Author(s): Kathryn Kalinak
"Settling the Score" situates the classical Hollywwod film score and its practice in historical, theoretical and musical context. Kathryn Kalinak examines the conventions and strategies underpinning film scoring in Hollywood, investigating what has been considered the most influential and powerful relationship to have evolved between music and film, the classical Hollywood model. Beginning with the earliest experiments in musical accompaniment carried out in the Edison laboratories. Kalinak uses archival material to outline the history of music and film in America. Focusing on the scores of several key composers of the sound era, including Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Captain Blood", Max Steiner's "The Informer", Bernard Herrmann's "The Magnificent Ambersons", and David Raskin's "Laura", Kalinak concludes that classical scoring conventions were designed to ensure the dominance of narrative exposition. Her analyses of contemporary work such as John Williams "The Empire Strikes Back" and Basil Poledouris "Robocop" demonstrate how the traditions of the classical era continue to influence scoring practices today.
Underlying the author's historical investigation is an inquiry into the nature of film music itself. Exposing the visual bias in western culture in general and in film studies in particular. Kalinak argues that music is a fundamental part of the filmic exerience. She constructs a model for the perception of film that takes into account the shared power of image and sound in shaping response. Using contemporary theoy, "Settling the Score" makes the case that music should be an integral part of film analysis.