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Great FlicksScientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics$
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Dean Keith Simonton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199752034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199752034.001.0001

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Music: Is Silence Golden?

Music: Is Silence Golden?

(p.152) Chapter 8 Music: Is Silence Golden?
Great Flicks

Dean Keith Simonton

Oxford University Press

Is great music most likely to be heard in great films? To address this issue, two investigations were conducted. The first study focused on films, assessing how awards for best score and song are associated with other criteria of cinematic greatness. For the most part, awards in either music category appear irrelevant. The second study turned to film composers to see how the composers’ career trajectory corresponds with the quality of the films in which their music appears. When the composer is at his or her peak, will the score or song be found in a great film? The answer is negative. In fact, when the career trajectories are carefully analyzed, they seem strikingly similar to those of classical composers. The creativity of a film composer is not congruent with the creativity of the others involved in making the film.

Keywords:   music, score, song, awards, composers, career trajectory

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