As a film and media scoring major, you’ll learn to compose, arrange, and conduct music for a variety of industries, such as film, television, and video games. You’ll immerse yourself over the course of eight semesters, while completing the college’s core music curriculum, in intensive study of music in visual media, creating professional level scores, and the business of the film industry on the college’s Boston campus. Gain real world experience working in our cutting edge facilities alongside a diverse community of musicians, faculty, and industry professionals all while earning your bachelor's degree.
Develop a foundation of creative musical skills, including composition, counterpoint, orchestration, and conducting, as you prepare music for synchronous use with visual media such as film, TV, video games, and more. As you develop an interpretive sensitivity to the dramatic effectiveness of music when paired with visual media, you’ll also learn the technical skills involved, such as how to create a professional-level score mock-up, for example. To demonstrate your mastery in the area, you will complete a portfolio that will include:
- a finished score of a short film, fully produced and synchronized;
- a similarly produced and synchronized main title theme for a television series;
- a professional resume;
- a letter of application suitable for the purpose of career placement and advancement; and
- a recording of an original composition that you will produce to function as a demo to accompany an application portfolio.
You will study acknowledged masterpieces of film scoring and, through this exposure, you will develop an aesthetic vision and the ability to recognize and discuss quality work in film and media scoring. You’ll develop your interpersonal and other situational skills as you cooperate with performers, studio personnel, technical assistants, and others to finish projects and you will work on other students’ projects as well.
As a film and media scoring major, you will develop sufficient skills and knowledge to function as a composer, orchestrator, music supervisor, music editor, or any number of technical production workers in the film, television, and/or video game industry, in addition to other visual media. You will have sufficient knowledge of basic concepts to adapt with success to the changing conditions that are typical of the entertainment industry.
What Will I Learn?
Upon completion of a major in film and media scoring, students will:
- sketch and compose stylistically appropriate music in a variety of dramatic styles;
- orchestrate dramatic music using appropriate instrumental tone colors and voicings;
- conduct to picture and to electronic metronome, conducting multiple meter and tempo changes;
- create and edit temporary and final sound track recordings to picture for a complete media work;
- create orchestral mockups and electronic scores using current sequencers and sample libraries;
- record and mix scores and music stems using current software and hardware;
- analyze the dramatic arc of a musical score for a film or other extended media work;
- apply legal knowledge, business acumen, and marketing techniques to the operation of a small business; and
- develop a concept for a score and create an appropriate musical form for it.
Admission to the film and media scoring major requires departmental approval.
Students wishing to declare film and media scoring as their major must have earned a grade of B or higher in FILM-200: Introduction to Film and Media Scoring before ﬁnal approval of the declaration of major can be given.
If special circumstances require consideration for declaration of major before a grade is received for FILM-200, the department will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.
See more information about how to declare the major (login required).
Curriculum and Courses
There are 32 required credits specific to this major in addition to the B.M. required core music courses (41 credits), liberal arts and sciences courses (39 credits), and general electives (8 credits) for a degree total of 120 credits. See the sample curriculum here.
- ISKB-211 Basic Keyboard Techniques 1 (1 credit)
- ISKB-212 Basic Keyboard Techniques 2 (1 credit)
- FILM-200 Introduction to Film and Media Scoring (2 credits)
- SCRN-202 Introduction to Scoring Technology for Media Composers (2 credits)
- SCRN-240 Introduction to Composition and Orchestration for Media Composers (2 credits)
- CP-215 The Art of Counterpoint 2 (2 credits)
- FILM-205 Scoring Technology 1 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-207)
- FILM-207 Dramatic Scoring 1 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-205)
- FILM-305 Scoring Technology 2 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-340 and FILM-307)
- FILM-340 Dramatic Orchestration for Film (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-305 and FILM-307)
- FILM-307 Dramatic Scoring 2 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-305 and FILM-340)
- FILM-351 Post-Romantic Scoring (2 credits)
- FILM-405 Scoring Technology 3 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-407)
- FILM-407 Dramatic Scoring 3 (2 credits; must be taken with FILM-405)
- FILM-487 Senior Portfolio and Seminar in Film Scoring (2 credits)
- Advanced Film Scoring Elective (take any 400-level FILM, GAIM, or SCRN course not already completed) (2 credits)
- Major electives (2 credits)
Updated for catalogue year fall 2022
Sample Curriculum by Semester
Meet the Screen Scoring Department
As a film and media scoring student, Berklee offers you a unique opportunity to learn the art, craft, and tools of scoring for a variety of media, with a professionally active and respected faculty that provides a comprehensive and innovative curriculum.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Learn about financial aid, scholarships, and others ways of paying for your Berklee education.
Film and media scoring students can study abroad at our Valencia, Spain, campus. It is recommended that film and media scoring majors study in Valencia during their third semester. For specific program information, please see the chair or contact the study abroad office.
Berklee Alumni Work on Music for 'Black Panther' and 'A Wrinkle in Time'