Film And Music Essay

Many academics who now teach classes in film music prepare “readers” whose material—pertinent to whatever agenda the professor might espouse—is drawn from a wide variety of sources.Except for Mac Donald 1998 and Timm 2003 (perhaps suitable for classes at the most-fundamental levels), there are in fact no standard-format textbooks in existence today that might lead eager and intelligent students from a basic understanding of film music essentials toward an appreciation of the myriad of usages of music in contemporary films. 2010 seems aimed toward students who have already had a basic class in film music; although they contain lucid introductory materials, Bazelon 1981, Burt 1994, and Karlin 2000 are designed primarily for aspiring film music composers.

Film music was for the most part professionalized after World War I, when one-reel films were replaced by multireel features, and when the typical venue for films changed from the small nickelodeon to the capacious “movie palace” that required accompaniments played by an orchestra or by a single performer at the newly invented instrument called the “theater organ”; accordingly, the literature shifted from practical articles to a combination of critical commentaries and “human interest” stories centered on music directors for large urban cinemas.Because of their diversity of topics, well-edited anthologies serve both as useful entry points for persons new to the field of film music and as valuable sources of stimuli for persons deeply immersed in it.Some anthologies (e.g., Powrie and Stilwell 2006; Conrich and Tincknell 2006; Goldmark, et al.2007) are based on a single theme; others (e.g., Mc Carty 1998; Buhler, et al.2000; Donnelly 2001; Dickinson 2003; Gorbman and Sherk 2004) cover a wide range of themes.Some journals (for example, Music and the Moving Image, cited under Journals) have lately featured annual bibliographies listing items published in single years.The number of recently launched peer-reviewed journals devoted exclusively to film music or music in other image-based media is indicative of the field’s growth, and acceptance, since the turn of the 21st century.With very few exceptions, the musical precincts of the academic world paid no attention at all to film music until the mid- to late 1990s; nevertheless, since 2000 the study of film music, from the perspective both of film studies and musicology, has been one of the academy’s “hottest” fields.This bibliography progresses from general works, through anthologies, guidebooks, bibliographies, and academic journals now being devoted entirely to the burgeoning field of film music, to, finally, specialized studies, early studies, and region-specific studies.These journals include the Journal of Film Music, started in 2002; Music, Sound and the Moving Image, started in 2007; Music and the Moving Image, started in 2008; Screen Sound: The Journal of Australasian Soundtrack Studies, started in 2010; and the New Soundtrack, started in 2011.The mainstream journals of film and musicology have long been open to film-oriented articles, but articles on film music have appeared in these publications only rarely.

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