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Listening to Film Music

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Lori Pyatt

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of Listening to Film Music

Placement
Listening to Film Music
Listening to Film Music

Film sound divides into 3 categories:
1. Dialogue
2. Sound effects
3. Music
Borrowings
Film music is either original or its borrowed.
Musical Style
Musical Style Examples
Placement
Music within the Narrative
Music often introduced as outside element, a sound not a part of story itself. Often referred to as "background" music.
Music often secondary to dialogue & sound effects, so may be difficult at first to listen to music.
Five topics concerning film music:
1. Placement
2. Borrowings
3. Styles
4. Function
5. Unity
Music as the Opening & Closing Frames
1. Opening frames functions
a. alert audience to beginning of film
2. introduce dominant musical theme of the film
3. present several musical themes that will be heard (when contains a series of tunes from film, often called a medley.
4. establish the mood of the film
5. foreshadow significant aspects of story.
2. Closing frames functions:

a. reflect mood
b. create cheerful ambience
c. reprise a number of important musical ideas
d. incorporate a new song
Extended films(or epic films) structure:
1.
Overture
-precedes film, contains medley of songs from film.
2. Main title & opening credits
3. First part of film
4. Intermission (with or w/out music
5.
Entr'acte
- like overture, but precedes the resumption of film after intermission
6. Second part of film
7. Closing credits
Source music or Diegetic music:
music that has a logical source within the narrative of the film.
Underscoring or Non-Diegetic music:
music in film that does not emanate from a source seen or implied on the screen.
Cue:
passage of underscoring from its entrance to its end.
Wall-to-wall:
music that plays almost continually through out the film.
Original music:
newly created music for a specific film.
Borrowed music:
based on music that was previously composed.
Borrowed music terms:
1.
Arrangement:
borrows a melody from another source and composer provides with an original setting for the film.
Example: Casablanca
; "As Time Goes By"
2.
Adaptation:
borrows a complete passage from another source, including melody and accompaniment.
Adaptation score terms:
1.
Compilation score:
a type of musical score in which most of the music is borrowed from other sources. (common in silent film era)
2.
Adapted score:
borrowing of a substantial portion of an existing composition for use in a film score. Music remains largely intact and recognizable, but can be altered to suit the film needs.
Example:
The Sting
; Scott Joplin "Pineapple Rag"
Eclectic score:
score that has a combination of musical styles used.
Postromantic- eliminate popular and modern as choice- then probably postromantic.
Historical and ethnic sparingly used.
Function of Film Music
1. Establishing a Mood
2. Supporting the Plot
3. Establishing Character, Setting,
Point of View, and Theme
1. Establishing a Mood
All music projects some kind of mood.
What kind of mood do the following project?
Schindler's List
The Graduate
Moods often change as the story develops. Beginning often establishes essential mood of film as a whole.
Running Counter to the Action:
when music depicts a mood that deliberately does not match what is on screen.
Glory
(final scene)
2. Supporting the Plot
Music can support a plot by reinforcing its emotional content.
Music can play a critical role by showing relationship between two or more shots. Rapid number of cuts often need music to create sense of unity.
High Noon
(final showdown)
Music can reflect physical movement and recreate natural sounds.
Stinger:
sudden impact accompanied by an accent in orchestra (face slap)
Mickey Mousing:
derogatory term for mimicking of physical action in film to extent as to suggest cartoon music.
3. Establishing Character, Setting, Point of View, & Theme
Music can reinforce the characterization and setting of a given story.
Around the World in 80 Days
Points of view- characters may have conflicting emotions in any scene. or an emotion different than the scene.
Theme- underlying theme also aided by music.
- show change of character
-reflect a prevailing mood
-underscore the essential message
Musical Unity
Films can be unified by a consistent mood, timbre, & style.
Leitmotif: recurring theme linked with some aspect of a drama(usually a person, object, or idea.)
Use of the leitmotif
Jaws
leitmotif
Thematic Transformation: helps to create variety and gives support to dramatic situations.
In simple terms, means a leitmotif can be altered when it recurs during a film. Change can be of instrumentation, tempo, or harmony.
Return of the Jedi
, death of Darth Vader
Return of the Jedi,
Darth Vader theme
Gone With the Wind
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