Anxiety Muted American Film Music in a Suburban Age

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-11-12
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The most familiar entertainment icons and storylines from the 1950s and 60s remain potent signs that continue to resonate within contemporary American society and culture. Both the political Left and Right invoke the events and memories of those decades, celebrating or condemning the competing social forces embodied in and unleashed during those years. In recent decades, the entertainment industry has capitalized on this trend with films and television shows that take a look back on the 1950s and 1960s with a mixture of nostalgia and criticism. Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in a Suburban Age explores how the central concerns of the Fifties and Sixties--and resulting treatment in the motion picture media--can be examined and understood through the music of the time period. With its focus on soundtrack and scoring, the book demonstrates that specific television shows and films offer a more nuanced vision of community and conformity than is usually recognized, revealing much about our own current social anxieties.

Author Biography

Stanley C. Pelkey II is Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, New York). A musicologist and cultural historian, he co-edited Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines (University Press of Mississippi, 2005) and has published articles on British composers and musical culture as well as on American film and television music.

Anthony Bushard is Associate Professor of music history in the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Most recently, he wrote Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront: A Film Score Guide (Scarecrow Press, 2013) and has published articles on jazz and film music and lectured on those topics at regional, national, and international conferences and symposia.

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