The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History, Edition 2

Scarecrow Press
3
Free sample

Beginning with the era of synchronized sound in the 1920s, music has been an integral part of motion pictures. Whether used to heighten the tension of a scene or evoke a subtle emotional response, scores have played a significant—if often unrealized—role in the viewer’s enjoyment.

In The Invisible Art of Film Music, Laurence MacDonald provides a comprehensive introduction for the general student, film historian, and aspiring cinematographer. Arranged chronologically from the silent era to the present day, this volume provides insight into the evolution of music in cinema and analyzes the vital contributions of scores to hundreds of films.

MacDonald reviews key developments in film music and discusses many of the most important and influential scores of the last nine decades, including those from Modern Times, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, Laura, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, Jaws, Ragtime, The Mission, Titanic, Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings, Brokeback Mountain, and Slumdog Millionaire. MacDonald also provides biographical sketches of such great composers as Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Maurice Jarre, John Barry, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Dave Grusin, Ennio Morricone, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman.

Updated and expanded to include scores produced well into the twenty-first century, this new edition of The Invisible Art of Film Music will appeal not only to scholars of cinema and musicologists but also any fan of film scores.
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About the author

Laurence E. MacDonald is professor emeritus at Mott Community College.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Scarecrow Press
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Published on
May 2, 2013
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Pages
624
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ISBN
9780810883987
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / General
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Film music is as old as cinema itself. Years before synchronized sound became the norm, projected moving images were shown to musical accompaniment, whether performed by a lone piano player or a hundred-piece orchestra. Today film music has become its own industry, indispensable to the marketability of movies around the world. Film Music: A Very Short Introduction is a compact, lucid, and thoroughly engaging overview written by one of the leading authorities on the subject. After opening with a fascinating analysis of the music from a key sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Kathryn Kalinak introduces readers not only to important composers and musical styles but also to modern theoretical concepts about how and why film music works. Throughout the book she embraces a global perspective, examining film music in Asia and the Middle East as well as in Europe and the United States. Key collaborations between directors and composers--Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Akira Kurosawa and Fumio Hayasaka, Federico Fellini and Nino Rota, to name only a few--come under scrutiny, as do the oft-neglected practices of the silent film era. She also explores differences between original film scores and compilation soundtracks that cull music from pre-existing sources. As Kalinak points out, film music can do many things, from establishing mood and setting to clarifying plot points and creating emotions that are only dimly realized in the images. This book illuminates the many ways it accomplishes those tasks and will have its readers thinking a bit more deeply and critically the next time they sit in a darkened movie theater and music suddenly swells as the action unfolds onscreen. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
The story of the music that accompanies the cinematic adventures of Ian Fleming's intrepid Agent 007 is one of surprising real-life drama. In The Music of James Bond, author Jon Burlingame throws open studio and courtroom doors alike to reveal the full and extraordinary history of the sounds of James Bond, spicing the story with a wealth of fascinating and previously undisclosed tales. Burlingame devotes a chapter to each Bond film, providing the backstory for the music (including a reader-friendly analysis of each score) from the last-minute creation of the now-famous "James Bond Theme" in Dr. No to John Barry's trend-setting early scores for such films as Goldfinger and Thunderball. We learn how synthesizers, disco and modern electronica techniques played a role in subsequent scores, and how composer David Arnold reinvented the Bond sound for the 1990s and beyond. The book brims with behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Burlingame examines the decades-long controversy over authorship of the Bond theme; how Frank Sinatra almost sang the title song for Moonraker; and how top artists like Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Duran Duran, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, and Madonna turned Bond songs into chart-topping hits. The author shares the untold stories of how Eric Clapton played guitar for Licence to Kill but saw his work shelved, and how Amy Winehouse very nearly co-wrote and sang the theme for Quantum of Solace. New interviews with many Bond songwriters and composers, coupled with extensive research as well as fascinating and previously undiscovered details--temperamental artists, unexpected hits, and the convergence of great music and unforgettable imagery--make The Music of James Bond a must read for 007 buffs and all popular music fans. This paperback edition is brought up-to-date with a new chapter on Skyfall.
No composer contributed more to film than Bernard Herrmann, who in over 40 scores enriched the work of such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, François Truffaut, and Martin Scorsese. In this first major biography of the composer, Steven C. Smith explores the interrelationships between Herrmann's music and his turbulent personal life, using much previously unpublished information to illustrate Herrmann's often outrageous behavior, his working methods, and why his music has had such lasting impact.

From his first film (Citizen Kane) to his last (Taxi Driver), Herrmann was a master of evoking psychological nuance and dramatic tension through music, often using unheard-of instrumental combinations to suit the dramatic needs of a film. His scores are among the most distinguished ever written, ranging from the fantastic (Fahrenheit 451, The Day the Earth Stood Still) to the romantic (Obsession, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) to the terrifying (Psycho).

Film was not the only medium in which Herrmann made a powerful mark. His radio broadcasts included Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre on the Air and The War of the Worlds. His concert music was commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, and he was chief conductor of the CBS Symphony.

Almost as celebrated as these achievements are the enduring legends of Herrmann's combativeness and volatility. Smith separates myth from fact and draws upon heretofore unpublished material to illuminate Herrmann's life and influence. Herrmann remains as complex as any character in the films he scored—a creative genius, an indefatigable musicologist, an explosive bully, a generous and compassionate man who desperately sought friendship and love.

Films scored by Bernard Herrmann: Citizen Kane, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Vertigo, Psycho, Fahrenheit 451, Taxi Driver, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North By Northwest, The Birds, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Cape Fear, Marnie, Torn Curtain, among others
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