The Dangerous Blog for Grad Students

A How-To Tale

“Musical Rhetoric in Integrated-Media Composition” Precis September 16, 2008

Filed under: Precis — deduvick @ 4:31 pm
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Bump Halbritter

I say “integrated-media” instead of multimedia, because I mean to discuss those things, such as films and digital video, which are made up of combined parts creating an inseparable whole.  In multimedia, the elements can still be distinct from each other, but in integrated-media the music, the speaking and the images blend together.  But, it is still possible to separate these and look at how one contributes to the whole:  namely, music.  Many films employ music, whether already released to the general public or a special score created just for this particular film to underscore and highlight the main points, arguments or climaxes of the film.  

It is even possible for those pieces of music to encompass the whole argument or thesis, as is seen in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill.  Here, he uses the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to cue in his audience to the focus of his film – that the main characters may not be who they wanted to be from the beginning, but that they are where they need to be (and may even want to stay where they are at now).  

A student film on Fight Club shows how some arguments can be entirely structured through images, film and music (soundtrack), rather than writing.  The author argues quite clearly for the homoerotic overtones by his song selection along with the other elements of his short film.  It is clear to see what an essential role the music takes in these two instances and how they can be made to work toward various different goals.


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