MUSIC 2F03 Lecture Notes - A Streetcar Named Desire (1951 Film), Film Noir, Hungarian Folk Music

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July 10, 2012
Casa Blanca
- More than one melody at one time
Marseilles (French national anthem)
See Rick noting his approval of principal
Germans shutting down café
Sound gives sense of
o Volume level is higher with French anthem higher than German
anthem
Film Music in the 1940s
- High point in fill attendance
- People go on weekends, more common thing
- Beginning to come under threat from Communism
o To infiltrate society, Hollywood become the target
o Television also became a threat as well, even though it wasn’t as
popular
Experiments in film scores began
Hollywood film scores time to make compared to normal score sheets
Fantasia (1940)
- Modern style of music
Film noir
- Explore about sex and sexuality in black and white
- Often about crime
- German expressionism
- Kind of like the music of Arnold Schoenberg
- Angular imagery and dark
- Minimal musical cues
- Small ensembles
- Low pitched instruments
- Non-traditional orchestral sounds
- Angular, disjunct melodies
- Harsh, disjunct melodies
- Use of jazz, musical sound of cities
Laura (1944)
- David Raksin (1912-2004)
- Example of film noir
- Best known film score
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- Moving from generation of trained composers in US
- Influenced by jazz, University of Pen
- Generally dark
- Minimal use of cues, no wall to wall music
- Small ensembles, no pitch instruments
- Low registers, bass clarinet
- Non-traditional orchestral sounds
- Angular disjunct
- Non-classical genres: jazz
- Murder mystery about girl named Laura and Mark is charged to investigate
- Falls in love with Laura even though she is dead
- Seventh chords
o Jazzy sound
o Appear in opening credits
o A chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of
a seventh above the chord's root
- Wavering pitch (piano) when detective has affectionate feelings for this
women, film noir quality
o Strikes us as odd
o Is to represent his psychological state
Citizen Kane (1941)
- Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975)
- Best known composers
- Modern style in his film scores
- Use of music unconventional
- Highly dissonant
- Music (underscoring) used sparingly
- Publishing tycoon and utters words “rose bud” (theme)
o Story told from eyes of many perspectives
o Looks of different angles and lights
- Music is used in many innovative ways
- Many leitmotiv associated with power
- Much colder type of music
- Small ensemble featuring
o Flutes
o Bassoons
o Muted brass
o Vibraphone
- During memoirs, not much underscoring
Miklos Rozsa (1907-67)
- Influenced by Hungarian folk music
- A asymmetrical music
- Odd groupings and unpredictable of notes
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- Melodies are quite angular and unfamiliar
- Staff producer for MGM
- Known for angular melodies
o Disjunct and unpredictable turns
o Polytonic textures
- Some of his scores had electric Theremin
o Slides from pitch to pitch
o Unusual instrument, it is a box
o Used for science fiction films, edgy futuristic
- Spellbound (1945)
o Romantic love theme and a darker, more disturbing theme
o Love theme is repeated in the solo cello, repeated
o Theremin used for John’s psychotic, irrational episodes
American Nationalist Style
- Aaron Copland (1900-90)
- Best known for ballet music
- Great amount of nationalism around states during this time
- He was a leading figure for this
- Borrowed figure tunes, syncopated tunes
- Wide intervals, much easier to sing
- Like to write melodies by fourth and fifths
- Syncopated rhythms
- Colorful orchestration
- Conservative harmonic system
- Very influential in American film
o Settling of West
o Baseball movies
Hugo Friedhofer
- The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
- Music about three soldiers coming back from WWII
- Positive tone to serious plot
- Sounds upbeat, warm orchestrations
- Music is in foreground in expressing emotions and mood
- Melodies build in disjunct intervals
- Non-traditional, syncopated rhythms
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
- Set in the late 1920s
- About the early incorporation of sound in films
- Reference to Jazz singer
- Produced by Arthur Freed
- Worked at MGM
- Produced best loved musicals
- A theme is in this artificiality
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