© 2017

Film/Music Analysis

A Film Studies Approach


  • Deals comprehensively with film music from a film scholar’s perspective

  • Applies Neoformalism and Gestalt Theory in place of a culturalist/hermeneutic approach

  • Widens our understanding of the agency of film music to include cases in which music performs formal/stylistic functions

  • Considers international films spanning from the classical to the contemporary cinema


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture book series (PSAVC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Pars Destruens

  3. Pars Construens

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Emilio Audissino
      Pages 67-93
  4. Pars Demonstrans

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 155-155
    2. Emilio Audissino
      Pages 157-189
    3. Emilio Audissino
      Pages 223-230
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 231-245

About this book


This book offers an approach to film music in which music and visuals are seen as equal players in the game. The field of Film-Music Studies has been increasingly dominated by musicologists and this book  brings the discipline back squarely into the domain of of Film Studies. Blending Neoformalism with Gestalt Psychology and Leonard B. Meyer's musicology, this study treats music as a cinematic element and offers scholars and students of both music and film a set of tools to help them analyse the wide ranging impact that music has in films.


Film music analysis Film music Neoformalism Neoformalist approach to film analysis Gestalt Theory Sound in film Film music theory Music in cinema Screen music analysis

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr Emilio Audissino is a film historian and film musicologist based at the University of Southampton, UK. He has published widely on the topic of film music and is the author of John Williams's Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style (2014). 

Bibliographic information


“In this compelling analysis of how film music functions in a wide variety of contexts, Audissino illustrates his clearly explained theoretical concepts with numerous well-chosen examples and substantial case studies. Approaching its subject primarily (and refreshingly) from a film-studies perspective, this book will equally prove an immensely useful and thought-provoking resource for anyone interested in music and cinema.” (Mervyn Cooke, Professor of Music at University of Nottingham, UK, and author of A History of Film Music, 2008)

“Thirty years ago, Claudia Gorbman pioneered placing film music within regular film theory. Now it once again seems necessary to apply a theoretical frame which allows music to be treated as a cinematic device and not as autonomous music. Here Emilio Audissino couples neoformalism and Meyer’s musicology into an analytical tool that highlights the interplay between film and music. This book is indispensable for every scholar who wants to analyze and understand film music.” (Ann-Kristin Wallengren, Professor in Film Studies, Lund University, Sweden, and co-editor (with K.J. Donnelly) of Today’s Sounds for Yesterday’s Films: Making Music for Silent Cinema, 2016)