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Lecture 8

MUSIC 2F03 Lecture 8: L8 Music

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Simon Wood

Lecture 8   Monday, March 6, 2017  6:51 PM    Citizen Kane (1941)  • Very influential movie/filmmakers thought it was greatest thing   ○ Great reviews  • Not a huge hit when first released   • Critically acclaimed   • Wells used the lighting that went back to silent film (bright light, deep shadows) = high contrast lighting  • Not a film noir, but seen that kicked film noir off (visual style of film noir was a lot ppl watching Citizen Kane and wanting to make movies like it)  • It didn’t become a huge hit at the time bc it was closely modelled on a real person who declared war on the film and got it banned etc   ○ Years that followed it starting getting popular   • Film starts in the final moments in the billionaires life, hes super isolated in his deathbed, his last words are rosebud…then rest of film is newspaper reporters interviewing ppl who knew him to figure out what rosebud means (the vehicle to tell Kane's life in retrospect)  ○ Hes first getting married … 20 years of a marriage compacted into 5 minutes .. Deeply passionate in love in beginning and each clip is 2-3 years and they get used to one another and the marriage turns sour/hostile in passive aggressive way.  ○ They become openly hostile and the final scene they are silent.  ○ Beginning are next to each other and the end they are sitting farther away..table gets bigger.. Entire thing is them sitting at a table  ○ Love music .. Then playful music and becomes more mensicing and becomes angry and then in final scene theres cold deattached music as camera goes away from them  ○ Played in the parameters of late 19th century opera   ○ Hermann composed music that reflects the different phases of a marriage   ○ Anti Semitism played throughout the film  ○ Utterly conventional , nothing stylistic extraordinary about it sounds like music of that time  ○ He realized something that anyone elses didn’t but its very obvious  • Think symph orchestra -> all very similar In their instrumentation because its called standardized perf. Ensemble which is a left over of the professional music word prior to recording technology   • Rec tech was invented 1877 doesn’t rly reach rhe qulity needed for music playback till 100 yrs ago  • Only been the last century hwere rec music was a reality  • Prior to this if u wanted to listen to music u gotta make it urself or be in presence of somoene else making music   • If you right a piece of music for diff instruments, its gonna be tough for ur music to be performed in lots of places  • But if u write for music for standard instruments then chances are wherever u go u will be able to play it almost anywhere u can find x many isntruments in any orchestra cos they are standardized  • Symphony is designed for live performance: easy for composers to get their pieces played anywhere   • So all classical musicians write for standardized orchestras so when writing for films they write for sympphony orechestra  • But herrman comes and says he not writing music that’s playing live for next 50 yrs but music that needs to be played only once th eday its being recorded for the film and never aftet that so why cant I write for any set of instruments??? french term; a director who oversees at a very high level of detail almost every aspect of making of a film   • The films have a consistent look and feel from movie to movie  • Style of auter is very clear to see   • If u know the stylistic elements you'll know a htichcock film when you see it   • Hitchcock loved white blonde hair on female characters    • He was concerned with POV and perception like windows were prom. Seen in his films..he was about looking at people and idea that very oridnary could hide th extraoridinory      Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959)      Psycho (1960)  • Limited budget - shot in black and white  ○ By this time, this was unusual because 1950's we see the acceleration into color, but some producers like B&W so it was an aethetic reason  ○ Hithcock first movies were silent films that were in B&W    • Pivotal motion picture   • Hermann uses only strings as B&W score   ○ This score used nothing orchestral strings section .. Violins violas cellos and double ??   ○ Uses the variety of sound that can be produced by a string section  • Not a limiting factor as it sounds   • The string section is by far the most versatile of the 4 major sections   • Strings have remarkable range of sounds cos their construction and use of the bow .. Very softly or distorting loud sound .. More than body mechanics can handle   • Also a good choice because this is a film that at its core it’s the evocation? Of emotional states and most important is blind terror / scenes in the film that the strings are mimicking the sounds of a scream which make strings so effective and argued that the string like violin that is closest to the human voice and violin can capture voice sound so strings are linked to strongest emotional state  • Trumpets give mobility and action but violin is love and passion  • Fear and terror = strings   • Whole film is super cold  ○ Cues tend to set a single mood and show little response to what happens minute by minute   • Once piece of music starts it will maintain its quality and theres deattachment cos music isnt responding and telling u how to respond and prob most effective here being a black and white score   ○ Overall the mood is bleak and has little emotional warmth  ○ Cant feel much sympathy for ppl    Scene 1: The Money  • Short repetitive theme that fractures  • Quiet but unsettled - Marion's discomfort with the theft  • Grows slightly in intensity as she decides to take the money   • Begins concerning women (marion crane) and shes unsettled in her life having affairs with men  • Marion meeting with her lover whos a married man  • Marion wants to run off with him, but he doesn’t want to  • Shes handed by her boss a stack of cash and asked to deposit it, she has a weak moment and runs off w/ it to make a new life   • She has money in her hands and shes sitting on a bed   • Camera gets really close to the envelope showing its importance .. She keeps turning and looking at it showing she's thinking  • Hermann's music is tension of indeicison but no real clue of what she's going to do .. Simple theme playing over again.. Very little change in sound in the whole scene not till the end that eneventually the theme drops away and we hear more resolved sort of sound  • Music is very cold very remote creates sense of tension without offerring resoln to that tension w/out telling u what marion is going to do   • Shes driving around and imagining convo's going around with her friends etc not happening just imaginging it     Scene 2: Flight  • Music enters as she makes her "escape" shes trying to get rid of her car and get a new one  • Ar first seems to play her fear at being caught  ○ She keeps saying "How much??" wants to get out of car dealership ASAP  ○ She has a sense that the delaer is suspic of her and across the road theres a policecar we have no
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