[Smt-talk] theory of film music

Ildar Khannanov etudetableau at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 02:18:07 PDT 2014

And this discussion can bring us back to Bob's original question about
non-narrative analyses of film music. So, together with the possibility of
such analysis there is a possibility for film to have its own language,
besides and beyond the narrative. Of course, if the film has a strong story
line and powerful "action" (two aspects most commonly requested by
housewives and teenageres watching the sitcoms and blockbusters) the
non-narrative language--the montage--is unnecessary. In many cases the plot
and story are so powerful that the montage takes a back seat, becomes the
secondary plan of expression. However, in many cases of art film the
narrative is sacrificed and the montage becomes the main syntactic
strategy. Compare Tarkovsky's Solaris (no narrative, strong montage) with
Soderberg's remake (strong narrative, no montage). Music is often
superfluous--a good film does not need music or welcomes music that does
not simply accompany the visual row. Goddard caricaturized music in film.


Dr. Ildar Khannanov
Greetings from St. Petersburg!
etudetableau at gmail.com

2014-07-06 0:05 GMT-04:00 Burton, Deborah <burtond at bu.edu>:

> Interesting points, but then we should consider the filmic Leitmotives
> (directly from Wagner), the fact that the first film composers had been
> opera composers and Edison's love for opera was one of his motivations for
> developing the moving picture.  (He produced a full-length film version of
> "Martha" that came with a recording.)
> Deborah Burton
> Boston University
> burtond at bu.edu
> ________________________________________
> From: kos at panix.com [kos at panix.com]
> Sent: Friday, July 04, 2014 3:52 PM
> To: Burton, Deborah
> Cc: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
> Subject: RE: [Smt-talk] theory of film music
> On Fri, 4 Jul 2014, Deborah Burton <burtond at bu.edu> wrote:
> > Just a quick observation that film music developed from opera (especially
> > Wagnerian and post-Wagnerian types) and that any in-depth analysis of it
> > should recognize this aspect.  (Vertigo is so Tristan-esque it is
> practically
> > plagiarism.)
> Hi Deborah,
> I beg to disagree.  Film music developed out of music that accompanied
> staged
> drama.  Film dramas were just an extension of that and thus used the same
> procedures.  I've just finished reading a new book which underscores this
> point: Michael V. Pisani's "Music for the Melodramatic Theatre in
> Nineteenth-Century London and New York."  I think anyone who has worked
> with
> the scores of silent film music will find it difficult not to see the
> intimate
> connection between silent film and drama.
> Of course any composer can be influenced by opera--or any other musical
> form.
> But I feel that whatever influences one recognizes in film music (shades of
> Tristan in Vertigo -- and even more so in Psycho), it is fundamentally
> based on
> an extension of staged drama, not opera.
> 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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