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  • You will need to watch and re-listen to parts of your film many times to accomplish these assignments.


Leitmotif & Callbacks

The Music Writing Assignment

  • Answer the following in a paper.
  • Does the film uses a score or a soundtrack or both?
  • Discuss IN DEPTH Copland's Five elements in relation to your film. In your film, when does music...
    1. Create a more convincing atmosphere of time or place
    2. Underlie psychological refinement (such as tense moments, or mood changes)
    3. Give a sense of continuity (montages/flashbacks--or connected scenes)
    4. Present a sense of Finality (usually at climax of film)
    5. Fill in the silence (hardest because audience doesn't recognize it)
  • For at least half a page, argue one position or the other: Adorno vs. Ben Winters
    • Do parts of the score/soundtrack in the film follow Adorno's idea: "[Film Music uses] standard configurations to interpret the meaning of action for less intelligent members of the audience". If you choose Adorno, you will be arguing where and when certain pieces of music MUST occur in your film so that viewers will obtain the proper feel/mood/tone. In other words, without the music, people will misinterpret the scene.
    • OR
    • Ben Winters: "Non-diegetic music is often just as essential to the identity of the fictional narrative space presented in film as it is in a far less realistic fictional genre". If you choose Winters, you will be arguing where and when certain pieces of music amplify and give meaningful depth to characters, actions, environments, and scenes. In other words, without the music, the character/action/scene will be interpreted correctly, but that part of the film would lack luster--would not feel as epic.
  • Does the film use regular or irregular rhythms to create easy or unease, if so, where and for what purpose
  • When is silence used effectively.
  • When and how (if it does) does the film use music as a counterpoint to a scene?
  • Leitmotif
    • Do characters/objects/moods have a leitmotif. Name the piece that the leitmotif comes from AND the person, object or mood that the leitmotif connects to.
    • How do any of the above leitmotifs evolve?
  • Does the film use Call Backs?