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Journal of Film Music

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William H.Rosar

Reviews Editor
Please send books for review to:
Melissa Goldsmith
c/o Tony Fonseca, Library Director
Alumnae Library
Elms College
291 Springfield Street
Chicopee, MA 01013-2389

The Journal of Film Music is a forum for the musicological study of film from the standpoint of dramatic musical art. The analytical tools and methodologies of historical, systematic, cognitive, and ethnomusicology all are relevant and essential to this study, which seeks to both document and illuminate film practice through source studies, analysis, theory, and criticism.

Film, though a product of late 19th century technological innovation, viewed historically as a dramatic art form, only emerged as such after the turn of the 20th century, with a musical practice that underwent almost continual development and changes throughout that time to the present day: The advent of sound in theatrical motion pictures precipitated an adaptation in silent film accompaniment, such that techniques were developed to combine it with onscreen music performance, dialog, and sound effects, while also placing increased value on original composition over the use or adaptation of existing music. The tradition and techniques of this practice carried over into radio, television, computer, and other communications media. In a historical framework, This journal examines film and its allied media not only in terms of its own shared tradition, but in terms of its roots, precursors, and parallels throughout music of the theatre and other fields of music, both “classical” and popular, from which it has borrowed: incidental music for plays, 19th century stage melodrama, Vaudeville, opera and operetta, musical comedy, melodeclamation, ballet, dance and music hall, as well as forms of dramatic concert music such as oratorios, cantatas, and tone poems. The juxtaposition and clash of musical idioms from the traditions of Western theatre and art music with those of popular music partly accounts for the eclecticism that has always characterized film since the silent days. Hybrid styles were born, for example, that which came to be widely known as the “Hollywood style,” in which jazz was combined with European art music (“classical” music). The wide ranging and multifarious background that has contributed to the development of music for Western cinema also influenced non-Western cinema as well, particularly because of the prevalent use of European- and American-published “photoplay music” throughout the world during the silent era which, in effect, produced a veritable international film practice, if one with regional variations, that persisted into the sound era. Systematic, cognitive, and ethnomusicological research endeavors to document and analyze these cultural differences as well as commonalities across cultures and time periods are all welcome topics for this journal.

Indexing and Abstracting
FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals Plus
International Index to Music Periodicals
The Music Index
International Index to Film Periodicals
ProQuest Central
RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Published twice a year: April and September
ISSN: 1087-7142(print)
ISSN: 1758-860X (online)

Editorial Address: Send all queries to William H. Rosar
Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego
Mandler Hall - Room 2541
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0109



John Barry Special Issue --Call for Papers

A special issue devoted to the late John Barry is being planned.  
Posted: 2011-02-08 More...

JFM article wins ASCAP Deems Taylor Award

Paul Merkley's article "'Stanley Hates This But I Like It!': North vs. Kubrick on the Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey" published in volume 2.1 (2007) of Journal of Film Music has been chosen for an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.  
Posted: 2008-11-15 More...
More Announcements...

Vol 5, No 1-2 (2012)

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Table of Contents


Introduction: From Nineteenth-Century Stage Melodrama to Twenty-First-Century Film Scoring PDF
Katherine K. Preston 7-14


The Continuity of Melos: Beginnings to the Present Day PDF
Anne Dhu McLucas 15-28
The Corsican Brothers and the Legacy of its Tremulous “Ghost Melody” PDF
Michael V. Pisani 29-39
The Ben-Hur Legacy PDF
Roger Hickman 41-48
Melodrama Made Good: Ennoblement by Deletion in Edgar Stillman Kelley’s Score to Ben-Hur PDF
Luke Hannington 49-56
Sarah Bernhardt on Stage and Screen: Nineteenth-Century Theater Music and Early Silent Film PDF
Erin Michelle Brooks 57-76
Mysteriosos Demystified: Topical Strategies Within and Beyond the Silent Cinema PDF
Tobias Plebuch 77-92
Theory and Practice in Erdmann/Becce/Brav’s Allgemeines Handbuch der Film-Musik (1927) PDF
Irene Comisso 93-100
"'Leitmotif': On the Application of a Word to Film Music" PDF
Stephen C. Meyer 101-108
Melodramatic Music in the Western PDF
Mariana Whitmer 109-119
Juxtaposing teatro de revista and cine: Music in the 1930s comedia ranchera PDF
Jacqueline Avila 121-126
Easy to Cut: Modular Form in the Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann PDF
Tom Schneller 127-151
Music Cue Archetypes in the Film Scores of Elmer Bernstein PDF
Donald C Meyer 153-163
Composing with Types and Flexible Modules: John Williams’ Two-Note Ostinato for Jaws and its Use in Film-Music History PDF
Peter Moormann 165-168
“Regeneration” in Rebecca: Confronting Compilation in Franz Waxman’s Score PDF
Nathan Platte 169-177
Music Theory Through the Lens of Film PDF
Frank Lehman 179-198
Towards a Theory of Musicodramatic Practice in Film: Questions of Method PDF
David Revill 199-205
Knowledge Organization in Film Music and its Theatrical Origins: Recapitulation and Coda PDF
William H. Rosar 207-215

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