Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

This book continues along a path I started down more than two decades ago: a synthesis of the methods and priorities of film studies and music studies. That is hardly a novelty in the present day, I am pleased to report, as the literature of film music studies continues to grow in both quantity and quality...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

The reader will now understand why my first, and happy, obligation is to thank James Buhler. In addition to contributing a substantial amount of material, he was willing to take time out to read and comment on the draft texts for parts 1 and 2. I am also grateful to Jim for...

Part I: Meaning and Interpretation

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1. Music in the Vococentric Cinema

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pp. 3-49

A simple, typical example of sound practice in the Hollywood studio era (roughly 1930–60) may be found in a few moments from The Dark Corner (1946), an Alevel film noir obviously meant as a stand-alone sequel to Laura (1944). An evening party at the lavish home of Hardy Cathcart...

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2. Tools for Analysis and Interpretation

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pp. 50-96

“In actual movies, for real spectators, there are not all the sounds including the human voice. There are voices, and then everything else. In other words, in every audio mix, the presence of a human voice instantly sets up a hierarchy of perception” (Chion 1999, 5; emphasis in original)...

Part II: Music in the Mix: Casablanca

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3. Acoustic Stylization: The Film’s Sound World

David Neumeyer, James Buhler

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pp. 99-117

Casablanca is unquestionably one of the best-known films from America’s studio era. To be sure, it is not an example of the system at its mechanical, factory-production best (scriptwriting and shooting schedule were notably chaotic), but the film does show what Hollywood professionals...

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4. Music and Utopia: A Reading of the Reunion Scene

David Neumeyer, James Buhler

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pp. 118-156

Production for Casablanca finished on 3 August 1942, and the film editor finished his postproduction tasks by the end of the month. Max Steiner had already been assigned in July to write the underscore. He complained about using “As Time Goes By” sometime in August, but the...

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5. The Reunion Scene’s Contexts

David Neumeyer, James Buhler

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pp. 157-180

The gaze sonority appears in the film for the first time during the reunion scene, but Max Steiner had already composed the cue for Rick and Ilsa’s afterhours confrontation, where the chord also appears, and in an equally striking way: cue 4,7, the underscore music for the reunion...

Part III: Topics and Tropes: Two Preludes by Bach

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Introduction to Part 3

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pp. 183-189

When, by about 1910, narrative films began to dominate cinema exhibition, the change affected the screening and therefore the production of movies. At that point, the role of music as performed live in the theater shifted from a semi-independent focus on performances of concert...

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6. Performers Onscreen

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pp. 190-234

Opening a chapter on the paradoxical notion of a text-centered contingency, Robert Scholes asks a rhetorical question, “Why won’t the text stand still so that one could indeed be true to it or false to it and know which is which?” (1985, 149). This image of an unstable text is particularly...

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7. Underscore: Four Studies of the C Major Prelude

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pp. 235-266

The audiovisual combination inevitably involves a troping effect on preexisting music, since any film will change the music it incorporates simply by combining it with images. The character and effect of the troping, however, vary greatly, from minimal disturbance to a music’s topical...

Notes

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pp. 267-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-304

Index

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pp. 305-319