Online Master's Degree Course

Stylistic Adaptations in Film Scoring


Authored by Richard Davis


Course Code: OCOMP-662

Next semester starts September 28

Level 6 - Degree Only

Level 6

One of the important skills for the modern film composer to master is the ability to incorporate music from different cultures and countries into a feature film, television show, or documentary film score. Whether the location of the film or program is a certain country, or the characters are from a particular part of the world, a director may want to reflect the culture being shown to varying degrees. This course will present a framework by which you will learn to perform research and make appropriate choices. During the course, you will employ research techniques to develop a deep understanding of different musical styles, systems, instruments, melodic and harmonic structures, and societal functions. This work will prepare you for professional endeavors and collaborations with directors and producers that require music of a different culture.

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze a film for places where music from another country or culture is appropriate 
  • Determine if this music should be literal, or just referred to
  • Use scales, instruments, and rhythmic patterns in various non-Western music systems in a film score
  • Develop original themes and musical textures using the results of this research
  • Incorporate and fuse this material with Western instruments or ensembles
  • Use sample libraries to recreate the sounds of world instruments that are not available as a live recording option
  • Work with musicians who come from another system of music
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info


Syllabus coming soon.


Requirements coming soon.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal Microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection



Author & Instructor

Richard Davis is a performer and composer in classical, jazz, popular, country, and East Indian music. He has performed with greats like Phylicia Rashād, Betty Buckley, John Denver, and Illinois Jacquet. His film and television credits include Robin Hood: Prince of ThievesThe Last Boy ScoutThe Fall Guy, and others. Davis earned his bachelor of music degree from California State University at Northridge. 


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

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