Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Film music often contains close relationships to filmic and narrative imagery, creating complex relationships that are not always apparent. Many traditional means of musical analysis are not equipped to account for these extramusical associations. Film music analysis may benefit from considering musical gestures a way for understanding these connections to filmic and narrative imagery. Music theorists and philosophers, such as Mark Johnson, Janna Saslaw, Robert Hatten, and Steve Larson, have commented on the value of considering music through one’s embodied experiences. Film and music are inherently energetic, as both contain perceivable energies and forces. Analyzing the common energetic qualities of film and music provides an approach for connecting film music to certain filmic and narrative attributes and events. This dissertation uses models based in physics to reveal the latent constructs that connect music to extramusical associations. Building off of established concepts and models in the work of composers and theorists such as Ernst Kurth, Steve Larson, and Arnold Schoenberg, this dissertation reconsiders several energetic models based in motion and applies them to film music analysis. This study also proposes several original models based in the related branch of continuum mechanics by considering the internal structure and changes of musical concepts and gestures as objects. These concepts and models create a system of analysis that considers and accounts for the connections between film music, onscreen actions, and narrative events.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Peck, Robert



Included in

Music Commons