Seminar Leaders: Jane Holloway ’11 (English and Spanish) and Genna Cherichello ’11 (Psychology)
Faculty Adviser: Marilyn Boltz (Psychology)

Listening to music is an emotive activity. Cinema has long capitalized on the power of music to make us feel. In this seminar we seek to explore the relationship between music and the moving image. How does music alter and enhance a film? How does film change the way we perceive music? What are the differences between the orchestral “original score,” written for the film, and soundtracks compiled of songs that come with their own context?

This seminar hopes to explore these questions in an effort to come up with a working definition for the function of music in this context. The primary texts will be the films themselves, supplemented by critical texts. How might Aristotle’s “Poetics” enlighten us about James Cameron’s Titanic? In what ways does Cameron capitalize on the Aristotelian notion of catharsis? How does a soundtrack by post-rock group Mogwai change a documentary about French soccer player Zinedine Zidane? This seminar will attract students interested in film studies, music, and psychology, but given the universal nature of music and film enjoyment, students of all backgrounds will be interested in our seminar.

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