Next semester I will be offering a course on Film Music appreciation, a 200-level class for both music majors and non-majors. I expect that the proportions will swing to the non-major side, though I did set a prerequisite of having the ability to read music notation, which could discourage some non-majors. I haven't taught nor taken a course on film music before, but I have a friend from grad school who has lots of experience in the subject and has imparted some of his wisdom over the years. I also have an active Film Studies program on campus to consult, which has already resulted in a contact with a film composer from a local university.
I'm trying to decide how difficult to make the course. I have a textbook, The Soul of Cinema by Larry Timm, that is okay but rather basic. It deals with historical developments and a very rudimentary theory of aesthetic function, with little analysis and no real theories about the interaction of the music and the visual. I have checked out several other books to examine: Film Music - a neglected art; Film Music - Critical Approaches; Overtones and Undertones; The Invisible Art of Film Music; and Movie Music, the Film Reader. I may inject some readings from these books as reserve material, but I need to explore all of them, including the Timm book, more thoroughly before making decisions.
If any of you have taught or taken a course on film music, I'd love to hear from you. Likewise with any advice about the textbooks or film soundtracks that have to be included. I may have to make a limit in Jaquandar's case. (However, looking at his blog just now I see two things the university library absolutely must get. Unfortunately, one of them won't be available until after I teach this class, but it should be ready for that Winter Term course on Music of the Ring that I am planning to teach in January of 2007.)