Tone Parallels in Music for Film: The Compositional Works of Terence Blanchard in the Diegetic Universe and a New Work for Studio Orchestra by Brian Horton

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This research investigates the culturally programmatic symbolism of jazz music in film. I explore this concept through critical analysis of composer Terence Blanchard's original score for Malcolm X directed by Spike Lee (1992). I view Blanchard's music as representing a non-diegetic tone parallel that musically narrates several authentic characteristics of African-American life, culture, and the human condition as depicted in Lee's film. Blanchard's score embodies a broad spectrum of musical influences that reshape Hollywood's historically limited, and often misappropiated perceptions of jazz music within African-American culture. By combining stylistic traits of jazz and classical idioms, Blanchard reinvents the sonic soundscape ... continued below

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Horton, Johnathan Brian August 2017.

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  • Horton, Johnathan Brian

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Description

This research investigates the culturally programmatic symbolism of jazz music in film. I explore this concept through critical analysis of composer Terence Blanchard's original score for Malcolm X directed by Spike Lee (1992). I view Blanchard's music as representing a non-diegetic tone parallel that musically narrates several authentic characteristics of African-American life, culture, and the human condition as depicted in Lee's film. Blanchard's score embodies a broad spectrum of musical influences that reshape Hollywood's historically limited, and often misappropiated perceptions of jazz music within African-American culture. By combining stylistic traits of jazz and classical idioms, Blanchard reinvents the sonic soundscape in which musical expression and the black experience are represented on the big screen. My new work––Black Magic––is a musical response to the research found within this study. The through-composed piece is written in three movements for a studio orchestra. It is an homage to the musical, cultural, and entertainment contributions of African-Americans in the magical realm of Hollywood cinema.

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  • August 2017

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  • Oct. 9, 2017, 11:44 a.m.

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Horton, Johnathan Brian. Tone Parallels in Music for Film: The Compositional Works of Terence Blanchard in the Diegetic Universe and a New Work for Studio Orchestra by Brian Horton, dissertation, August 2017; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1011761/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .