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Hollywood HarmonyMusical Wonder and the Sound of Cinema$
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Frank Lehman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190606398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190606398.001.0001

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Neo-Riemannian Theory at the Movies

Neo-Riemannian Theory at the Movies

(p.85) 3 Neo-Riemannian Theory at the Movies
Hollywood Harmony

Frank Lehman

Oxford University Press

This chapter is dedicated to explaining the methodology of neo-Riemannian theory (NRT) and analysis. The historical background of NRT is introduced, and an inventory of transformations, including the well-known neo-Riemannian operators (L, P, and R) is laid out in a user-friendly manner. Important issues for NRT, including harmonic combinatoriality, parsimony, tonal agnosticism, and spatiality, are all introduced and connected to the analysis of film music. Special attention is given to the associative content of triadic relationships, with two progressions of particular interest to film composers—T6 and S—explored in depth. A pair of step-by-step model analyses from Waltz with Bashir and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm are presented as straightforward and difficult cases for neo-Riemannian techniques, respectively. The chapter concludes with the introduction of tonal space visualizations, such as the Tonnetz and transformation networks, and demonstrations through analysis of themes from The Da Vinci Code and Scott of the Antarctic.

Keywords:   Neo-Riemannian theory, transformation theory, parsimony, analysis, tonal space, Tonnetz, Shirley Walker, Max Richter, Hans Zimmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams

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