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It’s the University of Liverpool Press’ birthday and they’ve decided to make their journals free during April. I heard of this because I’m on the Music and Moving Pictures mailing list (low volume list, about film music and related stuff) and the info below was posted recently.

I’m particularly delighted because that particular morning I had been reading, via a PDF I sent to my Kindle, Ennio Morricone’s very enjoyable 2007 essay on composing music for film. I wondered about the feasibility of sharing an excerpt (which I’ve recently learned how to do while reading Trevor Cox’s Sonic Wonderland) but wasn’t sure if it would work because I didn’t acquire it via Amazon.

Then a couple of hours later this email arrived:

Liverpool University Press is one of the UK’s oldest scholarly publishers and one of its youngest, being both 115 years old and 10 years old in April 2014.

The latter anniversary marks the relaunch and rebirth of the Press, an event that it is celebrating by making all of its journal content, including Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, available for free online during the month of April.

MSMI is the first international scholarly journal devoted to the study of the interaction between music and sound within the entirety of moving image media – film, television, music video, advertising, computer games, mixed-media installation, digital art, live cinema, et alia. Co-edited by Helen Hanson (University of Exeter), Jay Beck (Carleton College) and Ian Gardiner (Goldsmiths), the journal is truly interdisciplinary, publishing contributions across a range of critical methodologies, including musicology and music analysis, film studies, popular music studies, cultural theory, aesthetics, semiotics, sociology, marketing, sound studies, and music psychology.

Content is available now simply by visiting our http://liverpool.metapress.com site, with no further setup required.

This journal really is one of my favourites – largely because it’s reasonably intelligible to someone who likes film music but doesn’t really know much about the technicalities of it. There’s obviously a fair bit of film-related ‘textual’ jargon (I’ve just about got to grips with diegetic, non-diegetic, metadiegetic and extra-diegetic and narrational v. narrative) but I enjoy dipping my eyeballs into it nonetheless.

Bits of it have made me giggle – this 2008 quote bemoans the oculocentrric privilege (favouring what the eyeballs can see) in film studies…

It is important to note that visual studies benefits from, and indeed embodies, the privileged status of ocular-centrism that limits much art and visual media scholarship: what visual studies overlooks – or, rather, overhears – is precisely that which sound studies must sound out.

also this, from 2009 – I rather like the idea of different musical modes in Terminator films.

Karen Collins discusses the sonic aesthetic of the first two Terminator films, finding that recurrent elements (the use of Phrygian and Aeolian modes, low bass sounds, urban signifiers, and the use of metallic percussion) help reinforce narrative and plot symmetry.

In another article the author talks about music used in television news and interview shows…

Documentary filmmakers have long struggled with nondiegetic* sound as somehow less authentic, as detracting from the real, since the days of Flaherty and Grierson; this distinction is maintained in news programmes where ‘nondiegetic’ music may intrude over network logos and anchors’ introductions, but is kept strictly out of the news reports themselves: imagine 60 Minutes running an ominous musical score beneath an interview with Fidel Castro, or Anderson Cooper developing a distinctive leitmotif to introduce the appearance and accompany the comments of each of his regular guests.

Delightful 😀

*not part of the ‘”story” world’, if my understanding of the term is correct. If not, oh well 🙂