Musical expression and embodiment: Fear, threat, and danger in the music of The Lord of the Rings
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Series/Report no.:2018 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 32nd
Research in psychology and music cognition suggests several ways in which music might portray fear. First, I review the empirical literature on the acoustical features of fear-related sound, which is focused primarily on embodied expressions of fear. Next, I catalogue the ways in which these finding might predict the use of specific musical techniques. I analyze music from scenes from the film The Fellowship of the Ring that involve the Black Riders, which act as symbols of fear, and find that in writing the music for these scenes, composer Howard Shore did use the techniques as predicted by my interpretation of the empirical literature. I also compare the use of these techniques in scary v. non-scary scenes and find that they are used relatively often in scary scenes but rarely in non-scary scenes.
The Arts: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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