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9780195383454

Seeing Through Music Gender and Modernism in Classic Hollywood Film Scores

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195383454

  • ISBN10:

    0195383451

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-08-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

Hollywood film music is often mocked as a disreputably 'applied' branch of the art of composition that lacks both the seriousness and the quality of the classical or late-romantic concert and operatic music from which it derives. Its composers in the 1930s and '40s were themselves often scornful of it and aspired to produce more 'serious' works that would enhance their artistic reputation. In fact the criticism of film music as slavishly descriptive or manipulatively over-emotional has a history that is older than film - it had even been directed at the relatively popular operatic and concert music written by some of the émigré Hollywood composers themselves before they had left Europe. There, as subsequently in America, such criticism was promoted by the developing project of Modernism, whose often high-minded opposition to mass culture used polarizing language that drew, intentionally or not, upon that of gender difference. Regressive, late-romantic music, the old argument ran, was - as women were believed to be - emotional, irrational, and lacking in logic. This book seeks to level the critical playing field between film music and 'serious music', reflecting upon gender-related ideas about music and modernism as much as about film. Peter Franklin broaches the possibility of a history of twentieth-century music that would include, rather than marginalize, film music - and, indeed, the scores of a number of the major Hollywood movies discussed here, like The Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, Rebecca, Gone With The Wind, Citizen Kane and Psycho . In doing so, he brings more detailed music-historical knowledge to bear upon cinema music, often discussed as a unique and special product of film, and also offers conclusions about the problematic aspects of musical modernism and some arguably liberating aspects of 'late-romanticism'.

Author Biography


Peter Franklin is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He has written on Gustav Mahler and the post-romantic symphony, early twentieth-century Austrian and German opera and Hollywood film music. His publications include the books Mahler: Symphony no.3 and The Life of Mahler.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Approaches, Problems, and the Great Dividep. 3
Music into Film: Critical Cross-Fades
Men's Musicology/Women's Films: Meanings of Late Romanticismp. 21
Exploitation and Seduction: Converging Responses to Popular Opera and Filmp. 38
Into the Mists ... Subjective Realms (and the Undoing of Men?): Film's Critique of Musicp. 62
Watching Symphonies: Cautionary Tales
Symphonic Narratives (and Promiscuous Pleasure): Film Music and Changing Perceptions of the Symphony in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 85
Return of the Undone Woman: Hollywood's Music and the Critical History of Late Romanticismp. 115
Modernism and 'the Image of the Man': Hollywood Interprets Musical Modernismp. 138
Notesp. 169
Indexp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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