Film scoring/Quiz - Music which tells a story

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Interesting examples by FIREborn: Fear.ogg ---- Sad.ogg ---- Tired.ogg ---- Surprise.ogg ---- Joy.ogg ---- Fast like the wind.ogg.
This school is:
Narrative film production - Wikiversity Film School and School of Music - Wikiversity Film School
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This course is:
Film scoring
The pages in the course is:
Introduction to film scoring
Create the sound of fear from a single note
Create other moods from a single note
Create the sound of joy using a delicate rhythm
Create other moods from delicate rhythms
Quiz: Music which tells a story You are here!
Create a mood with a melody
Create a story with a melody
Quiz: The Spy Story - Who is who?
DVD-Video: Scoring your first scene - The Promotion
Create four motifs - Mama, papa, baby, and Goldie
Create continuity with a single motif
Foreground / Background music - soft vs. loud
Quiz: Watch a short movie - George Lucas In Love
DVD-Video: What is a "Spotting Session"? - Only A Dream
DVD-Video: Write two musical cues for Home Wrecker
More musical theory
Butchering Midi - The starwars theme
DVD-Video: How would you score Green Tea Smoothie ?
DVD-Video: Write a film score for Blindman's Bluff
Write a film score for Seduced by the Dark Side!


Nuvola apps kalarm.png Funny Pop Quiz Nuvola apps kalarm.png
Simple but useful information







"Hey, It's a pop quiz!"


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Pop Quiz

Trivial pop quiz
This pop quiz is used in a class for non-musicians. Please do not laugh.
Still, this pop quiz proves a point. Melodies can tell a story.
Just for the fun of it (and to get more points), please take this pop quiz.
1/2 point per answer


Earn one half point each
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What story is this music trying to tell you?

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?



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


Create your own melodies which create a mood or tell a story
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The next page

Now that you see that melodies can tell a story, go to the next exercise and create melodies which create a mood and create melodies which tell a story. Exercise: Creating a mood or story with a melody


Contact your instructor

Your instructor for this course is Robert Elliott. You can send me a quick email by clicking here.





NOTE: To submit assignments
Crystal Clear app xfmail.png To submit assignments, attach your completed assignments to an email and send it to me at "r_elliott AROBAZE.png innercite.com".