Audiovisual Styling and the Film Experience: Prospects for Textual Analysis and Experimental Approaches to Understand the Perception of Sound and Music in Movies

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Approaches to music and audiovisual meaning in film appear to be very different in nature and scope when considered from the point of view of experimental psychology or humanistic studies. Nevertheless, this article argues that experimental studies square with ideas of audiovisual perception and meaning in humanistic film music studies in two ways: through studies of vertical synchronous interaction and through studies of horizontal narrative effects. Also, it is argued that the combination of insights from quantitative experimental studies and qualitative audiovisual film analysis may actually be combined into a more complex understanding of how audiovisual features interact in the minds of their audiences. This is demonstrated through a review of a series of experimental studies. Yet, it is also argued that textual analysis and concepts from within film and music studies can provide insights and explanatory frameworks that have not yet been addressed in a sufficient manner by experimental approaches. Three such areas are identified: single film analysis, intramodal interactions, and questions of implied authorship. In these cases, concepts and analytic practices from within film and music studies can provide insights and afford great explanatory value. Accordingly, the point of this article is not only to address how experimental and textual approaches may benefit from each other but also to show that experimental studies of cross-modal interactions need to address issues and pose questions that are more intimately linked with present concerns within humanistic film studies
Original languageEnglish
JournalMusic and the Moving Image
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

ID: 141946839