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Title: Second Generation Film Musicology: Fundamental Issues in the Progression of Film Music Studies
Author: Mera, Miguel
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis is based on eight of the author's published works that challenge some of the disciplinary biases, methodological approaches, and deficiencies in first generation film musicology. Creating a balance between theoretical and practicebased approaches, these works are: Writing l. Mera, M. M)'chael Danna's The Ice Storm. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2007. 2. Mera, M. and Bumand, D. European Film Music. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. 3. Mera, M. 'Takemitsu's Composed Space in Kurosawa's Ran', in Robynn Stilwell and Peter Franklin, eds., Cambridge Companion to Film Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [in press, forthcoming]. 4. Mera, M. 'Reap Just What You Sow: Trainspotting's Perfect Day', in Steve Lannin and Matthew Caley, eds., Pop Fiction- the Song in Cinema. Bristol: Intellect, 2005, 86-97. Film Compositions 5. Mera, M. Broken, dir. Vicki Psarias, Ten Thousand Films, 2007 6. Mera, M. What Does Your Daddy Do? dir. Martin Stitt, Sprig Productions, 2006. 7. Mera, M. Moth, dir. Simon Corris, Amulet Films, 2005. 8. Mera, M. The Goodbye Plane, dir. David Bartlett, Kewhaven Pictures, 2003. The term 'second-generation' in relation to film musicology was first coined by Robynn Stilwell to identify a productive shift away from the ideas of scholars such as Kathryn Kalinak and Claudia Gorbman. Gorbman's seminal text, Unheard Alelodies, for example, contained recurrent arguments about film music as a subservient element in a narrative system, an invisible discourse that 'functions to lull the spectator into being an untroublesome (less critical, less wary) viewing subject.' (1987, 15). More broadly first-generation film musicology was focused on mainstream Hollywood scoring, narrative causality, and the non-diegetic score, often at the expense of other elements of the soundtrack. The Critical Appraisal demonstrates how the author's published work positions itself in relation to and against this first-generation work, seeking to expand the field by employing new methodologies and exploring hitherto undervalued areas of study. The specific areas of examination are: (a) Film music beyond the mainstream Hollywood studio system ('Indiewood', Europe, Japan, Britain); (b) The use of silence, space and ambiguity as a scoring approach and the means by which this empowers the audience, demanding their active engagement with the filmic text, and; (c) Methods of collaboration and communication and their effect on compositional process and product, with a particular focus on the temp-track. As a practising film composer, the author has a unique perspective from which to explore this subject area. In particular, political context, industrial and collaborative practice, and technological methods are interrogated in a manner that is borne out of personal experience. The relationship between the published written and composed texts, therefore, challenges idealistic and mythologized notions of film music that fail to reflect how political structures and creativity interact. The Critical Appraisal also suggests some future directions for study in a rapidly progressing and vibrant field of study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford Brookes University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.490515  DOI: Not available
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