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The temporal and rhythmic effect on musical composition and form when scoring dramatic moving picture

Mann, Hummie 2015, The temporal and rhythmic effect on musical composition and form when scoring dramatic moving picture , DMA thesis, University of Salford.

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The goal of this thesis is to explain the unique aspects of composing music for film and the unusual challenges facing the composer in writing music that supports on-screen dramatic action and dialogue. Besides my work as a composer in the film industry, I have always been active as an educator in the field as well. In my experience, I have found that there are a number of instructional texts that discuss many of the technical aspects of film composition, such as calculating timings and techniques of synchronization of music to film, however, I have found that there is very little information on the compositional technique of film scoring. For example, one of the common aspects of film composition is that very often a composer must write in what might be called ‘nonconventional musical form’ or odd phrase lengths. However information on the technique of how to write musical phrases with unusual numbers of measures that sound natural is difficult if not impossible to find. One does find references to this in many texts, however the thought process and/or technique that the composer used is not explained. Once I began teaching, I realized that I would have to codify some of the techniques that I use in order to teach my students methods to deal with these issues. Many of the techniques originated from personal observation working as an orchestrator, conductor, or ghostwriter for other, more experienced, composers. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity in my career, to work for some very talented and experienced individuals and to learn ‘on the job,’ and in many cases getting the chance to practice, develop and test these methods in a professional working situation. My thesis also includes chapters on the working process - walking through the steps of scoring a motion picture, which I feel certain many readers will be unfamiliar with. My ultimate goal is to expand this thesis into a textbook that can be used to teach the craft of film composition as I feel that such a text, which makes an effort to codify some of the techniques of film scoring, is needed. To demonstrate the methods and concepts that I discuss, I make use of examples from my own personal body of work including scores and audio and video examples included on the accompanying CDs.

Item Type: Thesis (DMA)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Hummie Mann
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 15:45
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2016 10:50

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