Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Kassabian, Anahid. Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Film theory must include music as a "condition of identification," how film music is received and interpreted by the audience, taking into account the impact of the intertextual reference between different films which borrow the same music, as well as the emotional impact of less recognizable music on the listener. Film audiences develop "socio-historically specific musical languages," where all music becomes referential, especially through the use of quotation, allusion, and leitmotif. Musical quotation has become a staple form of contemporary film scores through "compilation," the use of a series of pre-recorded music tracks rather than a newly-composed film score, because previously recorded and distributed music may carry with it strong ties to time period, genre, or location. The concepts of "assimilating," describing borrowings that are closely aligned with dominant ideologies, and "affiliating," for uses that broaden the range of acceptable connections between the text and music, contribute to understanding how the identification of preexisting music by the audience member serves to form notions of cultural identities or stereotypes as part of character and or plot development within film.

Works: Charles Wolcott: score to Blackboard Jungle (50); Carmine Coppola: score to Apocalypse Now (50); Charles Strouse: score to Bonnie and Clyde (51); Dick Hyman: score to Moonstruck (51).

Sources: Max C. Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight: Rock Around the Clock (50); Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyres" from Die Walküre (50); Traditional: Foggy Mountain Breakdown (51); Puccini: "Che gelida manina" from La Boheme (51).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Kathleen Widden

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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