Thursday, February 1, 2018

New books (2017)

1. Contemporary Film Music: Investigating Cinema Narratives and Composition (MacMillan Palgrave, 2017)  is a new anthology edited by Lindsay Coleman and Joakim Tillman. Its unique format pairs a chapter that is an interview with a composer with a second by a scholar analyzing "a particular feature of the composer’s approach or style." The composers are A.R. Rahman, Zbigniew Preisner, Carter Burwell, Rachel Portman, Dario Marianelli, Mychael Danna, and John Williams.

The interviews will always be of interest to students and of course could provide some background information or back story for papers or for class use. The analysis chapters vary considerably in the level of musical or film-critical knowledge required, but some may be accessible to most students.

2. The 19th entry in the Film Score Guide series is also the second by Mariana Whitmer: Elmer Bernstein's The Magnificent Seven: A Film Score Guide (2017). The volumes in the series have a set format: five chapters covering in turn the composer's background and training, his or her compositional and stylistic approach, the context of the film, music production, and scene analysis. Although each is focused on a single film, the guides thus offer a wide range of information about composers, films, and film scoring practices, the great majority of it easily accessible to the general undergraduate (the exceptions, of course, being some of the detailed scene analyses).

Whitmer's volume is also the last in the series. As of the day of this posting, you can read the series editor Kate Daubney's valedictory preface through Amazon's "Look inside" feature: link to the book page on Amazon. Here is the publisher's page for the Film Score Guide series: link.

Below is a complete list of the 19 volumes.
  • 19. Elmer Bernstein's The Magnificent Seven. May 31, 2017. Mariana Whitmer
  • 18. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's The Dark Knight. May 2, 2016. Vasco Hexel
  • 17. James Newton Howard's Signs. January 14, 2016. Erik Heine
  • 16. David Shire's The Conversation. October 8, 2015. Juan Chattah

  • 15. Ilan Eshkeri's Stardust. IAN SAPIRO. July 2013
  • 14. Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront. ANTHONY BUSHARD. December 2012
  • 13. Jerome Moross's The Big Country. MARIANA WHITMER. June 2012
  • 12. Zbigniew Preisner's Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red. NICHOLAS W. REYLAND. December 2011
  • 11. Franz Waxman's Rebecca. DAVID NEUMEYER AND NATHAN PLATTE. December 2011
  • 12. Miklós Rózsa's Ben-Hur. ROGER HICKMAN. March 2011
  • 11. Nino Rota's The Godfather Trilogy. FRANCO SCIANNAMEO. October 2010
  • 10. Alex North's A Streetcar Named Desire. ANNETTE DAVISON. February 2009
  • 9. Mychael Danna's The Ice Storm. MIGUEL MERA. June 2007
  • 8. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's The Adventures of Robin Hood. BEN WINTERS. March 2007
  • 7. Gabriel Yared's The English Patient. HEATHER LAING. February 2007
  • 6. Bernard Herrmann's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. DAVID COOPER. August 2005
  • 5. Louis and Bebe Barron's Forbidden Planet. JAMES WIERZBICKI. June 2005
  • 4. Danny Elfman's Batman. JANET K. HALFYARD. September 2004
  • 3. Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. CHARLES LEINBERGER. September 2004

  • 2. Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo: A Film Score Handbook. Feb 28, 2001. David Cooper
  • 1. Max Steiner's Now, Voyager: A Film Score Guide. Jul 30, 2000. Kate Daubney