New PDF release: Charms that soothe: classical music and the narrative film

By Dean Duncan

ISBN-10: 0823222799

ISBN-13: 9780823222797

From Chaplin’s marvelous use of Wagner within the Gold Rush to the Bach chorale ultimate Scorsese’s on line casino, classical song has performed a desirable position in video clips.

Dean Duncan offers a clean severe survey of the aesthetics of classical tune in movie. Exploring tensions among excessive paintings and advertisement tradition, Duncan examines how administrators quote topics and classical passages in genres starting from the Soviet avant garde to Hollywood romances. Drawing on movie idea, musicology, and cultural feedback, he clarifies the connections among very diversified artwork types.

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24. This is not to say that their repetitions were unconsidered, but as I hope to demonstrate, there are other ways to look at these issues. 25. Berg, 1976, 17. 26. Prendergast, 1992, 70. 27. Williams, Martin, ‘‘Jazz at the Movies,’’ in Limbacher, 1974, 42. Cf. composer Ernest Gold: ‘‘I wouldn’t use classical music as a score, I think it interferes. If you know the music, it draws more attention to itself than it should. . ’’ Quoted in Larson, 1987, 351–52. 28. Bazelon, 1975, 133. Emphasis added.

It may be imagined that the Grove’s editors did not wish to dignify that relationship by their notice, especially since it could not have met with their approval. The 1954 edition bears out this suspicion. Three writers, Ernest Irving, Hans Keller, and Wilfred Mellers, collaborated on the film music entry in the 1954 edition. Irving opens the entry by pointing out that in film exhibition, there was music from the first. ‘‘Some of the music was, of its kind, excellent in quality. . ’’30 He says that in silent years music ‘‘had to be used’’ instead of dialogue, in order to make the action readable.

Even Eisler and Adorno suggest as much when they point out that strict universal criteria cannot be applied to uses of film music. ’’ Having presented and established these clear, cautionary positions, we return to a selective survey of film-musical scholarship. In doing so we find that in the work of a number of more recent scholars the partisanship of the pioneering scholar/advocates is giving way to just this kind of an evenhanded approach. Claudia Gorbman’s groundbreaking 1987 study, Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music, takes important film music contexts— narratology and film music, the reasons music is used, its relationship to the spectator, the classical Hollywood model, and the Eisler/Adorno critique—and describes them, all in dispassionate detail, all the while resisting the urge to evaluate or to rate.

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Charms that soothe: classical music and the narrative film by Dean Duncan


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