Film and Game Music: Conveying Emotion

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Music for games and film is typically added to help tell a story.  Perhaps the music needs to convey the relief of a family reuniting after being separated or it may need to convey the stress of a character wandering aimlessly through the dim halls of a haunted house!  Whether the film or game needs happy or scary music, the composer needs to zero in, quickly, on the appropriate emotion and help viewers or players relate.

This course will teach beginners the basic principles of conveying emotion within short "cues" of music (typically less than 3 minutes).  Watch how music theory fundamentals such as rhythm, harmony and melody can be used to create 3 distinct emotional contexts:

  1. Urgent and Triumphant
  2. Calm and Relaxed
  3. Spooky and Creepy

Not only does this course walk students through hands-on demonstrations for each of these emotional contexts, but it will also introduce complete beginners to important concepts like cadences, color and timbre.

This course presents examples using MIDI, audio clips and Ableton Live.  Ableton projects are available for download (so that students can follow along).  However, students can also download the audio and MIDI clips and load them into any DAW (ProTools, Logic, DP, Cubase, etc.).  This course also assumes that students are familiar with basic music theory concepts - such as triads and major and minor scales.

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