This unit introduces students to screen sound and music cultures across film, television, video games, streaming media services and online digital platforms. Students will examine:
• Major theoretical frameworks and key debates in the field of screen sound
• Local and indigenous sonic traditions and how they can serve as conduits for representation or are appropriated in screen sound conventions and music styles
• Industrial and technological histories of screen sound and music, and how these histories are shaped by gendered and power structure across global/local cultures
• How key technical developments in screen music and sound design continuously impact the forms and styles of screen media around the world
• Where different music composition, performance, and sound design methods shape screen audience cultures and interpretative practices

Students will become equipped with the critical tools to analyse the intersections between the audio and visual dimensions of screen texts and will understand how pivotal industrial and technological developments have shaped screen sound cultures. Students will produce a podcast using professional-standard software and meeting industry expectations.


MDA30019 Screen Sounds and Music

requisite for MDA30019

100 credit points

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Critically analyse how sound and music shape genre, form, and style in screen media
  • Identify the relationships between screen sound theory, diverse social and cultural context and professional practice
  • Relate specific screen texts, as well as types of screen media, to their technological and industrial contexts in music and sound design
  • Apply key principles of screen music and sound design to audio-visual practice
  • Understand how gendered and cultural power dynamics have impacted screen sound industries and conventions

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Class (Seminar)
2.00  12 weeks  24
Class (Tutorial)
2.00  12 weeks  24
Specified Activities
3.67  12 weeks  44
Unspecified Activities
4.83  12 weeks  58
TOTAL     150


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Analysis Individual  30%  1,2,3,4 
Essay Individual  40%  1,2,3,5
Podcast Individual  30%  3,4,5


  • Film sound practice from the silent era to synchronised sound
  • Genre and screen sounds
  • Music and the movies
  • Gender and cultural dynamics of screen sound industries
  • Leitmotif and the development of music as brand
  • Industrial and technological histories
  • Dubbing and subtitles
  • Digital technology and sound
  • Screen sound cultures

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.