[Smt-talk] theory of film music

kos at panix.com kos at panix.com
Wed Jul 2 21:06:07 PDT 2014

Hey folks,

I know lots of you are interested in "film music" although it almost never is 
written about on SMT-TALK.

My recent perusal of the book "Music and Levels of Narration in Film: Steps 
Across the Border" by Guido Heldt (Chicago: Intellect, 2013) reminded me of one 
of my ongoing questions concerning film music studies, in that a noticeably large group 
of writers take their cue from film studies and use narrativity as the basis for 
understanding film music.

While understanding narrative is essential to understanding how music operates 
in a film, I'm often disappointed in that I see no further dissection of the 
music.  My own bias is empiricism:  I feel that--in general--the internal 
evidence of the music can offer more insight into understanding music.  I see 
this *rarely* discussed in film music - and when it is written about, it's 
usually in the context of how to write music for films.  (I often imagine that, 
because it's so difficult to get a film score, people have derived analytical 
modes that consider the written score irrelevant.)

I see the above is purely musicological.  Beyond the narrativity movement, can 
anyone point to writings that attempt to deal with film music as part of music 

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
   Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-TALK ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
--- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions ---

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