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While film-music studies have explored the interactions between film and music at the local level of the scene, large-scale film-music analysis is a rare and under-researched phenomenon. I propose a methodology that allows for a film's music to be discussed at the level of the entire film. Drawing on works by literary scholars Gustav Freytag and Seymour Chatman, I present a methodology for graphic representation of the Narrative/Dramatic Structure of complete films that combines with the work's complete score. As a test case, I scrutinize three filmic collaborations by Joel & Ethan Coen and Carter Burwell (Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing, and Fargo). Through the use of various analytical techniques, I demonstrate how music functions at the global and local levels and reveal that Burwell and the Coens use their scores to project important narrative information about their films that changes the way they are perceived by audiences. I conclude by showing how my methodology allows for the comparison of large-scale musical usage to finally take place in the context of a film's complete score.
Carter Burwell, Coen Brothers, Film Music, large scale, Music Theory, Seymour Chatman
Date of Defense
April 3, 2015.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Matthew Shaftel, Professor Directing Dissertation; David Johnson, University Representative; Michael Buchler, Committee Member; Nancy Rogers, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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