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Chapter 1: The Functions of Films Scoring The music is the soul of the movie.

Definition: film music is music that accompanies a film. Music often times steps in to say what neither pictures nor words can. It adds an extra dimension to the film Still to this day film music has never garnered the same respect as music that accompanies opera or ballet. However, from 198999 the sale of movie soundtrack albums has quadrupled (though often they do not always contain original score material). The art of composing music for a film is known as film scoring. In most cases music is part of the postproduction phase of the film. The movie has been already been filmed and the music is usually composed, recorded, and dubbed in afterwards. Composers are individuals and so each one takes a unique approach or version of a particular scene. This course looks at the most commonly used ones. The eleven functions are (listed randomly): 1. To either intensify or relax the pace of the film: in a film that has heightened drama, the music makes it even more so. A. Clip: Jaws (John Williams, 1975): opening scene. The 2-note shark theme is one of the most recognizable themes in movie history. The constant repetition of a short melodic idea is called an ostinato. B. Clip: Carrie (Pino Donnagio, 1976): closing scene after the prom scene and Carries death. The flute solo relaxes us as her friend Sue (Amy Irving) delivers flowers to Carries grave, leaving us unprepared for what happens next. 2. To reflect emotion: the composer prepares us for the emotional impact of a scene by using the appropriate music. One device used by composers is to underscore early parts of a film with a dramatic love theme. Later in the film the viewer subconsciously associates this theme with happier moments in the film. If the character dies, the presence of this music tears us apart emotionally. A. Clip: Somewhere in Time (John Barry, 1980): Elise (Jane Seymour) leaves her troupe to be with Richard (Christopher Reeves). 3. To create unspoken thoughts of a character or unseen implications of a situation:

A. Clip: Song of Bernadette (Newman, 1943) B. Wordless Choir often used to invoke religious or other wordly settings C. Clip: Close Encounters (John Williams, 1975) 4. To parallel or underscore the action (hitting the action or Mickey Mousing): A. Clip: Ben Hur (Miklos Rosza, 1959): galley scene 5. To create atmosphere of time and place: A. Clip: Ben-Hur: entry of chariots into the great Circus 6. To create comedy: A. Clip: Airplane (1980, Elmer Bernstein): opening scene. 7. To provide unity or coherence to a story by using a leitmotif. A. Clip: Star Wars IV (1977): Luke Skywalkers Theme 8. As source music (aka diagetic, direct, or foreground music): any music that comes from a source on screen, be it a radio/stereo, chorus, band, etc. A. Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus (1999) 9. To play against the action: music opposes what one sees on screen. It can tone down a violent scene. A. Clip: Face/Off (1997); source music is used in this scene. 10. To speed up scenes that are too slow, or to slow down scenes that are too fast: for instance, using music that moves much more quickly than the action on screen. A. Clip: The Ten Commandments (Elmer Bernstein, 1956) exodus scene. 11. When music is used as a neutral background filler (also called wall-to-wall music) A. Clip: Gone With the Wind (Max Steiner, 1939): music is used throughout the film and often times seems unrelated to the action on screen. Use of Silence One of the greatest ways of accenting a moment in drama is to precede that moment with a stretch of music that suddenly drops out, leaving silence. If a score drops out suddenly, the next moment is accented by silence. A. Suggested clip: Rapa Nui (Stewart Copeland, 1994): ritual portion B. Clip: Carrie (Pino Donaggio, 1976): prom scene