Mus & Film

In: Film and Music

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Short Essays

You will write three essays in all. The essays should be typed with double-spaces. For the 10-point essays, think of a paragraph or two, and for the 20-point essays aim for three or more paragraphs.

Please submit your responses in one document (doc, docx, or pdf only) through drop-box. Do NOT paste your essays into the message box.

Describe the three basic types of music heard in original scores during the silent film era and cites specific examples from The Birth of a Nation. (10 points)

Adaptations
Arrangements
New Music

Composed by Joseph Carl Breil the film score to The Birth of a Nation was a revolutionary movement in film history due to his use of adaptations, arrangements, and new compositions to capture the emotion of the audience. Breil’s use of arrangements of The Star-Spangled Banner, Dixie, and America the Beautiful to capture the aspect of the Southern states patriotism gave audiences the emotion that the events in the South were American and thus just. Using classical works adapted to the film, most notably Ride of the Valkyries, is used as leitmotifs to capture the audience’s heroism as the KKK rode into battle. While much of the film was accompanied by classical melodies Breil did compose numerous leitmotifs to illustrate emotion for particular themes, the romance between Stoneman and Cameron is an example of his original compositions for the film. Breil’s use of the three basic type of music in original score laid a pillar for the film industry to build on, despite being highly controversial the film score and use of cinematography at the time is nothing but a masterpiece.

2) What is the role of source music in Casablanca? (10 points)
Casablanca uses source music to identify a scene, to compliment the character or mood, and to introduce the famous melody. Casablanca is set around a war and because of that the…...

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