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Hollywood Harmony: Musical Wonder and the Sound of Cinema (Oxford Music/Media Series)
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Film music often tells us how to feel, but it also guides us how to hear. Filmgoing is an intensely musical experience, one in which the soundtrack structures our interpretations and steers our emotions. Hollywood Harmony explores the inner workings of film music, bringing together tools from music theory, musicology, and music psychology in this first ever book-length analytical study of this culturally central repertoire. Harmony, and especially chromaticism, is emblematic of the "film music sound," and it is often used to evoke that most cinematic of feelings-wonder. To help parse this familiar but complex musical style, Hollywood Harmony offers a first-of-its kind introduction to neo-Riemannian theory, a recently developed and versatile method of understanding music as a dynamic and transformational process, rather than a series of inert notes on a page. This application of neo-Riemannian theory to film music is perfect way in for curious newcomers, while also constituting significant scholarly contribution to the larger discipline of music theory. Author Frank Lehman draws from his extensive knowledge of cinematic history with case-studies that range from classics of Golden Age Hollywood to massive contemporary franchises to obscure cult-films. Special emphasis is placed on scores for major blockbusters such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Inception. With over a hundred meticulously transcribed music examples and more than two hundred individual movies discussed, Hollywood Harmony will fascinate any fan of film and music.