Key is one of the simplest building blocks of music and is among the foundational properties of a work’s musical identity—so why isn’t it a standard parameter in discussing film music? Key Constellations: Interpreting Tonality in Film is the first book to investigate film soundtracks—including original scoring, preexisting music, and sound effects—through the lens of large-scale tonality. Exploring compelling analytical examples from numerous popular films, Táhirih Motazedian shows how key and pitch analysis of film music can reveal hidden layers of narrative meaning, giving readers exciting new ways to engage with their favorite films and soundtracks.
Key Constellations Interpreting Tonality in Film
About the Book
“A significant and energizing piece of scholarship, brimming with lively prose, engaging diagrams, and thorough (and thoroughly ingenious!) case studies. Táhirih Motazedian's study presents us with a provocative new perspective in the rapidly growing discourse of film music studies, argued with verve. You won't listen to a movie soundtrack the same after reading this."—Frank Lehman, author of Hollywood Harmony: Musical Wonder and the Sound of Cinema
“A groundbreaking achievement in film-music scholarship, rendered in clear, concise, and engaging language that is accessible even to those unfamiliar with the field. Key Constellations makes a convincing argument that tonal plans do exist in films, supported with many examples drawn from popular contemporary films. This will be a definitive work on the topic of tonal coherence in film.”—Ron Rodman, author of Tuning In: American Narrative Television Music
“A focus on one musical pitch over others pervades soundtracks: from sustained drones in the underscore to pop songs in a key to clear-toned sound effects. With her expert and creative hands, Motazedian has compressed and shaped this raw ubiquitous substrate into an array of sparkling analytical jewels that enlighten our understanding and appreciation of screen media.”—Scott Murphy, editor of Brahms and the Shaping of Time