Film music : the synthesis of two art forms - a case study of themes and characters in Alfred Hitchcock's and Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo

Theunissen, Justin Robin (2014-04)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates the impact that a musical score can have on the visual component as well as the final product of a film. This is achieved by the use of a systematic analytical approach that covers the most important aspects of the visual and musical elements within Vertigo. The film is regarded as one of cinema’s greatest examples of excellence. The many levels of meaning, inspired use of cinematographic techniques, meticulously crafted narrative and dynamic score combine to create a film unlike any other. The analysis of Vertigo is achieved by selecting specific scenes that contain important visual and musical elements essential to the narrative. The visual and musical aspects of each scene are analysed separately before the relationship between them is studied. Following this, the results of the analysis are summarised within the larger context of the narrative and conclusions are drawn regarding the music’s influence on the visual aspects of the film as well as its role in the ultimate narrative success of Vertigo.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie verhandeling kwantifiseer die impak wat ‘n partituur kan uitoefen op die visuele aspekte en eindproduk van ‘n film. Dit word bereik deur die gebruik van ‘n sistematiese analitiese benadering wat die hoofaspekte van die visuele en musikale elemente in Vertigo ondersoek. Vertigo word beskou as een van die filmkuns se beste voorbeelde van uitnemendheid. Die komplekse betekenisvlakke, die geïnspireerde gebruik vakinematografiese tegnieke, die uitmuntende storielyn en die dinamiese partituur kombineer om ‘n unieke film te skep. In die ontleding van spesiale tonele met visuele en musikale elemente wat ‘n noodsaaklike bydrae lewer tot die sukses van die storielyn, kan Vertigo analiseer word. Die visuele en musikale aspekte van elke toneel word eers individueel bestudeer voordat die verhouding tussen die elemente analiseer word. Daarna word die resultate saamgevat binne die raamwerk van die storielyn en kan daar tot ‘n gevolgtrekking gekom word oor musiek se invloed op die visuele aspekte van die film en die rol wat musiek gespeel het in die beslissende sukses van Vertigo.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86555
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