AMM 4M: Exercise #4

Establishing Emotional Tone

You are going to create a movie score for one of three short video clips. Your primary job with this score is to help establish the "emotional tone" of the main characters of the clips focusing on using specific "timbres" and "textures" to help satisfy the director's notes. You will also need to develop a musical theme, or themes, to tie in with key points of the scenes.

The three clips all deal with heroes, who are embarking on journeys into unknown territories. While those journeys are physical in nature, they are also emotional journeys for the characters.

The three clips, with "director's notes" are:

I) BManChapter2_3:

The setting is a cold mountainside in Asia. The "hero" is climbing to the top of the mountain to meet an unknown "master." He has been seeking to find a purpose to his life, which has been overtaken by cynicism and a desire for revenge.

Your score should reflect the physical danger of the situation, but also the fact that the hero is willing to enter an area of emotional danger as well. There should be an undertone of reaching for an emotional answer as well as reaching the physical goal at the top of the mountain.

II) GDB_Chapter10_11:

The heroine is embarking on a rigorous training session. While the temptation is to do a very triumphant "Rocky" style sequence, this character is embarking on her journey as a way of achieving a very personal and private dignity in her life. She does not have dreams of glory or wealth, only of trying to gain some focus and self- respect in her life.

Your score should reflect that quiet dignity, while still creating a sense of action and physical achievement.

III) 12Monks_Chapter12:

This scene is set in a future world where people have been forced to live underground because of a virus which has made the surface of the earth unihabitable for humans. The hero is being sent back in time to try to discover clues which will help the scientists in the present develop an antidote for the virus.

The hero is a prisoner who is sick of the claustrophobic world in which he lives. He is willing to risk physical danger, and be plunged into a past world, he knows little of, in order to have some semblance of personal freedom.

Your score needs to reflect the physical danger, the obvious muddle of mechanical and digital technology diplayed in the scene, and the fact that this is a personal mission of "desparate escape" by the hero, rather than a noble act of heroism.


1) Download the scene(s) from the NDAS drive onto the C drive of your computer. You may view these scenes using Quicktime or Media Player.
  • Each scene has a "large" version which can be viewed separately and a "small" version for use within Cubase and Reason when you create your score.
2) Select the scene you will score and decide on the timbres and textures and general style of music you will use in your score.
  • Decide on the style, tempo and overall structure of your score.
  • Open Cubase/ and or Reason and experiment with different sounds and combinations of sounds.

3) Write a brief report which describes the structure of your score, lists the instrumentation, and explains how your score will satisfy the "director's notes."

Hand this in to Mr. Thompson for future discussion.

4) When your score has been approved begin work on your score using the instructions found at:

Syncing Cubase and Reason to a video Clip.

5) When your score has been finished:

Create file of the finished score.