Event Title

The Restricted Section: A Study of Chromatic Mediants and Their Effect on Film Music

Location

King Building 127

Start Date

4-27-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

4-27-2018 12:20 PM

Abtract

The purpose of this capstone project is to determine how film music signifies action, affect, and essence through a focus on music theory, embodied cognition, and music production. I will include a focus on the chromatic mediant, which is an altered chord based on either the mediant (the third of eight scale degrees) or the submediant (the sixth of eight scale degrees). Most successful film music depends on the chromatic mediant, whether it acts as to signify a hero’s journey, to create the soundscape for a horror film, or to create continuity in the repetition of musical gestures. I will also examine embodied cognition, which is a theoretical framework that explains human cognitive response to real world experience, and how it applies to sonic impact. I will conduct analyses of several approaches to film scoring. One includes “traditional” scoring, an approach mastered by John Williams. Hans Zimmer solidified “modern” scoring, another one of the approaches. I will also analyze the music of films including the Batman saga from Batman (Danny Elfman, 1989) to The Dark Knight Trilogy (Zimmer, James Newton Howard, 2005-2012), the Harry Potter series (Williams, Alexandre Desplat, 2001-2011), and Inception (Zimmer, 2010). Additionally, I will personally score a scene to practically demonstrate how these approaches work to aid the director’s intention of the film and its potential affect on the viewer.

Keywords:

music, film, film music, score, film scoring, composer, composition, chromatic, mediants, Anthony Dennis, Tony, theory, music theory, embodied cognition, production, Harry Potter, Batman, Inception

Notes

FEATURED PRESENTATION
Session I, Panel 2 - Musical | Affect
Moderator: Arnie Cox, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Major

Musical Studies; Composition for Film

Advisor(s)

Brian Alegant, Musicology

Project Mentor(s)

Kathryn Metz, Ethnomusicology

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Apr 27th, 11:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:20 PM

The Restricted Section: A Study of Chromatic Mediants and Their Effect on Film Music

King Building 127

The purpose of this capstone project is to determine how film music signifies action, affect, and essence through a focus on music theory, embodied cognition, and music production. I will include a focus on the chromatic mediant, which is an altered chord based on either the mediant (the third of eight scale degrees) or the submediant (the sixth of eight scale degrees). Most successful film music depends on the chromatic mediant, whether it acts as to signify a hero’s journey, to create the soundscape for a horror film, or to create continuity in the repetition of musical gestures. I will also examine embodied cognition, which is a theoretical framework that explains human cognitive response to real world experience, and how it applies to sonic impact. I will conduct analyses of several approaches to film scoring. One includes “traditional” scoring, an approach mastered by John Williams. Hans Zimmer solidified “modern” scoring, another one of the approaches. I will also analyze the music of films including the Batman saga from Batman (Danny Elfman, 1989) to The Dark Knight Trilogy (Zimmer, James Newton Howard, 2005-2012), the Harry Potter series (Williams, Alexandre Desplat, 2001-2011), and Inception (Zimmer, 2010). Additionally, I will personally score a scene to practically demonstrate how these approaches work to aid the director’s intention of the film and its potential affect on the viewer.