Download Charms that soothe: classical music and the narrative film by Dean Duncan PDF

By Dean Duncan

From Chaplin’s exceptional use of Wagner within the Gold Rush to the Bach chorale last Scorsese’s on line casino, classical song has performed a desirable position in videos.

Dean Duncan presents a clean severe survey of the aesthetics of classical song in movie. Exploring tensions among excessive artwork and advertisement tradition, Duncan examines how administrators quote topics and classical passages in genres starting from the Soviet avant garde to Hollywood romances. Drawing on movie concept, musicology, and cultural feedback, he clarifies the connections among very diversified artwork types.

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The boosters of the film music community might benefit from the following four ideas. First I suggest that the familiar demands and advocacies should give way to a kind of subordination, where the viewer/listener stops wrestling and simply tries to understand. C. S. Lewis’s invaluable Experiment in Criticism (1961) calls for an alternative to the evaluative criticism we have already seen. Instead of critical prescription and the imposing of personal, sometimes ill-fitting sensibilities upon a work, Lewis recommends the enlargement of self through sincerely seeking to understand a text on its own terms.

Cf. film composer Leonard Rosenman, quoted in Thomas, 1979, 237. 19. London, 1936, 78–79. 20. Chapter one in Eisler, 1947, 3–19. 21. , 15, 49. 22. Ibid, 15–16, 49, 82. See also their introduction, ix–xi. ’’ (17) For more on such oppositional possibilities, see ‘‘counterpoint’’ section in chapter three. 23. Huntley, 1947, 53–54. 24. This is not to say that their repetitions were unconsidered, but as I hope to demonstrate, there are other ways to look at these issues. 25. Berg, 1976, 17. 26. Prendergast, 1992, 70.

5 Naturally the film music community took issue with this view, and it took action as well. We have seen that one legitimating strategy was for film composers, after a certain point in time, to avoid precomposed cues, especially if they were classical. But if borrowing was rejected for the subordination and the inferiority 36 CHARMS THAT SOOTHE that it implied, then another key strategy in the bid for musical acceptance involved a more fundamental appropriation of the classical than any mere quote.

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