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Beyond the Soundtrack: Representing Music in Cinema, a cura di Daniel Goldmark, Lawrence Kramer e Richard Leppert, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007

Author(s): Francesco Finocchiaro

Journal: Musica Docta : Rivista Digitale di Pedagogia e Didattica della Musica
ISSN 2039-9715

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: musica per film | Hollywood | Steiner | Rothapfel | Polanski

Beyond the Soundtrack: Representing Music in Cinema (edited by Daniel Goldmark, Lawrence Kramer and Richard Leppert, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007, viii-324 pp.) offers sixteen essays of various authors about film music. These papers were presented in 2004 in a study congress at the University of Minnesota. In introducing the book, the editors assert an assumption, today broadly accepted: indeed they affirm, that music has traditionally been regarded as a subordinate element in cinematographic text: film music literature still has a marginal position in the much larger field of film studies which focuses on image, narrative, film history. In this theoretical and historiographic context, the expression “Beyond the Soundtrack” is meant to be more than a title: it is the manifesto of a conceptual shift. We can summarize this change in reconsidering the importance of film music, in order to understand a movie not only as a visual, but also as a musical medium. The change of paradigm brings renewed questions and completely new issues. If we abandon the assumption, at this point obsolete, that film music has a mere functional role, it will be necessary to ask not how to conceptualize the use of music in film, but rather how the film conceptualizes music: how films imagine music, how films represent music as an artistic and social phenomenon, and how films position music as an integral parts of a fictional world. Such questions aim to consider film music not as an atmospheric expedient, but «as an agent, a force, and an object engaged in ongoing negotiations with image, narrative, and context», as the editors assert at the very beginning of their book.
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