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Contemplating ArtEssays in Aesthetics$
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Jerrold Levinson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206179.001.0001

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Film Music and Narrative Agency

Film Music and Narrative Agency

(p.143) 9 Film Music and Narrative Agency
Contemplating Art

Jerrold Levinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay addresses certain issues about paradigmatic film music, that is, the music that is often heard in the course of a fiction film but does not originate in or issue from the fictional world revealed on screen. It focuses on the question of who or what is responsible for such music. That is to say, to what agency is film music assigned by a comprehending viewer, and what is this music understood to be doing in relation either to the film's internal narrative, the viewer's experience of that narrative, or the film as an aesthetic whole? Furthermore, by what principle does a viewer assign, however tacitly, responsibility for the music he or she hears?

Keywords:   viewer, fiction, cinematic narrator, implied director

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