Narratological Perspectives on Film Music To what degree does film music shape our perception of a narrative?
Consider . . . • Music is heard, not seen • Film largely is seen, not heard • The film medium requires us to focus on the narrative and visual realities on screen • Film music cannot be judged as one would judge “pure” music • The narrative context—the interrelations between music and the rest of the film’s systems—determines the effectiveness of a movie’s score
Music as Meaningorganizes discourse on 3 levels: • As pure musical code • As cultural musical code • As cinematic musical code
“Pure” music v. Film Narrative • Inherent tension • Film discourse is representational, naturalistic, and rhythmically irregular • Music discourse is nonrepresentational, lyrical, and rhythmically regular
Music/Scene relationship • Parallelism/counterpoint: music either resembles or contradicts the scene. This view assumes that the image is autonomous • Mutual implication: whatever music is chosen will have some effect on the scene
Silence • Types • Diegetic musical silence • Nondiegetic musical silence • Structural silence