Classical music in narrative film: strategies for use and analysis

Duncan, Dean William (2000) Classical music in narrative film: strategies for use and analysis. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The present study deals with the use of classical music in narrative film, and some of the theoretical and historical considerations that can help us contextualize and understand that use. The following is a list of chapters, and a summary of concepts contained therein.
CHAPTER ONE: After briefly considering some of the challenges of interdisciplinary scholarship, I will review the literature on classical music in the sound film. This review will touch upon the early (1930s and 1940s) commentaries of Kurt London, Hanns Eisler and Theodor Adorno, and John Huntley, and then pass on to a kind of concensus held between both commentators and composers of the 1960s and 1970s. Finally I will review the work of more recent film music scholars who, along with some others working in other fields, provide what I feel to be a more open model for understanding this kind of film music.
CHAPTER TWO: Having reviewed the position of the film music community, this chapter will concern some responses of music critics to film music generally, and the appropriation of classical music in particular. I will outline specific complaints and criticisms, and attempt to show some of the broader socio-musical issues that motivated them.
CHAPTER THREE: This chapter will consider the musical parallelism associated with traditional Hollywood-type narratives, and then concentrate on the oppositional model (derived from "montage" aesthetics) represented by Soviet and other modernist cinemas. I will deal especially with the influential "counterpoint analogy, " and consider how musical discourse can resolve some of the confusions that this analogy has habitually presented.
CHAPTER FOUR: The last chapter will have presented a counterpoint based on musical principles as a possible analogy or metaphor for how film music works, and how its meaning and affect can be understood. This chapter is about the programme music tradition that prevailed in the nineteenth century. I will enumerate some of its sin-fflarities, musically and in terms of its critical reception by the music community, to film music. I will explore how programmes, or extra-musical narratives, are also central to understanding musical meaning, and to the use of classical music in films.
CHAPTER FIVE: Here I will look more closely at montage, meaning, and classical music on film. A number of questions will be addressed. What are the interpretive strategies that most apply? How does musical meaning function in a film context, especially with regard to source music? Beyond classical music in general, what is the importance of periods, idioms, composers and specific pieces? What is the significance of the artist's intent? What about when the artist is not fully in control of his circumstances, or of his craft? What of phenomenology? All of these expansions obviously complicate the equation. Accordingly the concept of indeterminacy will be reviewed to suggest how both chance and control operate within musical montage.
CHAPTER SIX: I will suggest and expand upon some of the extra-musical implications of this study. I will suggest some of the possibilities these raise for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Alastair Arthur
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-9082
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2018 08:29
Last Modified: 10 May 2018 08:41

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