Universal compositional and dramaturgical functions of musical quotes in cinematography (on the example of music by J. Brahms)
In cinematography, a soundtrack can be important not only in terms of its emotional impact on a viewer. Sometimes an original soundtrack is not enough to realize the creative vision of a director, so he turns to academic music as a source of musical quotations. Quotes from classical music in a film can perform a variety of functions, which can be divided into compositional, dramaturgical and semantic ones. The functions of music in cinematography have been studied by different foreign and Russian scholars such as Z. Lissa, T. Shak, K. Rychkov. The idea of universal (general) and specific compositional and dramaturgical functions of music belongs to the musicologist V. Bobrovsky. He developed a functional theory of musical form and subdivided functions into universal (general) and specific ones. This theory is seen by the author of the article as the most complete and laconic. Bobrovsky’s theory can be applied not only to the musical form, but also to the other art forms of a temporal nature (including cinematography, which uses both original soundtracks and academic music quotations). In this article, Bobrovsky’s theory is applied to the analysis of films with quotations from the music by the German romantic composer J. Brahms. Two films by different directors were selected as examples. Musical quotes in the films “Hamlet” (2000) and “There Will Be Blood” (2007) perform various semantic, as well as universal compositional and dramaturgical functions, such as: introduction, highlighting the climax, conclusion of section, musical theme of the finale.
J. Brahms, cinematography, music functions in a cinematography, musical quote, film soundtrack.
Komarova А. Universal compositional and dramaturgical functions of musical quotes in cinematography (on the example of music by J. Brahms) // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 3. Pp. 6–10.