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The Cambridge Companion to Film Music


Part of Cambridge Companions to Music

Mervyn Cooke, Fiona Ford, James Buhler, Hannah Lewis, David Cooper, Ben Winters, Stephen Glynn, George Fenton, Guido Heldt, Kate Daubney, Peter Franklin, Miguel Mera, David Butler, Krin Gabbard, Stan Link, Robynn J. Stilwell, Caryl Flinn, Paul Wells, Sergio Miceli, Danae Stefanou, Annette Davison, Tim Koozin, Mekala Padmanabhan
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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107094512

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About the Authors
  • This wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection of specially-commissioned essays provides a uniquely comprehensive overview of the many and various ways in which music functions in film soundtracks. Citing examples from a variety of historical periods, genres and film industries - including those of the USA, UK, France, Italy, India and Japan - the book's contributors are all leading scholars and practitioners in the field. They engage, sometimes provocatively, with numerous stimulating aspects of the history, theory and practice of film music in a series of lively discussions which will appeal as much to newcomers to this fascinating subject as to seasoned film music aficionados. Innovative research and fresh interpretative perspectives are offered alongside practice-based accounts of the film composer's distinctive art, with examples cited from genres as contrasting as animation, the screen musical, film noir, Hollywood melodrama, the pop music and jazz film, documentary, period drama, horror, science fiction and the Western.

    • Will serve as a stimulating introduction to the field for newcomers, as well as offering fresh research and interpretative angles to those familiar with film music scholarship
    • Readers will acquire a comprehensive and holistic view of the subject in which the demands of working in the film industry inform our understanding of its musical practices
    • Includes a wide coverage of international film music practices, including the film industries of the USA, UK, Italy, France, India and Japan
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Going beyond new historical research on early film music, genre studies, and film music analysis, this diverse collection of current essays is ambitious. … Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' M. Goldsmith, CHOICE

    '… a fine addition to the film music literature. … Particularly successful is the combination of general overviews (historical, technological, theoretical, methodological) with case-study chapters that exemplify a range of approaches to examining soundtracks. This book could readily be offered to undergraduate and postgraduate students as a 'toolkit' to inspire and guide their own studies, and while the balance is towards musicological study, the relatively accessible tone and varied methodologies additionally make the book worthy of attention for those from other disciplines. The editors are to be commended for assembling a collection that represents much of the variety of modern film music scholarship.' Jonathan Godsall, Popular Music

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107094512
    • length: 438 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 178 x 23 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 9 tables 26 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Mervyn Cooke and Fiona Ford
    Part I. Making Film Music:
    1. Evolving practices for film music and sound, 1925–35 James Buhler and Hannah Lewis
    2. 'Pictures that talk and sing': sound history and technology David Cooper
    3. The composer and the studio: Korngold and Warner Bros. Ben Winters
    4. Can't buy me love? Economic imperatives and artistic achievements in the British pop music film Stephen Glynn
    5. 'A film's first audience': the composer's role in film and television George Fenton in conversation with Mervyn Cooke
    Part II. Approaching Film Music:
    6. Film music theory Guido Heldt
    7. Studying film scores: working in archives and with living composers Kate Daubney
    8. Returning to Casablanca Peter Franklin
    9. Parental guidance advised? Mash-ups and mating penguins in Happy Feet Fiona Ford
    10. Materializing film music Miguel Mera
    Part III. Genre and Idiom:
    11. Film noir and music David Butler
    12. Another other history of jazz in the movies Krin Gabbard
    13. Horror and science fiction Stan Link
    14. The Western Robynn J. Stilwell
    15. The music of screen musicals Caryl Flinn
    16. 'Britannia - The Musical': scores, songs and soundtracks in British animation Paul Wells
    Part IV. Music in World Cinemas:
    17. Leone, Morricone and the Italian way to revisionist westerns Sergio Miceli
    18. Music, noise and silence in the late cinema of Jean-Luc Godard Danae Stefanou
    19. Hans Werner Henze and The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum Annette Davison
    20. Tōru Takemitsu's collaborations with Masahiro Shinoda: the music for Pale Flower, Samurai Spy and Ballad of Orin Tim Koozin
    21. Welcome to Kollywood: Tamil film music and popular culture in South India Mekala Padmanabhan.

  • Editors

    Mervyn Cooke, University of Nottingham
    Professor Mervyn Cooke teaches film music, jazz, twentieth-century music and composition at the University of Nottingham. He has edited The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten (Cambridge, 1999), The Cambridge Companion to Jazz (Cambridge, 2002, with David Horn) and The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera (Cambridge, 2005). He has also published A History of Film Music (Cambridge, 2008) and The Hollywood Film Music Reader (2010), and co-edited volumes 3 to 6 of Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten (2004–2012).

    Fiona Ford
    Dr Fiona Ford completed her doctoral thesis, entitled 'The Film Music of Edmund Meisel (1894–1930)', at the University of Nottingham. She has wide experience of researching contemporaneous original scores for silent film and early scores for sound films. She has written a book chapter on Edmund Meisel for The Sounds of the Silents in Britain: Voice, Music and Sound in Early Cinema Exhibition (2012, edited by Julie Brown and Annette Davison) and a chapter on The Wizard of Oz for Melodramatic Voices: Understanding Music Drama (2011, edited by Sarah Hibberd).


    Mervyn Cooke, Fiona Ford, James Buhler, Hannah Lewis, David Cooper, Ben Winters, Stephen Glynn, George Fenton, Guido Heldt, Kate Daubney, Peter Franklin, Miguel Mera, David Butler, Krin Gabbard, Stan Link, Robynn J. Stilwell, Caryl Flinn, Paul Wells, Sergio Miceli, Danae Stefanou, Annette Davison, Tim Koozin, Mekala Padmanabhan

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