As a film 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 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 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 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 scoring major requires departmental approval.
Students wishing to declare film scoring as their major must have earned a grade of B or higher in FS-221 Intensive Introduction to Film 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 FS-221, 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)
- FS-221 Intensive Introduction to Film Scoring (2 credits)
- CM-221 Techniques of Tonal Writing (2 credits)
- CM-231 Instrumentation and Score Preparation (2 credits)
- CP-215 The Art of Counterpoint 2 (2 credits)
- FS-241 Dramatic Scoring 1 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-203)
- FS-203 Scoring Technology 1 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-241)
- FS-303 Scoring Technology 2 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-340 and FS-341)
- FS-340 Dramatic Orchestration for Film (2 credits; must be taken with FS-303 and FS-341)
- FS-341 Dramatic Scoring 2 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-303 and FS-340)
- FS-351 Post-Romantic Scoring (2 credits)
- FS-403 Scoring Technology 3 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-441)
- FS-441 Dramatic Scoring 3 (2 credits; must be taken with FS-403)
- FS-487 Senior Portfolio and Seminar in Film Scoring (2 credits) or FS-489 Senior Portfolio and Seminar in Game Scoring (2 credits)
- Advanced Film Scoring Elective (take any 400-level film scoring course not already completed, except FS-495) (2 credits)
- Major electives (2 credits)
Updated for catalogue year fall 2021
Meet the Film Scoring Department
As a film 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.
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