Significance of Music and Sound Used in the Movie The Conversation (805 words)

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Subject Music Music - Other


This end-of-term written assignment (600 - 800 words, typewritten) will be an examination and analysis of a selected film clip, and the role of music—and more broadly, the role of sound—within that clip, as it interacts with the film’s visual track. Each student will select a clip between one and three minutes in length (with perhaps some flexibility in length, one way or the other, depending on the clip). A "first-come, first-claimed" set of sign-up boards is now available. Each student must select a film clip (by title and times) that has not already been claimed. An extensive list of films is provided (below) from which to select a clip.

PLEASE NOTE: You may select a film that someone else has already selected. Two or more of you can select the same film. But you must select a film clip that is uniquely your own. And you must make your selection from one of the films listed below.

Remember you have access to three of the five full-length films in this course. Any clips not included in the lessons, open forums, or discussion boards are fair game. Also, any film on the list is fair game--you simply need to own, rent, or borrow the film.

Your paper provides an opportunity to apply the O.A.R.S model of examination (Observation, Analysis, Reflection, Synthesis), which has been practiced in the discussion boards, and which has been repeatedly modeled in the lessons of this course. The key is to focus, and to examine in detail.

Here are some more tips about writing your paper: You can assume the reader has seen the film, but you still want to orient your reader with a brief introduction of your topic. Similarly, at the end of your paper, you want a conclusion that provides insight and synthesis--stating the sorts of things that come from reflecting on the observations and analysis that make up the "meat" of your paper.

Peruse the film list, and select a film from the list and identify a clip between 1 and 3 minutes in length that will be the subject of your paper. It’s possible that the clip could be shorter or longer—but check with your instructor about any exceptions.

There are four Sign-up Boards, based on the first letter of the film titles. Be sure to select the correct sign-up board—as presented in the list here—based on the alphabetical category under which your selected film is listed.

When you are sure of your selection, go to the corresponding Sign-up Board and post your film title with start and stop times for your selected clip. The Sign-up Board explains exactly how to do this.

Some examples of clips that have already been “claimed” (by virtue of their having been the subject of examination within our lessons) provide a model for your sign-up “posts.”


First, it is your responsibility to make sure that the clip you have chosen has not already been claimed. Dividing the film list into four alphabetized boards makes that task much less of a burden. The sign-up boards provide a time and date “stamp” that is the arbiter of any disputes.

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Significance of Music and Sound Used in the Movie The Conversation
Opening Park Scene (00:00:00 – 00:03:12)
The opening title sequence in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation begins with the distinct sounds of a brass/steel drum band whose music echoes across the square. You can also faintly make out the sounds of passing cars in San Francisco’s Union Square. Halfway through the opening credits the audience is exposed to what can only be described as a non-diegetic digital noise that wouldn't appear out of place in a science-fiction movie. This small snippet of sound almost seems misplaced in its use, there appears to be no relationship or correlation with the images that are being shown....

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