Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music

The contribution that Wojcik and Knight make in the introduction alone makes this book noteworthy. The editors trace the presence of popular music in film from the earliest days of public film exhibitions, with the use of song slides, singers, orchestras, piano accompaniment, and phonographs; to the musical in classical Hollywood cinema as well as the seamless use of music in films such as (1942); and the important role that music plays in genre films. In the rock era, for example, popular music has played a crucial role in strikingly different ways, from to to . The editors survey the history of cinema and find music at every stage.

Soundtrack available : essays on film and popular music

Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music …

Soundtrack available essays on film and popular music …

With a cross-cultural emphasis, the contributors focus on movies that use popular songs from a variety of genres, including country, bubble-gum pop, disco, classical, jazz, swing, French cabaret, and showtunes. The films discussed range from silents to musicals, from dramatic and avant-garde films to documentaries in India, France, England, Australia, and the United States. The essays examine both “nondiegetic” music in film—the score playing outside the story space, unheard by the characters, but no less a part of the scene from the perspective of the audience—and “diegetic” music—music incorporated into the shared reality of the story and the audience. They include analyses of music written and performed for films, as well as the now common practice of scoring a film with pre-existing songs. By exploring in detail how musical patterns and structures relate to filmic patterns of narration, character, editing, framing, and , this volume demonstrates that pop music is a crucial element in the film experience. It also analyzes the life of the soundtrack apart from the film, tracing how popular music circulates and acquires new meanings when it becomes an official soundtrack.

Essays on film and popular music

The movie, (500) Days of Summer is Marc Webb’s film directorial debut. Webb is a renowned music video director, a reason why this essay will be focusing on the use of popular music in this film and the particular decisions he has made in music choice. The soundtrack of the film features ‘indie’ and smaller...

Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music by Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Arthur Knight
Black Widow (1976) essay cover sheet harvard marked. Film music Next: The soundtrack available essays on film and popular music …

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What counts as popular music in film? Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Arthur Knight, the editors of , have cast a wide net in their attempt to reach a definition. Popular music, they write, "includes folk, country, Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, jazz, disco, pop, rock-and-roll, rap, selections and adaptations of 'classical' music, and more" (5). As for the relationship between music and film, the editors' goal is to break down the traditional dichotomy of "musical" or "nonmusical" films and instead adopt a comparative, relational approach to studying film music in various contexts. The result is that the essays included track various aspects of popular music in film, both chronologically (from the earliest days of cinema to recent trends) and spatially (essays include analyses of differences in international film music practices). Further, the editors have enough of an evangelical zeal for their subject that the book successfully addresses multiple constituencies, such as undergraduate and graduate scholars, as well as a more general public readership.

Book Review: Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music by Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Arthur Knight

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Jeff Smith's groundbreaking monograph, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), sets a high standard that the present book clearly wants to follow; the editors say as much in their introductory remarks. Little surprise, then, that Smith's contribution, "Popular Songs and Comic Allusion in Contemporary Cinema," stands as one of the strongest essays. As directors and music supervisors devise more and more interesting ways of implicating songs into a film's narrative, the desire to comment on the story at hand with the music becomes overwhelming and, as Smith points out, can often pass by the notice of many an audience member—yet without necessarily detracting from their enjoyment of the film.

On Jan 1, 2003 Daniel Goldmark published: Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music (review)

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