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Music has been an integral part of film exhibition from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century. With the arrival of sound film in the late 1920s, music became part of a complex multimedia text. Although industry, fan-oriented, and scholarly literatures on film music have existed from early on, and music was frequently among the topics discussed and disputed, only in the past thirty years has sustained scholarly attention gone to music in visual media, beginning with the feature film. The Oxford Handbook of Film Music Studies charts that interdisciplinary activity in its primary areas of inquiry: history, genre and medium, analysis and criticism, and interpretation.
The handbook provides an overview to the field on a large scale. Chapters in Part I range from the relations of music and the soundtrack to opera and film, textual representation of film sound, and film music as studied by cognitive scientists. Part II addresses genre and medium with chapters focusing on cartoons and animated films, the film musical, music in arcade and early video games, and the interplay of film, music, and recording over the past half century. The chapters in Part III offer case studies in interpretation along with extended critical surveys of theoretical models of gender, sexuality, and subjectivity as they impinge on music and sound. The three chapters on analysis in Part IV are diverse: one systematically models harmonies used in recent films, a second looks at issues of music and film temporality, and a third focuses on television. Chapters on history (Part V) cover topics including musical antecedents in nineteenth-century theater, the complex issues in sychronization of music in performance of early (silent) films, international practices in early film exhibition, and the symphony orchestra in film.
About the Author
David Neumeyer is Marlene and Morton Meyerson Professor in Music and Professor of Music Theory in the School of Music, The University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of several books including, most recently, a textbook with James Buhler and Rob Deemer entitled Hearing the Movies (2010).
Table of Contents
PART 1: Film Music : Central Questions
2. Music and the Ontology of the Sound Film: The Classical Hollywood System
James Buhler and David Neumeyer
3. Opera and Film
4. Visual Representation of Film Sound as Analytical Tool
5. Film Music from the Perspective of Cognitive Science
6. Composing for Film: Hanns Eisler's Lifelong Film-Music Project
Peter Schweinhardt and Johannes C. Gall, translated by Oliver Dahin
7. Ontological, Formal, and Critical Theories of Film Music and Sound
PART 2: Genre and Platform
8. Drawing a New Narrative for Cartoon Music
9. Genre Theory and the Film Musical
10. "The Tunes They are a-Changing": Moments of Historical Rupture and Reconfiguration in the Production and Commerce of Music in Film
11. The Compilation Soundtrack from the 1960s to the Present
12. The Origins of Musical Style in Video Games, 1977-1983
PART 3: Interpretative Theory & Practice
13. Classical Music, Virtual Bodies, Narrative Film
14. Gender, Sexuality, and the Soundtrack
15. Psychoanalysis, Apparatus Theory, and Subjectivity
16. Case Studies: Introduction
17. (Case Study 1) The Order of Sanctity: Sound, Sight, and Suasion in
DeMille's The Ten Commandments
18. (Case Study 2) Strange Recognitions and Endless Loops: Music, Media, and Memory in Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys
PART 4: Contemporary Approaches to Analysis
19. Transformational Theory and the Analysis of Film Music
20. Listening in Film: Music/Film Temporality, Materiality and Memory
21. Auteurship and Agency in Television Music
PART 5: Historical Issues
22. When the Music Surges: Melodrama and the Nineteenth-Century
Theatrical Precedents for Film Music Style and Placement
23. Audio-Visual Palimpsests: Resynchronizing Silent Films with "Special" Music
24. Performance Practices and Music in Early Cinema outside Hollywood
25. Performing Prestige: American Cinema Orchestras, 1910-1958