Since the advent of sound in film, music has provided a vital counterpoint to the stunning visuals and electrifying action of Hollywood productions. Offering more than a tangential backdrop of auditory color, music plays a significant role in creating and defining the images portrayed in film. Though the part music plays in shaping these images is often overlooked, its powerful influence on the North American general public's understanding of peoples, places, and ideas as they are constructed by Hollywood cannot be underestimated. Of the many Hollywood films made about Africa, perhaps the Tarzan films are some of the most pervasive in creating stereotyped notions of African peoples, geography, and social organization. An examination of the portrayal of Africa and Africans in one of the Tarzan films provides a window into how music has been used to generate these stereotypes and calls into question the degree to which these (mis)conceptions, under the same or different guises, have survived into the twenty-first century.


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pp. 91-124
Launched on MUSE
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