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Music as an Element of Narration in Poetic Documentaries

Music as an Element of Narration in Poetic Documentaries Music, sound and rhythm, as aesthetic means of design, have been part of the tradition of poetic documentary film from its early history. This paper discusses various examples of this genre, all of which use soundscapes, sound design, and music. Music can be either specially composed for the film or previously published. Internationally known for their musical and poetic qualities are films such as Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov 1929), Rain (1929) by Joris Ivens, and Berlin, Symphony of a Great City by Walter Ruttmann (1929), to name but a few outstanding examples. Among the most recent documentaries using music as a narrative element are The End of Time by Peter Mettler (2012) and Pearl Button by Patricio Guzmán (2015). The notion of music and rhythm as embodying meaning also applies to silent films, such as Manhatta (Strand and Sheeler 1921), a poetic documentary about Manhattan.‘Poetic documentaries’ use sounds of the environment as well as music to convey a dramaturgical meaning. How these sounds inform the conceptualisation and realisation of creative/poetic documentaries is the central focus of this paper. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The New Soundtrack Edinburgh University Press

Music as an Element of Narration in Poetic Documentaries

The New Soundtrack , Volume 8 (2): 15 – Sep 1, 2018

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2042-8855
eISSN
2042-8863
DOI
10.3366/sound.2018.0124
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Music, sound and rhythm, as aesthetic means of design, have been part of the tradition of poetic documentary film from its early history. This paper discusses various examples of this genre, all of which use soundscapes, sound design, and music. Music can be either specially composed for the film or previously published. Internationally known for their musical and poetic qualities are films such as Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov 1929), Rain (1929) by Joris Ivens, and Berlin, Symphony of a Great City by Walter Ruttmann (1929), to name but a few outstanding examples. Among the most recent documentaries using music as a narrative element are The End of Time by Peter Mettler (2012) and Pearl Button by Patricio Guzmán (2015). The notion of music and rhythm as embodying meaning also applies to silent films, such as Manhatta (Strand and Sheeler 1921), a poetic documentary about Manhattan.‘Poetic documentaries’ use sounds of the environment as well as music to convey a dramaturgical meaning. How these sounds inform the conceptualisation and realisation of creative/poetic documentaries is the central focus of this paper.

Journal

The New SoundtrackEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2018

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