Main Subject Composition for Film and Theater 1

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 50-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
25 hours
Study load
451 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Composition for Film and Theater main subject year 1.
See Competency Matrix.
Acquiring a broad understanding of the musical/technical and artistic side of composing and arranging for film and theater; learning to produce simple but high-quality and complete music for a dramaturgic concept. The music should emerge from a consideration of different possibilities.
Relation to other modules
The module Harmony at the Piano for Composing teaches students how to effectively use the piano as a tool for composing and analyzing pieces. The general theory modules provide a solid foundation in music notation, harmony and ear skills. The module Music Theory for Composing/Arranging Jazz & Pop' is taught by a teacher in classical music theory and addresses key aspects of musical theory, including but not limited to: musical analysis, counterpoint, theory of musical form, and twentieth-century music.
If the student has not yet acquired the instrument skills required to participate, he will nevertheless be expected to be present and to use his specific skills (working with the computer: using drum grooves or samples).
Developing composition techniques: generating ideas, developing concepts, music notation, rhythm, melody, harmony, musical form, instrumentation, style/idiom. Harmony: voicing and voice leading, adapting chord progressions, harmonization, harmonic rhythm, modulation.

function, content and characteristics of melodies and counterparts in various musical styles/idioms; the effect of text on melodic pitch, rhythm and pattern.

The ability to correctly and efficiently notate music in various styles/idioms; creating and processing sheet music.
The composition process: when to make important decisions and on what grounds; planning and building.

developing concepts to compose for various cinematic situations; generating ideas based on video; developing concepts to compose for movies while supporting the movie in terms of form and dramaturgic content; developing musical skills (notation, rhythm, melody, harmony) using DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), writing effective scores. Theory of melody: 'leitmotifs' in movies.

Principles of instrumentation theory; size, notation and applications of rhythm section, strings, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba.

Basic concepts to build neat film scores by means of creating different examples for feature film, all under the aspect of building effective workflows with library generated music production.
Result orientated projects to stimulate instant realizations on a project based situation.
Basic understanding of the Parametric Approach of Film Music Analysis and Creation.

Signal flow in recording instruments in complex studio situations with Pro Tools HDX.
Recording String Quartet with various setups under the aspect of integration of recorded sound into library sound.
Mode(s) of instruction
Group lessons which are also attended by students from the different years of the main course. Individual lessons where deemed necessary by the instructor.
Musical examples in the context of stylistic theory.
A list of classical pieces which are particularly interesting for composers for theater and film.
Syllabuses on theory of musical form and musical analysis by the classical music department.
Samuel Adler: Orchestration.
Several titles about specific instruments or styles, including:
Martinez, Fernando: Funk Grooves.
Guerero, Frank: Latin Sounds from the Drum Set
Lead-sheets, transcriptions, big band and orchestra sheets of the pieces discussed
Student activity
Composing/arranging original pieces.
Organizing performances; studying and recording compositions by the student.
Attending a wide and diverse range of concerts.
Building a network of fellow students and students from other disciplines, which should always include music theater and BK film students.
International collaborations:
Collaboration project with students of University of Edinburgh.
AIB Düsseldorf Akademie für Internationale Bildung: on a project basis, American students produce films and ArtEZ students compose and produce the score.
ArtEZ collaborations: students of visual art who use video; dance projects with the theater faculty.
Presenting and discussing self-written pieces with fellow students of composition/arranging.

Examination and assessment

Mode(s) of assessment
Assessment by the main subject instructor at the end of each semester.
Consistency, efficiency, economy of means, practicality, richness, intrinsic persuasiveness, richness, balance, intelligence, motivation, inventiveness, stylistic awareness, imagination, reflection (analysis, presentation), timing, authenticity and diversity.
Pass requirements
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester.
Examination procedure
At the end of both semesters the instructor fills out an assessment form designed specifically for this module. Assessment is comprised of a verbal evaluation and a concluding grade. The instructor reviews this assessment with the student during the first subsequent lesson. Assessment at the end of the autumn semester is formative and expressed in terms of satisfactory/unsatisfactory. It indicates a student's progress in this module. No ECs are awarded and there is no resit. Modules can only be absolved, and ECs awarded, after the end of the spring semester.
Resit options
See the Education and Examination Regulations.

Module summary

This module is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the propaedeutic exam Composition for Film and Theater Jazz & Pop. The student's compositions should reveal his advanced understanding of the artistic and technical aspects of composing and arranging, his readiness to learn new skills/concepts, and talents that allow for sufficient further development.