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Unit information: Media Composition in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Media Composition
Unit code MUSIM0025
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Goodchild
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This is a practice-led unit which offers direct experience of the approaches used in media composition today, taught by a guest tutor professionally active in the industry. The unit develops skills in musical characterisation across varied genres, focusing on forms such as Television documentary, promotional videos, advertising and library music. The sessions consider the appropriate use of the latest studio techniques with or without live resources, working to a brief, and considerations of style in relation to the target audience. The unit brings together techniques taught in the Professional Techniques unit and in the student's choice of optional unit such as Writing for Orchestra.


The course provides a complete and up-to-date introduction to the skills, techniques and practicalities involved in media composition and primary knowledge of business survival skills. Regular assignments are set and evaluated, leading to more extended assessed projects in audio, TV and documentary media.

Intended learning outcomes

The successful student will:

  • have understood and begun to master the techniques of synchronising and editing music to soundtrack and film with sensitivity to balance in audio and visual data
  • be imaginative and skilled in choosing sound palettes to different topics and genres
  • be proficient at composing both studio and live recorded scores for a variety of given briefs
  • have completed a number of prescribed projects in sound and film.

Teaching details

The unit is taught by visiting media composition experts. The format is a weekly lecture, supplemented by seminars, demonstration and individual supervision. Students normally undertake work-experience fieldtrips to private active studios and the BBC. This unit works in harness with the Professional Techniques unit, from which events such as the workshop/recording feed directly into media projects.

Assessment Details

100% by four of the coursework projects, submitted as a demo/playreel DVD representing one in each of the categories: Titles, Documentary, Drama, and free choice, with documentation on the compositional brief and process.

Reading and References

  • Philip D. Tagg Kojak. Fifty Seconds of Television Music: Toward the Analysis of Affect in Popular Music. G�teborg 1979 (Ph.D. diss. G�teborg 1979).
  • Michael Chion Experiencing the Soundtrack (Cinesonic 2000). Sidney 2001.
  • Nicholas Cook Analysing Musical Multimedia. Oxford 1998.