An exploration of the powerful effect of music in films produced from the 1930s through the 1980s.
Music is a key element in narrative cinema. The film score offers important clues about characters and situations and gives illusion of continuity to otherwise disparate images. The Art of Film Music draws on conversations with Hollywood’s leading composers as well as author George Burt’s own experience composing for the screen to provide a useful, fascinating guide to creating music for dramatic films.
Burt explores music’s significant role and powerful effect by analyzing several scenes in classic films produced from the 1930s through the 1980s. His thorough examination of the practical and aesthetic aspects of scoring a film is richly illustrated by the personal perspectives of such renowned composers as Hugo Friedhofer, Alex North, David Raksin, and Leonard Rosenman.
The volume features a penetrating discussion of the landmark scores from key scenes in The Best Years of Our Lives, Laura, and East of Eden. It also offers a technical guide to composing film music, explaining the spotting process, timing, synchronization, and general approaches to composition. In addition, numerous musical examples from films as far-ranging as High Noon and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?, as well as a glossary of musical terms, are included.
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Reviews / Endorsements:
“George Burt’s wonderful, intelligent book, The Art of Film Music, should be a ‘must’ read for anyone interested in the marriage of music and film.”—Robert Altman
“Professor Burt’s book provides a scholarly in-depth study of American film music. A professional writing for professionals, he explores not only the art but also the craft of composing for films. I have no doubt that his book will soon become a standard text for film composers everywhere.”—Henry Brant
“George Burt shows a marvelous sense and understanding of existing scholarship in the field. The Art of Film Music is one of the best books on the subject, concise and well-organized.”—Irwin Bazelon
GEORGE BURT is Professor of Music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He studied with Roger Sessions, Darius Milhaud, and Milton Babbitt. He has composed music for a variety of films, including Robert Altman’s Fool for Love.