Eero Tarasti and the Narratological Construction of Rachel Portman’s Emma



The films scores of Rachel Portman are noted for their narratological value in the manner in which, per the descriptions of musicologist Eero Tarasti, a given innate point of view informs the gestural components of the music. Whether it is the duelling masculine embodiments of Homer and Dr Larch in the score for The Cider House Rules (1999) or the innately feminine components of the titular character of Emma (1996), Portman maintains a strong narratological hand in her compositions.

This essay focuses upon the score for Emma, and the manner in which it conforms to Eero Tarasti’s narratological model, as well as to his theories of embodiedness. Portman’s work illustrates the viability of Tarasti’s theories on embodiedness, in particular relation to the work of those thinkers whose views he perceives as antecedent to his own. Ultimately, this essay will treat Portman’s score for Emma as proof of Tarasti’s theories on the impact of narrative on music.


Instrumental Music Musical Accompaniment Title Character Music Model Virtual Synchronicity 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NunawadingAustralia

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