Music in the Horror Film

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Music in the Horror Film is a collection of essays that examine the effects of music and its ability to provoke or intensify fear in this particular genre of film. Frightening images and ideas can be made even more intense when accompanied with frightening musical sounds, and music in horror film frequently makes its audience feel threatened and uncomfortable through its sudden stinger chords and other shock effects. Scholars in film studies have tended to downplay the audible over the visual, to overlook if not the presence of music in horror films, then its potency within them. The essays in this collection - some of which take a thematic approach, some of which focus on a particular film - strive to address that lacuna with respect to the particular genre of film known for its ability us, the horror film. With contribution from scholars across the disciplines of music and film studies, these essays delve into blockbusters like The Exorcist, The Shining, and The Sixth Sense, together with lesser known but still important films like Carnival of Souls and The Last House on the Left. By leading us with the ear to hear these films in new way's, these essays allow us to see horror films with fresh eyes.

The Routledge Music and Screen Media Series offers edited collection of original essays on music in particular genres of cinema, television, video games and new media. These edited essay collection are written for an interdisciplinary audience of students and scholars of music, film and media studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415992022
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/18/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Lerner is Associate Professor of Music at Davidson College, with his Ph.D. in Musicology from Duke University. He has several published articles and numerous conference presentations to his credit, including co-authorship on our book with Joseph Straus, Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music. Moreover, he is an active teacher of Film Music and carries a full load, teaching the curricula for general liberal arts students as well as required courses for music majors.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii

Perface: Listening to Fear/Listening with Fear viii

Acknowledgment xii

1 Carnival of Souls and the Organs of Horror Julie Brown 1

2 Mischief Afoot: Supernatural Horror-comedies and the Diabolus in Musica Janet K. Halfyyard 21

3 The Monster and the Music Box: Children and the Soundtrack of Horror Stan Link 38

4 The Strange Case of Rouben Mamoulian's Sound Stew: The Uncanny Soundtrack in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) Neil Lerner 55

5 Voice That Lie Within: The Heard and Unheard in Psycho Ross J. Fenimore 80

6 Pop Goes the Horror Score: Left Alone in The Last House on the Left Joe Tompkins 98

7 Ramblin' Men and Piano Men: Crises of Music and Masculinity in The Exorcist Claire Sisco King 114

8 Rehearing The Shining: Musical Undercurrents in the Overlook Hotel David J.Code 133

9 Hearing Deep Seated Fears: John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) K. J. Donnelly 152

10 Music and the Adult Ideal in A Nightmare on Elm Street James Buhler 168

11 The Beauty of Horror: Kilar, Coppola, and Dracula James Deaville 187

12 Quieting the Ghosts in The Sixth Sense and The Others Lloyd Whitesell 206

List of Contributors 225

Index 228

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