Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo: A Film Score Handbook

Overview

This in-depth musicological and critical study examines how Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo plays a crucial role in the articulation and development of the filM's narrative and how it affects readings of the film. Herrmann's collaboration with Hitchcock spanned eleven years and nine films, and Herrmann's film score for Vertigo is widely regarded as being one of his finest. Cooper considers the development of Herrmann's career up to 1958, providing a detailed discussion of his musical ...

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Overview

This in-depth musicological and critical study examines how Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo plays a crucial role in the articulation and development of the filM's narrative and how it affects readings of the film. Herrmann's collaboration with Hitchcock spanned eleven years and nine films, and Herrmann's film score for Vertigo is widely regarded as being one of his finest. Cooper considers the development of Herrmann's career up to 1958, providing a detailed discussion of his musical style. The explicit information about the structure of Herrmann's music is based on a study of Herrmann's autograph score.

Cooper examines not only the context of the filM's production, but also its reception and critical readings of the film. In addition, this study explores how the effects track co-operates with Herrmann's non-diegetic and diegetic score and concludes with a detailed musicological study. The author advances a new theory, in his discussion of signification, about the establishment of meaning in film music through association with images on the screen. This sophisticated musicological approach will appeal to film music and film communication scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Herrmann, a classically trained musician, wrote the scores for , , , , and as well as an opera of and other concert works. This study focuses, scene by scene, on the composer's music for Hitchcock's 1958 classic , a film that presents an almost seamless integration of its components and yet owes much to Herrmann's score in the realization of its mysterious, disturbing mood. Cooper (U. of Leeds) provides background on Herrmann's career, and then traces the musical flow through the film's narrative "from Wagnerian chromatic harmony, through Pucciniesque diatonic to Schoenbergian atonal ." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313314902
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: Film Score Guides Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Abbreviations and Acknowledgements
Introduction
Ch. 1 Herrmann's Career Up to the Composition of Vertigo 1
Ch. 2 Overview of Herrmann's Musical Style in Vertigo 17
Ch. 3 Context of the Production of Vertigo and Readings of the Film 41
Ch. 4 Approaching Vertigo as a Musical and Sonic Text 59
Ch. 5 Analysis and Readings of the Score: Madeleine 83
Ch. 6 Analysis and Readings of the Score: Eurydice Ressuscitee 125
Bibliography 149
Index 153
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Excellent Book for score analysis

    If you're interested in how and why Hermann wrote the score as he did, this is an excellent resource. Many themes are printed out and the development is detailed and linked to the action on-screen.
    My only problem is that this is a print-on-demand book and the binding is terrible, pages loosen immediately. But this is a very rare book and difficult to find, and B&N had the best price anywhere.
    I highly recommend it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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