Work with the technical and psychological aspects of film scoring to compose your own film music
  • Promote yourself as a film composer

Lesson 2 – Thematic Analysis

  • Introduction to film composition
  • Analysis of several film music themes, breaking down to melody and chords
  • Composing a theme and variations

Compose a theme for a character.

  • Use an existing fictitious character from a film (careful not to copy that film’s score), or
  • Create your own fictitious character

Regarding your character (existing or not), determine:

  • The character’s name, gender, approximate age
  • Their life situation and motivation
  • for example: Jack is in his 50s, and just lost his job at the law firm. He has always wanted to travel, and seizes this as an opportunity to explore the world with his son.

Write 3 variations of your melody, with chord progression accompaniment.

  • Simple sketches, no more than 8 measures long
  • Your variations can change the melodic shape, rhythm or phrasing, begin or end on a different scale degree, or change to major, minor, or modal
  • Have fun with this, play around with ideas, and don’t feel like they all have to be good
  • Post your music in the comments thread!