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Film Scoring/Theory of Film Scoring/Introduction:Pop Quiz


This course in music and filmmaking is:
Film scoring introduction for filmmakers
This lesson is:
Introduction - The basic theory of film scoring
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The pages in this lesson are:
Summary: Basic theory of film scoring for filmmakers
Page 1: What are the different kinds of music?
Page 2: Film score example "George Lucas in Love"
Crystal Clear action apply.png Please take this pop quiz! Crystal Clear app clock.svg
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Music that tells a story

Today, you will hear music which tells a story. This is called narrative music.
This quiz gives you wonderful examples of narrative music.
When you hear certain music, you know exactly what is happening or what will happen. This music is narrative music because the music is telling the story. The audience does not need to see anything to know what will happen in this scene.
On the right are eight pieces of music which tell a story or create a mood. Listen to the music and tell me what mood you feel when you hear this music. (1/2 point per answer.)


Cultural differences
Some of the music is based on culture. Since these pieces of music are from western Europe, they might not have much meaning in Asia or Africa. But in Asia or Africa, there are other pieces of music which have similar meanings.



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What mood do you feel?

1. When you hear this, what will happen?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png Tell me what this music means to you.


2. When you hear this, what will happen?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


3. What does this feel like?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


4. What mood is this?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


5. What mood does this music create?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


6. When you hear this music, what is happening?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


7. What mood does this create? (This is background music rather than narrative music. The music does not tell a story. It just creates a mood.)

Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?


8. In this scene, what will happen?
Speaker Icon.svg Click here to listen to a short piece of narrative music.
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png What does this music mean to you?






Crystal Clear app knotify.png Pop quiz - Part IICrystal Clear app knotify.png
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The situation

You have just received a script which has a scene of kids at a birthday party.
  • The scene is short.
  • Your budget is small.


You must decide!
Look at your two options to the right and decide.



Crystal Clear app xfmail.png Tell me how you would shoot this scene. - 1 point


Option #1



1. Spend lots of money.

Hire a set decorator, build a fabulous movie set, get lots of extras, and spend a day shooting the scene.

This will cost lots of money so your investors (your parents, aunts and uncles and the local dentist) will be very angry.

Option #2


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2. Use narrative music

Just use the principle actors on a very small set with no establishing shot.

Then use narrative music to tell the audience that this is a wonderful birthday party.

Using narrative music will save you a huge amount of money and is done very quickly.

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The next page

Now you get to watch a movie!
The next page shows you a fun movie called "George Lucas In Love" which has great music.

Contact your instructor

Your instructor for this film scoring class is Robert Elliott.
You can email me by clicking here. Crystal Clear app xfmail.png







Pop Quiz


  • Jebatasmara was the first person to complete this assignment. - 5 March 2007 - 4 Points plus 2 extra for being the first.
  1. Two people are join together for a wedding, sounds happy.
  2. Its the time you walk the deadman to the grave... cool.
  3. Its comming..mostly with dark and low it must be the bad guy.
  4. Waiting for dinner during christmas eve?
  5. Very tense and disturb, something like that.
  6. He or she is turning older and wiser, (maybe) happy birthday.
  7. Waiting for something to happen..uprising, fantasies.
  8. Something is funny and comical.




  • Eze has completed this assignment - 30 April 2007 - 4 points
  1. A wedding.
  2. A funeral.
  3. Victory. Helicopters in Vietnam approaching the coast...
  4. Joy.This reminds me of Christmas, snow falling, a small kid selling newspapers in the snow. A sweet smell in the atmosphere.
  5. Hurry. A chase scene, maybe for a comedy.
  6. Someone is getting older this year.
  7. Mystery, suspense. Reminds me of Tchaikovsky.
  8. It is not so clear to me. Someone is going to get chastised?




  1. A room full of people asking each other how long it will last.
  2. ?
  3. Heroic action, idea, entrance
  4. Hallelujah, things are suddenly and unexpectedly looking up. So everyone is elated.
  5. In some form of a rush.
  6. It is someone's birthday. I just discovered the tuba gives me the image of a fat or drunk person for some reason. So a fat drunk person is having a birthday party cramming their face with cake.
  7. Christmas? Something is building in the plot. The movie Home Alone comes to mind for some reason...
  8. Something humorous has just happened. It feels sheepish kind of... Like you would want to say "Oh that (character) he/she is so silly."




  1. There is a (probably traditional) wedding.
  2. Something ominous will happen (although perhaps with a touch of morbid humor).
  3. Something bombastic, triumphant, combative.
  4. Celebrating in a religious (Christian) context.
  5. Frenetic, full of energy, possibly in a struggle.
  6. It's someone's birthday.
  7. Fairytale spookiness, dark charm.
  8. There is a mystery afoot--an event has concluded but some of its implications are ambiguous.




  1. Somebody's gonna get married ...
  2. Somebody's dead
  3. Flying fantasy theme? That Wagner's theme is all flying related as far as I know :-)
  4. Happy :P
  5. Acting like in an animation movie scene ...
  6. Somebody's gotta birthday
  7. Suspense but not in a horror or thriller genre .. more like in a comedy
  8. It's like a scene with a finished act. Somebody tells something to someone else and he thinks about that for a few seconds. Then the scene changes ...




Example 1: While browsing in a small bookstore, our commitment-avoidant male lead notices he is being stared at by a young woman two aisles down. He immediately jumps to conclusions about her intentions. He dives to the floor and begins crawling towards the back door of the shop.
Example 2: While visiting a reputedly haunted house, our hero spots a disturbing music box: instead of a gracefully rotating ballerina atop its ornate cover, he notices a skeleton holding its own grinning skull. He plans his hasty retreat. . .
Example 3: Sorry, all I can think of is mechanical, horn-helmeted Valkyries flying about on carousel horses!
Example 4: Sadness. Perhaps a Christmas spent (unexpectedly) alone. Sniff.
Example 5. Some kind of frenetic activity placed in a surreal setting. (Peewee Herman riding his bike over to his buddy -- Aram Khachaturian's -- house? The grass is blue and the sky is orange.)
Example 6. It's Animal Planet and we're celebrating a hippopotamus's birthday, of course!
Example 7. Stealth. A nocturnal setting. Holiday season. (Perhaps we're sneaking around a toy store at night -- presumably searching for those darn missing Sugar Plum Fairies!)
Example 8. At a formal state ball, everyone is frozen and transfixed as a rather corpulent ghost couple (replete in classical dress, powdered wigs, etc.) complete their dance and mysteriously disappear in a flurry of tiny lights. (Comedic) panic ensues as everyone heads towards the exits.



  • TBOL3 has completed this assignment - August 26 2007 - 4 points
1. Two people will get married
2. Someone has just died.
3. This make me feel "royal".
4. This feels happy.
5. An Indiana Jones type of feeling.
6. It's someone's birthday.
7. A sneaking up sensation.
8. The movie will end an a strange note.




1. Well, Obviously it means Wedding March, or just Wedding
2. That kinda creepy (as if I do care!), that is much like a funeral music. or DEATH.
3. It's like when your in a Arena, or in stadium. It's sound like fight scene or like wrestling! .
4. Calm
5. In the mood of Rush Effect.
6. It's a birthday. well, One Big Happy Birthday
7. Christmas.
8. No IDEA!




1. A marriage is about to happen.
2. Someone died
3. The gladiators enter the arena
4. Peaceful
5. A comic-like chase scene
6. Someone is celebrating birthday
7. Faerielike (Dance of the Sugarfairy?)
8. Someone is having a rather bad surprise




  • Joe Mac has completed part of this assignment - September 15 2007 - 4 points
1. Someone is getting married.
2. There may be or has been a death..........grave or mortal danger is at hand
3. The music heralds some important news or announcement.
4. A joyous occasion
5. Excitement....adventure
6. It's someone's birthday
7. Uplifting........rising expectations (Elation..........like when you're on the way home after spending time with a new girlfriend uplifting a happy realization.)
8. Something miraculous, an extraordinary occurrance.




  • FIREborn has completed part of this assignment - November 5 2007 - 4 points
1. It's a wedding
2. It's a funeral? or a mad scientist of some sort...
3. Battle music. Fanfare
4. Halleluja, however you spell that. Christmasy, too
5. Hurried, comedic, childish, chasing
6. Happy birthday to a fat character
7. Sneaking around during christmas
8. Some sort of comedic resolution, ending




My answers to the Pop Quiz:
1- A happy and usual ceremony of marriage
2- A ceremony of marriage macabre. Something like the marriage of Chuck.
3- Conclusion of a victory.
4- Initially, perhaps because of the time, I remember the Christmas (music in bells). But this is lost in a amnesia or little mental confusion.
5- A quick flight of a flying insect. Also a quick escape of C. Chaplin:)
6- I see a bad child and very fat. All dirty chocolate in your anniversary celebration.
7- Maybe halloween. Also a scene with children and ghosts ... I do not know. Remember also to a drawing of Mickey and Minnie living the story of John and Mary.
8- One end of a happy and humorous animation story.





My answers to the Pop Quiz:
1- The bride is about to enter...
2- There is a slightly comic reference to death...
3- Heroism. Flying. War. Valkyries.
4- Celebrating in a tinkly Christian manner
5- Cancing like crazy in an exotic hectic manner. That is what the music means to me personally - it evokes magic and dangerous excitement.
6- The hippo is having a birthday party
7- Enchantment
8- It is the ending of something - the completion of a circle in a whimsical and slightly comic manner, and the result was unexpected, and slightly disappointing. But it is happy in a tragicomedic way.




My answers to the Pop Quiz:
1- A couple will be traditionally wed at a big church with an organ
2- Impending death...
3- A military fanfare... the cavalry has arrived! Or spitfires...
4- The mood is: celebration time, in church or at winter
5- A comical frenzy - woodblocks sound like ticking clocks - some guy is tidying his messy house before his girlfriends parents arrive
6- Someones birthday, with a stupid or oafish feel because of the tubas - like someone dropped a birthday cake
7- Enchantment
8- Not quite sure, maybe something funny will come to a conclusion - also sounds like fairy dust at the end...


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May 17, 2008
My answers to the Pop Quiz:
1. When you hear this, what will happen?
A marriage. The Bride to be walks down the aisle.
2. When you hear this, what will happen?
Someone is dead or dying with a comical twist.
3. What does this feel like?
An announcement is about to happen or perhaps the hero has arrived.
4. What mood is this?
A celebration mood Hallelujah
5. What mood does this music create?
Comically hurrying
6. When you hear this music, what is happening?
A Birthday but comical.
7. What mood does this create? Late at night sneaking possibly
Christmas. A little mysterious.
8. In this scene, what will happen?
The scene is ending but not to the characters liking


Pop Quiz


"I will Choose the Budget to spend in a small amount."


Shortcuts to the other music lessons for film scoring: The Introduction"Fear""Joy""Drama"The Workshop