Brock University The Function

Pick a scene in a film or television show that contains music, either vocal or instrumental. If you write about a scene we have discussed in class, you will get zero. Choose an example that you can rewatch as you write this reflection. Discuss the function of the music in the scene. Do not look up published discussions of the film. This reflection should be based on your own thoughts and observations. Your post should answer these questions:

Is the music newly composed or pre-existing?

If it is newly composed, who composed it?

If it is pre-existing, where is it from?

  • If you don’t know, search the film on IMBD. Scroll to the section titled “Soundtracks” and click “See more.” Most (but not all) films will have a listing of the main pieces of music featured in the film.
  • Is the music diegetic or nondiegetic?

If it’s ambiguous, explain why.

  • What function does the music serve in this scene? Here are some possibilities (it’s likely that the music serves several different functions simultaneously):

setting the mood for the scene

expressing a character’s thoughts, emotions, or psychological states

suggesting how the viewer ought to regard characters or events in this scene

  • inducing emotional states in the viewer (e.g., tension, fear, relaxation, cheerfulness)

foreshadowing future events in the narrative

expressing the filmmakers’ attitudes towards the characters or events of the scene

  • imparting formal properties such as coherence, continuity, or closure
  • Please clearly indicate the title of the film or TV show (consult the formatting guidelines below), the year it was released (in brackets), as well as a very brief description of the scene. Confine plot summary to the bare minimum required to answer the above questions. Posts that ONLY summarize the plot of the film will need to be rewritten. If possible, include a URL to this scene on YouTube or other website.
  • Take a moment to review the guidelines about formatting titles:
  • titles of large-scale works like films, TV shows, and books should be in italics
  • Kurosawa’s Ran
  • titles of songs and journal articles should be in quotation marks
  • Garland’s performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz

generic titles of works of Western classical music should be capitalized but not in italics or quotation marks

Mahler’s First Symphony

Piano Sonata in A Major by Mozart

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