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Occult AestheticsSynchronization in Sound Film$
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K.J. Donnelly

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773497

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773497.001.0001

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Isomorphic Cadences

Isomorphic Cadences

Film as ‘Musical’

(p.94) Chapter 5 Isomorphic Cadences
Occult Aesthetics

K. J. Donnelly

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that musical sensibility and sensitivity are of benefit for critically addressing sound in film, and indeed film and audiovisual culture more generally. Sometimes music and sound dominate films, determining the aesthetic patterns and having particular ramifications for sound and image synchronization. This is most obvious in film musicals and music videos, but musical techniques are also apparent in non-musical films as discussed here. Dominance by music is not surprising, perhaps, seeing as there has been a perceived close relationship between the processes of the moving image and music. Indeed, on some levels, there appears to be a shared core of aesthetics and assumptions. Furthermore, psychological conditions such as synaesthesia have extended into cross-medium traditions, based upon structural isomorphism, which is most evident in audiovisual cadences, visual music (visuals often without music), and programmatic music (music without visuals).

Keywords:   Synaesthesia, isomorphism, programmatic music, visual music, musical structure, cadences

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