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CMS 397 C: Special Topics in Cinema and Media Studies

Sound of Cinema

Meeting Time: 
MW 8:30am - 10:20am
SUZ B069
John Vallier

Syllabus Description:



This course examines the role of sound in film. In it students will focus on:   
- the technological development of motion picture sound, from silent to surround; 
- the evolution of film music, its functions and impact on viewers/listeners;   
- foley, sound design, dialog, and the final mix; 
- feminist, postcolonial and other theoretical considerations of cinematic sound

Classes will be a combination of lectures, student-led discussions, guest speakers, and screenings. As part their assignments, students will apply what they learn by mixing music, voice, and/or noise into theoretically grounded soundtracks of their own. 

Working Bibliography

  • Chion, M., Gorbman, Claudia & Murch, Walter, 1994. Audio-vision : sound on screen, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Gitt, R. & UCLA Film Television Archive, presenter, production company, publisher, 2007. A century of sound : the history of sound in motion pictures, California]: UCLA Film & Television Archive.
  • Gomery, D., 2005. The coming of sound : a history, New York: Routledge.
  • Harper, G., 2009. Sound and music in film and visual media : an overview, New York: Continuum.
  • Walker, Elsie & Walker, E., 2015. Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory, Oxford University Press.
  • Wierzbicki, J.E., 2012. Music, sound and filmmakers : sonic style in cinema, New York: Routledge.
Catalog Description: 
Varying topics relating to film in social contexts. Offered by resident or visiting faculty.
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema & Media Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 30, 2018 - 9:02pm