Guess Who’s Back, Back Again…

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Wait, Wait!  I’m here…I’m here.

Thanks for bearing with me these past few weeks.  I had to teach two Continuing Ed classes back to back.  Which actually leads me to today’s post/question.  The classes I taught are part of the department’s Saturday “Personal Enrichment” classes.  Basically, I get up there are talk about something for five hours to a class interested in learning about whatever topic it is.  I taught one on Beethoven and another on the Beatles on two consecutive Saturdays.  I had wanted to do something on Film Music but ContEd wasn’t sure there would be interest.  I plan on pitching them an idea and I’m hoping for some feed back on a very basic outline I have in my head.

First, remember, I have only five hours, so the first task is deciding what is the purpose of the class.  For me, I think it would be to not only teach people about composers and history, but also how to listento films, which would be the title: [Insert Witty Title Here] – Listening to Films.  So I figure the first hour would be spent covering some basic theoretical ideas (diegetic/non-diegetic, levels within audiotrack), and hopefully using the model that I discussed in my MAMI wrap up, and showing clips to illustrate the points. I would also hopefully bring in some ideas from the works of Chion, Gorbman, and Brown.  The next two hours could be spent doing the basic historical work, tracing developments from the Silent Era to the present (Herr Vogler gave me a good outline that will probably serve me in planning), of course illustrated by more clips.

After an hour for lunch, we come back for the last two hours.  Ideally here, I would like to show a short film or extended clip, somewhere in the range of 30-45 mins, maybe an hour, from which the last hour of class would be a discussion of it, what people heard, etc.  Of course, showing such a long clip may seem like a cop out, but if the point of the class is to teach people how to listen to a film, it seems like a perfectly logical choice.

There seemed to be some interest in such a class from the people in my Beethoven class.  I teased them with some ideas by showing clips from Die Hardand showing how the “Ode to Joy” is associated with the German villains of the film.  So hopefully if ContEd asks me back to teach more, and I can pitch them such a class.  What are your thoughts, oh Blog0sphere readers?

P.S. – I promise a more in-depth post soon.  I’m working on my musical aesthetic analysis of the soundtracks of Shinichiro Watanabe’s animes Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.

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