information that is not present in the films’ visual story.
These films question the subservient position of the soundtrack within
most films, which traditionally relegates filmmusic to the background
in favour of the onscreen images. 1 Music is integral to the filmic
process, and does not simply accompany onscreen images. So, too, can the
study of filmmusic serve as a powerful analytic tool for critics
Among the musical Hitler Émigrés from Vienna to London, pride of place has often been
accorded to Hans Keller, a psychologically-minded critic (or, as he described
himself, ‘anti-critic’) who dominated the British musical scene for the 40 years that
followed 1945. In the period 1946-1959 he devoted himself assiduously to film music,
on the one hand laying out the topics that a ‘competent film music critic’ would need
to address, and on the other paying scrupulous attention to everything he saw and
heard. He shared with Theodor Adorno a loathing of Hollywood, and championed British
composers above most others. This selection comes in advance of the publication of
his collected writings on film, Film Music and Beyond (London, Plumbago, 2005), and
shows on the one hand his topical writings, dealing with the importance of actually
listening to film-music, ‘noise as leitmotif’, the contribution of psychology to
understanding the function of film music, and classical quotations in film, and on
the other hand his writing on composers, including Arthur Benjamin, Georges Auric,
William Alwyn, Leonard,Bernstein (On the Waterfront) and Anton Karas (The Third
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.
This article examines the paradoxes inherent in filmic time, with particular
reference to the autobiographical work of the British director Terence Davies.
Analysing ways in which film, itself constructed from still images, can create,
reverse or freeze temporal flux, confuse and blend multiple and conflicting
temporalities, and create the spatial dimensions of an ‘imaginary’ time, it argues
that the relationship between film and music may well provide a fundamental key to
the understanding of filmic time.
This article investigates the emotive potency of horror soundtracks. The account
illuminates the potency of aural elements in horror cinema to engage spectators body
in the light of a philosophical framework of emotion, namely, the embodied appraisal
theories of emotion. The significance of aural elements in horror cinema has been
gaining recognition in film studies. Yet it still receives relatively scarce
attention in the philosophical accounts of film music and cinematic horror, which
tend to underappreciate the power of horror film sound and music in inducing
emotions. My investigation aims both to address the lacuna, and facilitate dialogue
between the two disciplines.
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds. The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films. Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
occur in all actual audio-viewing situations (from crowded multiplex to family living-room). Are they right to argue that the composed soundtrack should be inserted into this larger acoustic context?
Edward Bast, an earnest young composer in William Gaddis’s novel J R (1975), finds himself having to undertake some commercial projects in order to keep body and soul together. He is particularly dismayed, however, when one film producer requests from him ‘some nothing music’, which, so as to leave intact the sovereignty of
The music of Eric Serra in the films of Luc Besson
a composer of pop
scores into a writer of full-blown orchestral filmmusic. In Le
Dernier combat we find the germ of Serra’s style: cues
constructed from repeating riffs, more freely improvised material and
longline, quasi-song form structures. In Subway , Serra expands
this last into full-blown pop songs and begins to incorporate a
growing number of exotic influences into his style. While
Medieval film' forces us into a double-take on chronology. This book argues that such a playful confusion of temporalities is a fundamental characteristic not just of the term but also of medieval films themselves. Medieval films reflect on the fact that they make present a past that was never filmable and offer alternatives to chronological conceptions of time. The book examines the contrasting uses, or non-uses, of medieval art objects in two medieval films and assesses how they contribute to the films' overall authenticity-effects. It makes tentative contribution to a list of such characteristics: that the fragmented visual profile of the medieval makes medieval authenticity-effects particularly troublesome to produce. The reliance of film theory on medievalism has never been acknowledged by film scholars. The book shows the ways in which preconceived notions of the Middle Ages filtered into and were influenced by film theory throughout the twentieth century; and to what extent film theory relies on knowledge about the Middle Ages for its basic principles. It explores to what extent medieval film engages with questions of language, and to what extent these engagements may be distinctive. Cinematic medievalism participated in and drew on a wider cultural and political preoccupation with the Middle Ages. Romanticism posited the Middle Ages as an alternative, utopian realm promising creative and political possibility. The book argues that certain films with medieval themes and settings, mostly dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, demonstrate a surprising affinity with the themes and techniques associated with film noir.
Music played a major role in the life of a global ideological phenomenon like the British Empire. This book demonstrates that music has to be recognised as one of the central characteristics of the cultural imperialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It begins with an account of the imperial music of Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Arthur Sullivan and the establishing of an imperial musical idiom. The book discusses the music composed for or utilized by official occasions: coronations, jubilees, exhibitions, tattoos, Armistice Day and Empire Day. Community singing was also introduced at the Aldershot Military Tattoo in 1927, sponsored by the Daily Express. The book examines the imperial content of a range of musical forms: operetta and ballet, films, music hall songs, ballads, hymns and marches. In one of the scenes depicting ballet, Indian dancing girls are ordered to reveal the riches of the land and the Ballet of Jewels. There were two staples of song in the second half of the nineteenth century: the drawing-room ballad and the music-hall song. Sir Henry Coward was Britain's leading chorus-master, and his 1911 musical world tour with Sheffield choir was the high point of his career. The book concludes with a discussion of practitioners of imperial music: the divas Emma Albani, Nellie Melba and Clara Butt, and the baritone Peter Dawson.