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The Soundtrack Album as Text and Medium to Re-Experience a Movie

Prof. Dr. Linda Maria Koldau (Aarhus University / Utrecht University) Key note paper, given at the opening at the Korean International Film Conference, Seoul, 2 Nov. 2012

When Polygram promoted the soundtrack album to Sylvester Stallones Staying Alive in 1983, they launched a comprehensive merchandising program entitled Take the Movies Home With You. According to Jeff Smith, the soundtrack album and its promotion helped the movie to overcome the initially tepid reviews (Smith 1998:201). This musical, rather than cinematic, success was doubtlessly owed to the Bee Gees, whose songs comprise half of the soundtrack album, as well as to Frank Stallones song Far from over, which was awarded the Golden Globe in the category Best Original Song and became a top-ten U.S. single in September 1983. Polygrams merchandising strategy, however, reveals another aspect that plays a major role in the success of film soundtrack albums as an auditory version of the respective film: it enables film lovers to take the movie home with them, to recall and, implicitly, re-experience the movie through the music at any time they want and with any track they prefer. This function, put into the nutshell of a bland merchandising slogan, has hitherto been neglected in film and film music studies, though the potential has been exposed in another study by Jeff Smith: In such instances [of music being married emotionally to a piece of film] the soundtrack functions as a take-home souvenir of the cinematic experience, one that can prompt whole vistas of emotional reflection with just a few notes of a popular theme. (Smith 1999b:46). It is the aim of this essay to delve deeper into this specific aspect of the musico-dramatic genre of the soundtrack album, namely its ability to recall film scenes and the original emotional reaction in the spectators perception. Due to this potential, the film soundtrack is far from being only a merchandise by-product, but rather can be used to re-create the aura of the original work of cinematic art.

I The Soundtrack Album as Subtext of a Film There is general agreement about the manifold and complex functions of music within a film, functions that decisively contribute to the effect a film has on the audiences perception1. Film Studies, however, have only recently begun to the regard the soundtrack of a film, i.e. the original combination of dialogue, sound effects and music, as an important element of the general text a film constitutes2. In film theory, the term text is used as an instrument to 1

analyse and interpret the integration of the object of investigation (namely the film) into a network of intertextual cultural references that influence the text and involve it in a complex system of interactions. Especially blockbusters in their function as meta-genre integrate a single film into a textual universe that has to be taken into consideration in the study of the films reception and impact (Mikos et al. 2007:1929): parallel text versions and subtexts are constituted by a possible original novel, by earlier stage performances (e.g. in film musicals or films based on stage plays), by other film adaptations of the same subject, and, after the blockbusters theatrical release, by its further distribution on DVD, in the form of merchandising products, computer games or even comics (Mikos et al. 2007:80). In Film Studies, a specific, quite important and highly popular variant of these subtexts has often been ignored: with its extraction from the film soundtrack and publication as single, LP or CD, the music of a specific film equally turns into a subtext of a relative independence from the original text. Nevertheless, the instrumental pieces and songs that have been extracted from the original film score remain closely linked to the filmic entity. After all, they have been composed or chosen to fit a specific scene and contribute to its creation of meaning. However, soundtrack albums are also used to listen to the music for its own sake, severed from the audiovisual entity the film constituted. Especially soundtrack albums with popular music, preferably by a popular band, enjoy this independence from the original context; famous examples are the soundtracks to the above-named movie Staying Alive (1983) and its prequel Saturday Night Fever (1977), while Simon & Garfunkels soundtrack album to The Graduate (1967) represents a typical hybrid film soundtrack, featuring some of the folk-rock duos earlier songs along with the newly composed tracks for the film3. Some of the earlier songs, in turn, were re-released as singles after the success of this soundtrack album. The focus of this study, however, lies on the symphonic soundtrack and its evocative function beyond its original context. This music works according to other laws than popular music soundtrack albums4: as popularized classical music it has conquered a small but significant niche in the record industry (Smith 1998:209) and is frequently used by radio channels playing easy listening classical music. It is this sort of soundtrack album that maintains a stronger link to the original film: the music was (mainly) composed for this specific film; it has thus intensely become linked to various film scenes and situations, often supporting both the narrative and the mood represented and adding a deeper emotional dimension to the action presented on screen5. In this tight interrelation with the film, with its plot, its characters and its visual representation, originally composed film music appears more decidedly as subtext of a specific film than self-contained tracks of popular music do. 2

The functions of soundtrack albums have not yet been studied systematically in literature on film and film music. In the cross-promotion strategy of film and record industries, relying on the principle of synergy between the two media (cf. Denisoff & Plasketes 1990, Smith 1998, and Smith 1999b), soundtrack albums serve the immediate purpose of giving an auditory preview of the film (if published previous to the theatrical release) and to further its success while it is shown in the theaters. Since the rise of the DVD and thus the establishment of a long-lasting availability of the individual film, soundtrack albums continue to serve as a merchandising by-product that supports the primary audiovisual medium. At the same time, they also unfold a life of their own once they have been released: in their various musical categories, popular, symphonic, world music or mixed, they serve simply as music to enjoy6. Especially albums with symphonic film music, though, retain a close link to their parent medium. Even though some of them have become part of the easy listening sector, their very existence is, as mentioned above, closely bound up with the film and its plot. Outward evidence is given on the cover with the track names7: generally, the cues of a film score are named after the episode they are used for in the film. Accordingly, the tracks on the CD bear these episodes names and thus offer a sort of auditory guide through the film track listings as in Appendix 1 are typical cases. Vice versa, the titles (and the dramatic context they stand for) give the listener further guidance in perceiving the music: they recall the original expressive intention of the piece of music and thus its very origin in the film production, characterized by a close fusion of the music with the dramatic context, visual elements and musical means corresponding to the directors intention with the respective scene. Symphonic film music generally works with elements that have a clear expressive connotation, drawing on traditions in compositional history and style8. When this music is extracted from its audiovisual context, as in the creation of a soundtrack album, the track titles keep up a certain link to this context: the expressive potential of the music is more explicit to the listener than if the music tracks simply were presented without title. At the same time, the excerpts from the symphonic score are given a certain narrative stringency in their order on the album. The soundtrack album, with its clear reference to various episodes in the film, can be regarded as a variant of the filmic text, a variant that through the release of the soundtrack album grants the film a special form of long-term effect in the public perception. Although the track on the soundtrack album usually does not correspond exactly to the music as it is used in the film the most usual change made to composed and recorded pieces (as well as to pre-existent music used in the film) is their 3

reduction by cutting or letting the music fade into or out of the scene , the various tracks clearly recall the respective scenes and thus the visual and emotional impressions the spectator had when viewing the film. It is this function that turns the soundtrack album into a subtext of the film: although the film music has been transformed into a purely auditory medium, it does maintain a certain amount of its original audiovisual and dramaturgical character. Listening to a soundtrack album can therefore be a sort of multimedia experience, with the music recalling the films episodes before the inner eye and, more importantly, in the listeners emotional reaction to the music9. The drama represented by the music is turned into an inner drama; it is based on this musics origin, its basically inextricable fusion with the dramatic content and the visual aspects of the film. Just as in the perception of film music when viewing the film, the listener instinctively uses the album music to become entangled in the film universe again, which obtains a palpable reality through sound and music10. The function of the especially symphonic soundtrack album thus transcends the sensual enjoyment of music. It offers the listener a possibility to relive the most outstanding episodes of the film, its emotional highlights, and its general dramaturgical outline without having to watch the film again. In turn, it intensifies the perception of music in the film: having become familiar with the soundtrack through repeated listening and thus also having discovered musical moments that were not perceived in the original audiovisual experience of the music as part of the film complex , a listener will be much more sensitive to the music when watching the film again11. Intricate relations, especially in scores working with leitmotifs or recurrent musical themes, are more clearly recognized12, the spectator has been trained by an auditory guide to find his or her way in the musical network of the film without losing the thread of the dramatic action or at least to perceive more of the numerous musical relations than at first viewing. Due to the repetition and variation of recurring motives or themes on the soundtrack album and their labelling through track titles, the listener has learned to assign them to various episodes or film characters and has become acquainted with the special expressive tinge of their recurrence in varying contexts (and varying musical guises). The individual tracks thus do narrate the film, they give a short version that recalls decisive moments of the film and imprints them due to the emotional effect of music, which is so amply exploited in film production into the listeners perception.

II Re-Experiencing the Movie: Soundtrack CDs Including Film Dialogue The soundtrack albums function of re-narrating the film and thus giving the owner of the album the chance to re-experience an important dimension of the film at any time wanted, is most strongly pronounced in the category of soundtrack albums that integrate dialogue and sound effects from the film. According to Jeff Smith, the exploitation of both the films dialogue and the background score was a new marketing strategy in the mid-60s; but the interest proved to be short-lived, so that the film and record industry quickly returned to music-only soundtrack albums (Smith 1998:37f). There is, however, a famous precedent that illustrates the basic intention of such an auditory combination: the 1956 The Wizard of Oz LP soundtrack album, coinciding with the first showing of the 1939 film on television, contains not only the famous songs, but also a considerable amount of film dialogue underscored with music by Herbert Stothart13. The dialogue is sufficient for the listener to follow the story line of the popular film (minor editings and contractions help to concentrate the plot into a few excerpts). Thus, the soundtrack album of this famous fairy tale film turned into a mixture of a musical soundtrack and a fairy tale LP (or radio play) but, most importantly, it offered the audience the possibility of re-experiencing the enchanting story and the famous actors and to remember the brilliant colors of the film again and again by listening to the record. Both this concept and the lasting presence of The Wizard of Oz on TV have given this original soundtrack a continued popularity with numerous reprints in the following decades14. The concept of combining music and dialogue was taken up for soundtrack albums to other famous films, e.g. the 1968 Romeo and Juliet version by Franco Zeffirelli or the album to Tarantinos Pulp Fiction (1994). A further step towards the auditory re-telling of the film is the integration of sound effects, so that all elements of the film soundtrack, dialogue, sound, and music, are represented on the soundtrack album. As has been shown in current film theory, sound plays a decisive role to give the film universe credibility, to involve the spectator though immediate sensual

perception in a palpable reality (Langkjr 2000). If these sound effects recur on a soundtrack album that combines music and dialogue, this universe again is given its immediate presence, its sense of reality. Two relatively recent examples will illustrate the impact of these emotional markers in form of an auditory re-experience. In 1997, the Directors Cut version of the soundtrack album to Das Boot was issued15. This unusual soundtrack CD is divided into three parts:

a) tracks with the originally composed instrumental music, labelled after the key episodes (tr. 110), b) reduced music tracks, where the film music is presented in its edited form (tr. 1120), c) diegetic music and several tracks of the non-diegetic music that blend music with sound effects and dialogue excerpts from the film (tr. 2130). It is the third part that is most interesting to study the impact of the various auditory elements on the film music consumer. Tracks 2530 do not in fact correspond exactly to the soundtrack of the film (this would create a length inadequate to a CD and reduce the tracks dramatic impact), instead, they assemble key auditory elements from the respective episode in order to let the listener re-experience the corresponding dramatic moment in the film. Significantly, the six tracks summarize film episodes of extreme emotional intensity (table 1).

Table 1: Sound Dialogue Music Tracks on Das Boot. Directors Cut

Track no. 25 Track Title Konvoi Film Situation and Emotional Character possibility of attack after weeks of enervating idleness: positive tension, hunting fever, enthusiasm, energy the boat is attacked with depth charges: deadly danger, extreme tension and fear preparing the secret passage through Gibraltar: extreme tension, concentration, hidden fear attack and uncontrolled sinking: shock, fear, tension, increasing hopelessness extreme tension: will the boat be able to come up again? the motor starts running, the boat has out-tricked the enemy: apprehensive tension and joy, triumph






Absinken/ Eingeschlossen Rettung Rckzug/Heimkehr

29 30

Table 2: Sound Phenomena and Their Effect on Track 25 of Das Boot. Directors Cut
Phenomenon Sound hitting of the waves against the boats hull Design foreground sound, faded in several times Meaning boat in huge seas, operating at the surface Emotional effect dramatic setting, drive

Dialogue a) Mal herhrn! Boot operiert auf Geleitzug, an dem U 32 Fhlung hat. Ab 18 Uhr ist Zusammentreffen zu erwarten. Ende! b) enthusiastic shouting

metallic vocality, official announcement to portentuous militaristic vocabulary the entire crew seriousness => commanders voice

several voices

an end to the wearying, aimless patrol; the

joy, relief, enthusiasm

crews unity c) Was ist denn eigentlich passiert? Na, U 32, FU von Berthold, der hatn Geleitzug entdeckt, nicht weit hier. 10 Stunden msstn wir dort sein! Music attack music17 the actor Martin Semmelrogges specific vocality16 hunting fever, enthusiasm joy, excitement

fanfares, driving rhythms, shot-motifs

hunt, aggressiveness

exciting, driving, energetic

Track 25, Konvoi, begins with a combination of auditory elements that signal tension, hunting fever and a dramatic war situation (table 218). The interaction of these elements creates a mood of excitement and enthusiasm. The dialogue fragments play a decisive role in the opening of this track: they contribute to the situations earnestness, at the same time they reflect the crews relief and drive. The selection of Martin Semmelrogges line (Semmelrogge playing the Second Officer on the U-boat) has several functions. The contents of his line explain the situaton, while the meaning of the situation and its emotional impact are reflected in the enthusiasm of the crew. Yet the quotation is also related to the target audience: Martin Semmelrogge was one of the most popular characters in Das Boot, winning especially the hearts of the younger members of the audience with his smart cheekiness (which reflects the attitude of a late 1970s youth rather than of a Second World War German submarine officer). It is this segment of the audience that the production of the soundtrack album was aimed at: frequent broadcastings of Das Boot on German TV (mainly the Directors Cut and not the uncut TV version that was shown in three parts in March 1985), the release of the Directors Cut version in 1997 (DVD and soundtrack album), the DVD release of the uncut TV version in 2004, as well as the enormous success of the 2006 exhibition on Das Boot, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film, demonstrate that both the film and its young actors have lost nothing of their popularity with younger generations. However, not only Semmelrogges cheeky voice, but also the vocal announcement on track 25 has its specific connotations. The track opens with the metallic announcement that a convoy has been tracked and the U-boat has been set on target for it. This means as the listener knows from the films context the end to an unbearable patrol where nothing happened over weeks and men got more and more irritated in the cramped surroundings of their boat. At the same time, the metallic sound of the commanders voice (due to the distortion of the intercom) reflects the official character and earnestness of this announcement. The extremely loud sound of the waves that hit the boat add to the drama of the situation. 7

Thus, the listener re-experiences the exciting scene in the film where the Gammeltour (the endless, uneventful patrol) finally turns into action. The dialogue, its sonic character and the additional sound effects immediately involve the listener in both the films action and the mindset of the young soldiers represented. This sense of immediate drama finally is supported and further intensified by the music with its strong, aggressive rhythms and its fanfare-like theme19. Track 25 does not correspond exactly to the film episode, it rather offers an auditory concentration and it is this concentration that helps to draw the listener right into the films atmosphere and action. The track turns into a sensual re-experience of the film.

The enormous success of the blockbuster Titanic (1997) was strongly advanced through the soundtrack album with music by James Horner and Celine Dions title-song My Heart Will Go On (lyrics: Will Jennings)20. The song was a vital part of the promotional strategy; it came out four weeks before the theatrical release and was featured on two simultaneously released albums, the film soundtrack album and Celine Dions album Lets Talk about Love (cf. Smith 1999). Although it already proved a major success as part of Dions album, it was the film context that made the song a megahit21 worldwide. In the wake of the films success, the song turned, as Jeff Smith has shown, into a complex and multivalent signifier of the films representations of death, fate, and love (Smith 1999:60). The success of the soundtrack album which remained number one on the Billboard album charts for sixteen weeks after the films release and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide within the first three months was so overwhelming that Sony Music published a sequel in the fall of 1998: Back to Titanic, containing 13 tracks that partly integrate dialogue from the film22. The main title, My Heart Will Go On, that occurs as instrumental melody and as song in several tracks on both albums, was specially edited in track 11 of the 1998 album: by combining it with dialogue and sounds from the film, Dions song was stylized into the emotional climax of the album, summarizing the entire love story between Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo di Caprio):

Jack: Rose, youre the most amazingly astounding, wonderful girl woman that Ive ever known. I am not an idiot. I know how the world works. But Im too involved now. You jump, I jump remember? 1. Every night in my dreams I see you, I feel you, That is how I know you go on Far across the distance And spaces between us You have come to show you go on.

Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on. Once more you open the door And youre here in my heart And my heart will go on and on. Rose: Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls. Wearing this. Jack (whispering): Alright. Rose: Wearing only this. 2. Love can touch us one time And last for a lifetime And never let go till were one. Love was when I loved you One true time I hold to In my life well always go on. Near, far, wherever you are [People scream, confusion and bustle] Jack: Go on! Ill get the next one! Rose: No! Not without you! Jack: Ill be alright! Listen, Ill be fine. I am a survivor, alright? Dont worry about me! Now go on! Get on! 3. Youre here, theres nothing I fear, And I know that my heart will go on Well stay forever this way You are safe in my heart And my heart will go on and on. Jack (shivering): You must promise me that you wont give up no matter what happens. Promise me now, Rose! Rose (crying): I promise. Jack: And never let go of that promise. Rose: Ill never let go, Jack. Ill never let go. [Sound of a gentle kiss]

The dialogue marks the four essential stations in the development of the love story: Jacks declaration of love, Roses first sign of amorous devotion, the lovers first separation, and the last words between the two, which at the same time are Jacks legacy to Roses further life. The listener re-experiences these four film scenes through the fragments of dialogue23 and is thus drawn into the emotional narrative by means of various sound phenomena and their combination: the voices of film stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio; the singing voice and the emotional performance of Celine Dion; the structure of music aiming at creating and intensifying emotion through instrumentation, tone color and timbre, articulation, melody, harmony and rhythm24; finally, the sound effects, which are more in the background in this example, but nevertheless decisively contribute to the atmosphere of the last two 9

representations (especially the tender kiss sealing the lasting bond of love between Rose and the dying Jack). These elements interact throughout the entire track, since the dialogue excerpts are also underscored with instrumentals from the song. The combination of the dialogue with the song that constitutes the theme of love in the film score together with Dions specific voice articulation maximizes the emotional impact of the song. Dions hit as edited on this soundtrack album is no longer a piece of vocal music in itself, but has been transformed into a re-experiencing of the most popular scenes in the film, which are evoked in the combination of music, dialogue and sound.

*** Soundtrack albums, especially when made up of symphonic music composed for the film, retain a close relation to the film by being an auditory subtext that is able to evoke images and entire scenes from the film in the mind of the listener. When they involve dialogue and sound from the film, this function is reinforced: the musical subtext of the film is transformed into a new auditory entity whose various elements always emotionally charged and linked to the plot of the film draw the listener back into the reality of the film universe. This secondary experience of the original text is doubly intensified: Firstly, the reduction of the overall score (and film length) to an average 60 minutes of music, voice and sound, leads to a concentration of the film highlights, which are re-experienced in immediate (acoustic) sequence. Secondly, a soundtrack album once purchased is listened to much more often than the film is viewed, not least because of the much higher degree of mobile consumption this medium offers in comparison to the DVD. Thirdly, the listener can easily repeat selected favorites again and again an emotionally guided technique of perception which is less easily realized by viewing the film. Due to repeated listening, the acoustic events and their intimate link to the remembered film scenes are imprinted in the listeners perception and will, in turn, change the film experience at a new viewing. The influence of the soundtrack album on the audiences perception, inner processing and memory of the film text should therefore be regarded as a factor of some importance in film reception. The film music, its perpetuation and its distribution on a soundtrack album offer an important parallel text to the film which should not be ignored in the analysis of film as a cultural phenomenon. Film lovers buying a soundtrack album do more than purchase just an album of music they like: the popularity of soundtrack albums associated with blockbusters expresses the desire to enter the fascinating world of a beloved film again and again at any time and at any place in the story line.


Walter Benjamins essay on The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936) became famous in film and media theory since it appeared to be so prophetic in the context of a media development that had only just begun at the time of the essays publication. In fact, Benjamins observation that in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced can be perfectly applied to the phenomenon both of the DVD and the soundtrack album25. It seems, however, that Benjamins negative vision of the effect of such a reactivation, namely that by such a process the work of art loses its aura, has not come true: in the best case, soundtrack albums succeed in recreating the aura of the film by auditory means only.

Bibliography Benjamin, Walter. Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit. Walter Benjamin. Gesammelte Schriften I,2. Ed.s Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhuser. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1974. 431469. Print. Boltz, Marilyn, Matthew Schulkind, and Suzanne Kantra. Effects of Background Music on the Remembering of Filmed Events. Memory and Cognition 19.6 (1991). 592606. Print. Brown, Royal S. Overtones and Undertones. Reading Film Music. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1994. Print. Buhler, David, David Neumeyer and Rob Deemer. Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History. New York: OUP, 2010. Print. Chion, Michel. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Ed. and trans. by Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. Print. Cohen, Annabel J. Understanding Musical Soundtracks. Empirical Studies of the Arts 8.2 (1990). 111124. Print.


Denisoff, R. Serge and George Plasketes. Synergy in 1980s Film and Music: Formula for Success of Industry Mythology? Film History 4.3 (1990). 257276. Print. Donnelly, Kevin J. (ed.). Film Music: Critical Approaches. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001. Print. Flckiger, Barbara. Sound Design. Die virtuelle Klangwelt des Films. Marburg: Schren. 2001. Print. Gorbman, Claudia. Unheard Melodies. Narrative Film Music. London: BFI, 1987. Print. Harmetz, Aljean. The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM. New York: Hyperion, 1998. Print. Kalinak, Kathryn Marie. Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. Print. Karlin, Fred and Rayburn Wright. On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring. 2nd, rev. edition. New York/London: Routledge, 2004. Print. Kassabian, Anahid. Hearing Film. Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print. Koldau, Linda Maria. Kompositorische Topoi als Kategorie in der Analyse von Filmmusik. Archiv fr Musikwissenschaft 65.4 (2008). 247271. Print. Koldau 2010a: ----. Mythos U-Boot. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2010. Print. Koldau 2010b: ----. Musik zum Krieg: Klangliche Mittel zur emotionalen Steigerung in UBoot-Filmen. Militr, Musik und Krieg Kolloquium anlsslich des 70. Geburtstags von Michael Salewski. Ed. Linda Maria Koldau (Historische Mitteilungen der RankeGesellschaft 22). Stuttgart: Steiner, 2010. 170187. Print. Koldau 2010c: ----. Sound Effects as Genre-Defining Factor in Submarine Films. MedieKultur 48.1 (2010), pp. 1830. Print. Langkjr, Birger. Den lyttende tilskuer. Copenhagen: Tusculanum, 2000. Print. Lanza, Joseph. Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong. New York: St. Martins, 1994. Print. Parisi, Paula: Titanic and the Making of James Cameron. The Inside Story of the Three-Year Adventure That Rewrote Motion Picture History. London: Orion, 1998.


Mikos, Lothar et al. Die Herr der Ringe-Trilogie: Attraktion und Faszination eines populrkulturellen Phnomens. Konstanz: UVK, 2007. Print. Neumeyer, David and James Buhler. Analytical and Interpretative Approaches to Film Music (I): Analysing the Music. Film Music: Critical Approaches. Ed. Kevin J. Donnelly. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001. 1638. Print. Smith, Jeff. The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Print. Smith 1999a: ----. Movie Music as Moving Music: Emotion, Cognition, and the Film Score. Passionate Views: Film, Cognition, and Emotion. Ed.s Carl Plantinga and Greg Smith. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. 146167. Print. Smith 1999b: ----. Selling My Heart. Music and Cross-Promotion in Titanic. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. Ed.s Kevin S. Sandler and Gaylyn Studlar. New Brunswick/N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 4663. Print.

Films Cited The Wizard of Oz. Dir. Victor Fleming. Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. 1939. The Graduate. Dir. Mike Nichols. United Artists. 1967. Romeo and Juliet. Dir. Franco Zeffirelli. Paramount Pictures. 1968. Saturday Night Fever. Dir. Sylvester Stallone. Paramount Pictures. 1977. Staying Alive. Dir. Sylvester Stallone. Paramount Pictures. 1983. Das Boot. Dir. Wolfgang Petersen. Bavaria. 1981. Pulp Fiction. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Miramax Films. 1994. Crimson Tide. Dir. Tony Scott. Hollywood Pictures. 1995. Titanic. Dir. James Cameron. Paramount Pictures. 1997. The Lord of the Rings (trilogy). Dir. Peter Jackson. New Line Cinema. 20012003. Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox. 2009.


Appendix 1: Track Listings of Symphonic Soundtracks

The Lord of the Rings, Part I: The Fellowship of the Ring (Music by Howard Shore) 1. The Prophecy 2. Concerning Hobbits 3. The Shadow of the Past 4. The Treason of Isengard 5. The Black Rider 6. At the Sign of the Prancing Pony 7. A Knife in the Dark 8. Flight to the Ford 9. Many Meetings 10. The Council of Elrond
(feat. Anron [Theme for Aragorn and Arwen], composed and performed by Enya)

11. The Ring Goes South 12. A Journey in the Dark 13. The Bridge of Khazad-dm 14. Lothlrien 15. The Great River 16. Amon Hen 17. The Breaking of the Fellowship
(feat. In Dreams, performed by Edward Ross, composed by Howard Shore)

18. May It Be (composed and performed by Enya) Avatar (Music by James Horner)26 1. You Dont Dream in Cryo 2. Jake Enters His Avatar World 3. Pure Spirits of the Forest 4. The Bioluminescence of the Night 5. Becoming One of The People Becoming One with Neytiri 6. Climbing Up Iknimaya The Path to Heaven 7. Jakes First Flight 8. Scorched Earth 9. Quaritch 10. The Destruction of Hometree 11. Shutting Down Graces Lab 12. Gathering All the Navi Clans for Battle 13. War 14. I See You (Theme from Avatar)
(performed by Leona Lewis, written by James Horner, Simon Franglen, Thaddis Harrell)



To name only a few important studies from international film music research: Gorbman 1987; Kalinak 1992; Brown 1994; Donnelly 2001; Kassabian 2001; Buhler et al. 2010. 2 Michel Chions pathbreaking book on the sound in cinema (Chion 1994; originally published in 1990) has been followed by specialized studies on the function of sound in film (cf. Flckiger 2001; Langkjr 2000; Buhler et al. 2010). The interaction of sound, dialogue and music as part of the constitution of meaning, however, has only rarely been discussed in studies on the auditory aspects of film so far. 3 While The Sounds of Silence had already risen to no. 1 in the US single charts in 1965, the other hit of the soundtrack album, Mrs. Robinson, was explicitly composed for the film and then again became hit no. 1 as single, i.e. as independent piece of music released after the movie opened, in the 1968 Billboard Hot 100. 4 A broad discussion of soundtracks and soundtrack albums using popular music is offered by Smith 1998. 5 An excellent survey over the relation between music and film narrative is offered by Brown 1994:1237. Film music and narrative theory have since become an important issue especially in British film music studies. On film music and emotion cf. the survey of Smith 1999a, where important empirical studies are quoted. 6 Joseph Lanza has outlined the relation between film music and easy listening formats, showing that a considerable number of favorites in the mood music section are taken from film music (Lanza 1994). 7 Formally, symphonic soundtrack albums stand out from their popular music counterparts in that their tracks often are much longer than the standard 24 minute length of pop music tracks. In extreme cases, symphonic music tracks can last over 20 minutes, which again reflects the role of music in the film in question (cf., for example, the soundtrack album of the film Crimson Tide [1995, music by Hans Zimmer], which only has five tracks: the length and continuous music flow of track 2 and 4 reflect the role of the music to create a menacing, uncanny auditory soundscape in line with the dramatic underwater action setting). 8 Cf. Koldau 2008 and the short discussion of style topics in Neumeyer/Buhler 2001. Karlin/Wright 2004 offer many individual instances of how compositional traditions in melody, harmony, rhythm and instrumentation are applied in film composition. 9 On the connection between the musical soundtrack and memory here: recalling the film cf. Cohen 1990 and Boltz/Schulkind/Kantra 1991. 10 This aspect of the perception of film music and film sound, the active response on part of the spectator, constitutes the basis of Birger Langkjrs cognitive film theory, his book being called The [actively] listening spectator (Den lyttende tilskuer: Langkjr 2000). 11 In describing director James Camerons musings on the title song for Titanic, Paula Parisi highlights the desired marketing effect that the music actually prompts the desire to watch the movie again: Between the two of them [James Horner and Celine Dion], Cameron knew the song would get the big push. People would get hit by two or three bars of it, relive that emotion and, in a Pavlovian display of empathy, want to see the film again. (Parisi 1998:196). 12 It should be notedt that the term leitmotif in film studies denotes a strongly simplified model of the Wagnerian leitmotif-technique. Film score leitmotifs do not share the complex psychological and compositional layers of Wagners scores. Film composers that most notably have worked with leitmotifs are John Williams (Star Wars) and Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings); tellingly, these have been large-scale productions with several sequels where a web of motifs could be established and unfold. A popular score with a leittheme, which is used in varied guises in numerous tracks, is Das Boot (an extensive discussion of the main themes variation according to episode and mood is offered by Koldau 2010a:149160). 13 Information on the music in the 1939 film is offered by Harmetz 1998. 14 Information on the numerous soundtrack albums issued since 1940 is given on and (visited on 2 July, 2010). In turn, the 1995 Deluxe Edition by Rhino Records (2 CDs playing over 2 hours) does contain all the songs and all of Stotharts background music, but none of the dialogue. 15 Klaus Doldinger, Das Boot, Atlantic Records 83013-2 (1997). 16 In a review of the soundtrack album in Hessen Radio, 9 Dec., 1999, Martin Semmelrogges characteristic Krchzstimme (raucous voice) was emphasized as being too much in the pursuit of auditory realism (qtd. on, visited 2 Nov, 2006; this site has been closed). 17 Detailed musical analysis in Koldau 2010b. 18 The table reproduces the first 30 seconds of track 25. 19 In fact, Klaus Doldinger used elements of the battaglia style to match the situation, but he negated them at the at the same time, so that they did not result in square-cut martial music (detailed analysis and conclusions in Koldau 2010b). 20 James Horner, Titanic, Sony Classical SK 63213 (1997). In their contract for the soundtrack album, Sony Classical also secured the rights for future works by Horner, including symphonic and ballet music on themes from Titanic (Smith 1999b:51). On details of the cross-promotional strategy for this soundtrack cf. Smith 1999b.


Term taken from the album review of Back to Titanic,, 2 July, 2010. 22 James Horner, Back to Titanic, Sony Music Distribution 60691 (1998). Yet another album, Titanic. Special 2 CD Collectors Edition of The Complete Musical Works with 24 tracks and altogether 123 minutes of music, was released in 1999 under the label Dressed to Kill. However, this album only combines the pieces from the two Sony albums and does not offer new music from the film soundtrack. The release of the 1998 Back to Titanic album coincided with the release of the film as a home video. 23 This effect of the music plus dialogue combination, first used in a radio version of the song, was also mentioned in contemporary reviews. Cf. Smith 1999b:54. 24 On the musical integration of this song with other themes of the film score cf. Smith 1999b:5860. 25 Benjamin 1974:438 (English translation qtd. from the translation of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television,, 2 July, 2010). 26 Original soundtrack; the Deluxe Bonus Track released in April, 2010, contains 6 further tracks, whose position as additional tracks break up the narrative sequence of the original soundtrack.