Midterm 2 Essays
1) Ben-Hur is the last great film score in the tradition of the golden age until 1977. Describe the characteristics of the classical film score as exemplified in this film. Include a description of significant themes and scenes. (10 points)
William Wyler directed a 1958 American epic historical drama film, Ben-Hur. This film is well known to be one of the greatest film scores reflecting in the classic traditions. The film portrays lives of two men (i.e., Jesus Christ and Judah Beh-Hur), in which the plot illustrates number of parallels and reversals. Rozsa utilizes modal harmonies and parallel chords to deploy the spirit of the Roman era. Throughout the film, he embraces traditional love themes…show more content… He correlated the usage of single tone color with the black and white cinematography.
Herrmann utilized a unified score that is constantly dissonant. Although there are variation of mood from loving sound to the terror of the shower, all the cues are observed to be used with minor seconds and major sevenths. He also uses distinct sound using the “percussive-sounding strings” through deploying microphone close to the instrument to demonstrate the sound to be harsher, which can be seen as some of the new approaches that Herrmann accomplished through this film as the start of “a New American Era”. In addition, new approach in film scoring can be seen through the lack of contrast in a cue. When a cue starts, it stays consistent and repeats the mood with no variation where there are absence of shifts within a cue. Moreover, descending and ascending chords of the Transition theme have an aloof characteristic with no display of emotions. This in return provides an overall disquieting mood to the story. During the Norman’s story, Hermann employs ostinato to maintain tension and discomforting sound of melody.
3) Discuss the growth of the various types of popular music in films from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. Please mention specific films, styles, and composers when you can. (20 points)
Throughout late 1940’s through the early 1970’s, the growth of various types of popular music and trends are historically observed. Starting from postwar