Brief part and chapter descriptions

David Neumeyer writes: I used these capsule descriptions to head my daily class notes during spring 2009.


Chapter 1's general introduction to the topic focuses on the elements of the sound track, on sound in the context of film narrative, and on clarity (rather than fidelity) as priority in both basic filmic systems: image (continuity editing) and sound (sound editing, sound design).  The analytic/descriptive bent is pushed further in Chapter 2 by analyzing the sound track in musical terms -- with musical terms, actually. We make some use of these musical terms later on, but the principal goal is to continue to force attention for a little while on the "musicality"-the constructedness and continuity- of the sound track as a whole, whether or not there's any music in it. The basic categories in Chapter 2 are time, loudness (volume), sound qualities, and texture (density, liveliness). In Chapter 3 the main topic is narrative space and how sound fits into it; the categories are two oppositions: diegetic/nondiegetic and onscreen/offscreen. In Chapter 3, then, we discuss basic concepts and terms used for sound (music) functions in film narrative with respect to space. In Chapter 4 we do the same with respect to time.   


General: In Part I, the goal was description and analysis of the sound track. In Part II, we focus on music: its position in film form, characteristic treatments with respect to film style, and interpretation of its functions in film narrative.  Chapter 5 addresses the general issues of film form with respect to music. Chapters 6, 7, & 9 describe characteristic scene types that involve music: Chapter 6: Music in Main Title and End-Credit Sequences; Chapter 7: Music in Performance and Montage Scenes; Chapter 9: Music in Character and Action Scenes. Chapter 8 focuses on Film Style and the Sound Track, especially Style Topics and the Leitmotif.


Part III descriptions forthcoming as of 5 April 2009.


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