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Music: Course Guides: Film Music

Looking for books


Featured books


  Situated listening : the sound of absorption in classical cinema.

  Biancorosso, Giorgio.

  New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2016.

  Music 781.542 B578





   Overtones and undertones: reading film music.


   Brown, Royal S.


   Berkeley: University of California Press.1994.


   Call Number: Music 781.54209 B88 o9




   Hearing the movies: music and sound in film history  


   Buhler, James, David Neumeyer, and Rob Deemer


   New York: Oxford University Press. 2010.


   Call Number: Music 781.542 B93 h4  








   Unheard melodies: narrative film music.




   Gorbman, Claudia.




   London: BFI Pub. 1987.




   Call Number: Music 782.8509 G6  






   Film music: a very short introduction.


   Kalinak, Kathryn Marie.


   New York: Oxford University Press. 2010.

   Call Number: Music 781.542 K14 f4





   Film music.


   London, Kurt.

   New York: Arno Press.1970.

   Call Number: Music 781.542 L84 f4





   The invisible art of film music: a comprehensive history  


   MacDonald, Laurence E.


   Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2013.


   Call Number: Music 781.542 M13 i6  






   Changing tunes: the use of pre-existing music in film


   Powrie, Phil, and Robynn Jeananne Stilwell


   Aldershot, England: Ashgate. 2006.

   Call Number: Music 781.542 C45





   Music in film: soundtracks and synergy.


   Reay, Pauline.


   London: Wallflower. 2004.

   Call Number: Music 781.542 R28 m9




   The Oxford handbook of new audiovisual aesthetics


   edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, Carol Vernallis.


   New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013.

   Call Number: 302.23 O984 R52 



You may also search by subject in FIND@HKUL (HKU Libraries online catalogue) for books located at the Music Library and the Main Library


  • Motion picture music
  • Motion pictures and music
  • Motion picture music-history and criticism

Looking for journal articles


   Music, sound and the moving image

   ~ Print 2009 v.3 –

   Call number: S 781.542 M98 S

   ~ Online coverage 2007 v.1-




   The Journal of Film Music

   ~ Print 2002 – 2011

   Call number: S 781.542 J86 

   ~ Online coverage 2010 (Vol. 3, no. 1) - 2013 (Vol. 6, no. 2), 2014; Vol. 7 (1)




Looking for film reviews

Looking for film reviews in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online, a core music online database.

Search RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online in HKU Libraries catalogue > enter HKU portal login/password > Select Review of motion picture or video under Document Type > Enter

Looking for definitions


   Dictionary of film terms: the aesthetic companion to film analysis.

   Beaver, Frank Eugene. 1994.

   New York: Twayne Publishers.

   Call number: Music 791.4303 B38  



   Grove Music Online comprises New Grove Dictionary
   of Music & Musicians (2001), New Grove Dictionary of
   Opera (1992) and New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2002),
   which provide scholarly articles and biographies. These
   are considered the most authoritative reference materials

   for its full-text scholarly writings and bibliographies.

   New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians (2001)

   Call number: MuR 780.3 G88


Online resources

American Film Scripts contains over 1000 films scripts and over 100,000 scenes. Many of the scripts have never been published. The database is full-text searchable and includes detailed indexing on scenes, characters, and people. Supplemental information includes short biographies on the writers and awards given to individual films have been noted. It provides a tool for seeing films in a new way and helps to study the structure of scripts, character development, plot points and scenes.

Cinema and media studies includes a wide range of topics. Music, particularly, has Music and Cinema, Classical Hollywood; Music and Cinema, Global Practices; Music video and Musicals. Led by a distinguished scholar of the field, each topic features an introduction and annotated bibliography of books, journals, databases and websites. Updated monthly, it is a handy source to get to know the topic and to obtain key information.

International dictionary of films and filmmakers provides coverage of films and filmmakers, including legendary films, actors and actresses, directors, writers and other production artists. Entries include a detailed essay written by an expert, with photographs.

  • Volume 1 Films
  • Volume 2 Directors
  • Volume 3 Actors and actresses
  • Volume 4 Writers and production artists.

 Film literature index contains approximately 700,000 citations to articles, film reviews and book reviews published between 1976-2001.


Looking for theses & dissertations

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I (since 1861)  is the most comprehensive source of its kind. It offers abstracts, citations and 24-page previews of dissertations and theses.

Digital Dissertation Consortium (since 2001) provides abstracts, citations and full-text dissertations.

How to cite your sources

When you cite resources properly, readers can follow your thoughts and your meticulous research work is shown as well. There are some citation styles and you may wish to seek your professor’s preference before getting started. Once you have chosen a style, it is important to be consistent. 



   The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.

   Call number: MuR 808.0270973 C53

   For online version, the Quick Guide features two basic documentation systems: 1. notes & bibliography 2. author-date.


Other citation styles, e.g. APA, MLA

How to Cite Film, Video and Online Media (from UC Berkeley)

How to Cite Miscellaneous Sources: Music or Sound Recording (from the Yale Writing Center)

How to write


   Irvine’s writing about music. 3rd ed.

   Call number: MuR 780.72 I72 W9

   Online version