Lesson 5 Reading Assignment
Sound and Music


(The discussion of sound is threaded throughout the various chapters of our text, so you’ll have to skip around a bit for this lesson.)

How to Read a Film

In Chapter 2, Technology: Image and Sound, read the sections titled, "Sound Technology" (pp. 74-78), "The Soundtrack," and "Post-Production: Mixing and Looping" (pp. 132-135).

In Chapter 3, The Language of Film: Signs and Syntax, read the section titled, "Sound" (pp. 212-216).

In Chapter 6, Media: In the Middle of Things, read the section titled, "Radio and Records."

Time Estimate

45 minutes


As we saw in Lesson 1, there are a lot of interesting parallels between audio-only drama and the audio-visual drama of the movies. Although we always think of movies as a visual medium, when you take away the soundtrack of a contemporary film, you often lose as much as (if not more than) if you eliminate the image track. Sound truly is that important in the equation.

Please post your responses to the following topics on the class message board.

  1. Describe a film you know that might work just as well on the radio as it does in a theater or on TV.
  2. Describe some of your favorite movie sound effects and explain how they are integrated with the image track.