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Cover

Hearing the Movies

Music and Sound in Film History

James Buhler, David Neumeyer, and Rob Deemer

Publication Date - April 2009

ISBN: 9780195327793

496 pages
Paperback

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $72.95

Hearing the Movies brings music into the context of sound, and sound into the context of the whole film.

Description

Films achieve their effects with sound as well as images. An ideal text for introductory film music courses, Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History brings music into the context of sound, and sound into the context of the whole film.

The text explores film sound in three parts. Through engaging, accessible sample analyses and exercises, Part I illustrates ways to analyze a soundtrack in relation to the image track. Part II focuses on the contributions of music to film form and style while offering a number of detailed analyses of different types of scenes; and Part III lays out a concise history of film music and sound, paying particular attention to the role of technological innovations in film production and exhibition.
Features:
* Detailed sample analyses with timings describe the function of sound and music in individual scenes
* Extended exercises suggest tools for basic analysis of the soundtrack
* Interludes at the ends of Parts I and II offer guidelines for writing about films in terms of their sound and music
* Historical coverage extends from the silent film era to the advent of digital technology and beyond
* Provides a broad range of examples from Hollywood, independent, and foreign films, as well as focused analysis
* Features sidebar commentary from industry professionals and more than 300 illustrations, including screen stills, photos, tables, diagrams, and musical excerpts
* Incorporates the broadest range of scholarship on film music currently available, spanning the disciplines of music and film/media studies
* Includes glossary of terms for easy reference
* Companion website at http://www.hearingthemovies.net offers additional resources for instructors and students

Reviews

"Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History asks students to consider music in the context of the whole soundtrack; that is, in conjunction with sound effects and dialogue. This is a novel and wonderful approach, as the authors incorporate aspects of film sound theory--critical terminology in particular--into the study of film music."--Julie Hubbert, University of South Carolina

Table of Contents

    Each Chapter opens with an Introduction.
    Preface
    Introduction
    PART I: THE SOUND TRACK AND FILM NARRATIVE: BASIC TERMS AND CONCEPTS
    CHAPTER 1: THE SOUND TRACK AND NARRATIVE
    Basics: Image Track, Sound Track, Narrative
    Sound Track Components and Narrative
    Speech
    Sound Effects
    Music
    Example for Sound Track Components and Narrative (1): Sleepless in Seattle, Second Botched Meeting
    Example for Sound Track Components and Narrative (2): Good Will Hunting, Boston Common Scene
    Summary
    Exercise: Masking
    Exercise: Using an Analysis Checklist
    TERMINOLOGY THE MUSICALITY OF THE SOUND TRACK: CONCEPTS Music and Sound
    Tempo
    Rhythm and Meter
    Volume
    Timbre
    Filters and "Distortion"
    Pitch
    Orchestration
    Timbre and Sound
    Texture
    Density and Liveliness
    Monophony
    Homophony
    Melody and Accompaniment
    Polyphony
    A-melodic (Accompaniment without melody)
    Texture and Foreground/Background Functions
    Example for Sound Track Analysis Using Musical Terms (1): Trzy Kolory: Bialy (Three Colors: White), The Shooting
    Example for Sound Track Analysis Using Musical Terms (2): Atonement, Main-Title Sequence and First Scene
    Summary
    Exercise 1: Analysis of Sound Track Elements (After Altman, Jones, and Tatroe)
    Exercise 2: Using Graphic Displays for Sound (After Wierzbicki)
    PTS AND TERMINOLOGY, SOUND, AND THE SPACE OF NARRATIVE: Diegetic/Nondiegetic Music and Narrative
    Example for Diegetic and Nondiegetic Music: Glory, Boston Party scene
    Onscreen/Offscreen Sound and Music
    Offscreen Sound
    Onscreen/Offscreen Sound Interaction: Examples
    Ambiguity of Offscreen Sound: Underdetermination of Sound
    Point of View Sound
    Offscreen Sound and Music in Relation to the Diegesis
    Voice-over
    Audio Dissolve
    Mickey-Mousing: Music as Effects "Sweetener"
    The Acousmêtre (Acoustical Being)
    Summary
    Exercise 1: Using an Events Table
    Exercise 2: Using an (Updated) Analysis Checklist
    Transitions: The Sound Bridge and Hard Cuts
    Sound Advance
    Sound Lag
    Sound Link
    Sound Match
    Hard Cut
    Synchronization ("Playing with the Film")
    Example for Synchronization: Casablanca, Rick and Ilsa Meet
    Counterpoint ("Playing against the Film")
    Summary Example for Synchronization and Counterpoint: Casablanca, After-Hours Scene
    Summary
    Exercise: The Commutation Test
    ION TERLUDE: WRITING ABOUT FILM SOUND: ANALYSIS AND Analysis Report: Catch Me If You Can
    Overview
    1. Background
    2. Synopsis
    3. Music Cues
    4. General Description of the Sound Track Elements and their Balance
    5. General Evaluation of the Sound Track
    6. Description of Music's Narrative Functions
    Response Paper that Describes Music's Narrative Functions
    Compare and Contrast Paper Focusing on Music
    Concluding Comments
    PART II: MUSIC, FILM FORM, AND FILM STYLE
    Runtime SegmentationIN FILM FORM
    Synch Points and Audiovisual Phrasing
    Examples for Music in Film Form
    Lady Windermere's Fan
    Mildred Pierce
    Rashomon
    Psycho
    The Birdcage
    The Hours
    Summary
    Establishing SequenceN MAIN-TITLE AND END-CREDIT SEQUENCES
    Meet Me in St. Louis, Titles and Opening Scene
    Rashomon, Prologue and Title Sequence
    The Sound of Music, Overture and Title Sequence
    Out of Africa, Music in the Main-Title Sequence
    To Kill a Mockingbird, Music in the Main-Title Sequence
    Additional Examples
    End-Credit Music
    Films from 1939, End Credits
    Out of Africa, Final Scene and End Credits
    Bridget Jones's Diary, End-Credits Sequence
    Additional Examples
    Summary
    Performance SceneIC IN PERFORMANCE AND MONTAGE SCENES
    To Have and Have Not, "Am I Blue?"
    The Sound of Music, "The Laendler" (as Dance Scene)
    The Sound of Music and Grease, Two Larger Performance Numbers
    Additional Examples
    Montage or Fantasy Scene
    Gone with the Wind, Montage Sequence in the Prologue to Part 2
    Pride & Prejudice, Three Montage Sequences
    Bridget Jones's Diary, "Out of Reach" and "I'm Every Woman"
    Additional Examples
    Summary
    Style Topics and the LeitmotifHE SOUND TRACK
    Introduction: Theme, Motif, and Motive
    "Love" Themes
    The Leitmotif
    Style Topics
    Musical Styles
    Location and Stereotype
    Style Topics in Rebecca
    A Note on Sound Topics
    Summary
    Dialogue SceneMUSIC IN CHARACTER AND ACTION SCENES
    Rebecca, Terrace Scene
    Additional Examples
    Action Scene
    Wo Hu Cang Long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), "Theft of the Sword"
    The Matrix, "Trinity in a Jam"
    Additional Examples
    Love Scene
    Out of Africa, "On Safari: The Second Dinner"
    The Sound of Music, "The Laendler" (as Love Scene)
    Shadowlands, Four Scenes
    Summary
    RLUDE: WRITING ABOUT FILM MUSIC: INTERPRETATION Developing a Reading (1): Finding a Thesis
    Thesis Options for Catch Me if You Can
    Examples from the Published Literature
    Developing a Reading (2): Reading against the Grain
    Example: Casablanca against the Grain
    Summary
    PART III: THE SOUND TRACK: A TECHNOLOGICAL HISTORY
    The Early YearsMUSIC AND SOUND IN THE SILENT ERA (1895-1929)
    The Nickelodeon
    "Playing the Picture"
    Special Scores
    The Picture Palace
    Stratification of Exhibition
    The Show
    Music and Sound Production in the Picture Palace
    Fitting the Picture
    Special Scores in the 1920s
    Road Shows
    Music on the Set
    Summary
    A Note on the Music for Silent Film Releases to VHS and DVD
    CHAPTER 11: THE TRANSITION TO SOUND FILM (1926-1932)
    Issues of Teschnology and Economics
    Sound Research in the 1920s
    Sound Film and the Standardization of Exhibition
    Sound and the Feature Film, 1927: The Jazz Singer
    The Transition from Silent to Sound Film
    Types of Early Sound Film
    Musicals in Early Sound Film
    Mastering the Sound Track and Elements of Style
    Production
    Production Phases
    Music Department
    Sound Department
    Summary
    CHAPTER 12: MUSIC AND THE SOUND TRACK IN THE CLASSICAL STUDIO ERA
    Issues of Technology and Economics
    Improvements in Recording Technology
    Rerecording
    Sound in the Theaters of the 1930s and 1940s
    The Great Depression and the Consolidation of Genres
    The Sound Track in the Studio Era and Elements of Style
    The Classical System
    Foreground and Background
    Background(ed) Music and the Sound Track
    Scoring Practices
    Production
    Production Phases
    Music Department
    Sound Department
    Summary
    CHAPTER 13: THE STEREO SOUND TRACK AND THE POST-CLASSICAL ERA (1950-1975)
    Issues of High Fidelity and Stereo Sound
    Legal and Economic Challenges to the Industry
    Widescreen and Stereo Formats
    Magnetic Tape in Production and Postproduction
    Issues of Stereo
    Analysis: The Robe
    Stereo and Space
    Stereo Sound, Magnetic Tape, and Elements of Style
    Issues of Aesthetics
    Scoring Practices
    Main Theme from High Noon
    Popular Song and the Underscore
    Soundtrack Albums
    Importance of Recordings
    Relation to the Musical
    Scoring with Recordings
    Production
    Production Phases
    Music Department
    Sound Department
    Summary
    ENCE OF SOUND DESIGN (1975-2000), DOLBY STEREO, AND THE Issues of Technology and Economics
    The New Hollywood and Saturation Booking
    Sound in the Multiplex
    Dolby Stereo in the Theaters
    Home Video and Limitations of Television
    Sound Design and Elements of Style
    Issues of Aesthetics: Sound Design
    Aesthetics and the Stereo Field
    Scoring Practices
    Aesthetic Issues of Cross-Marketing and Promotion
    Music Video Style
    Production
    Production Phases
    Music Department
    Sound Department
    Summary
    CHAPTER 15: MUSIC AND FILM SOUND TODAY
    Introduction: The Digital Era
    Issues of Technology and Economics
    Digital Sound
    Digital Sound Formats
    Video, DVD, and Television Technologies
    The Multiplex Palace
    Digital Sound and Elements of Style
    Issues of Aesthetics
    Scoring Practices
    The Rise of Rap
    Production
    Production Phases
    Music Department
    Music Production
    Music Postproduction
    Sound Department
    Production Sound
    Postproduction
    Dialogue
    Foley Effects
    Sound Effects
    Summary
    Afterword
    Glossary
    Notes
    Credits
    Index