The tendency in most writing on the temporal properties of film music has been to
note music‘s ability to establish, quickly and efficiently, a films historical
setting. Although acknowledging this important function, this paper seeks to explore
a wider range of temporal properties fulfilled by film music. Three aspects of musics
temporality are discussed: anachronism (whereby choices of anachronistic music can
provide the spectator with ways of making sense of a films subtext or its characters’
state of mind), navigation (the ability of music to help the spectator understand
where and when they are in a films narrative) and expansion (musics ability to expand
our experience of film time). The paper focuses on Bernard Herrmann, and his score
for Taxi Driver (1976), and argues that Herrmann was particularly sensitive to the
temporal possibilities of film music.
Temporal and cultural diversity in Segun Akinola’s music for Doctor Who
The first things that we see and hear in an episode of Doctor Who are the title sequence and the series theme, and David Butler’s chapter focuses on variations of musical themes in the Chris Chibnall / Jodie Whittaker era. Drawing on new interview material with the British-Nigerian composer Segun Akinola, Butler begins by showing how Akinola’s rearrangement of the series theme (first realized in the 1960s by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) has hauntological links to the past while simultaneously moving forwards. Butler proceeds to examine the exceptional score for the episode ‘Demons of the Punjab’, including its variation of the end-titles music to reflect multiculturalism, before considering the thirteenth Doctor’s theme, and how the Doctor Who title theme has also been played at key moments within episodes to provide authenticity. By contrast, in ‘Rosa’ the Doctor’s theme can be usurped by Rosa Parks’s theme.