DOI

10.17077/etd.87jntusp

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Music

First Advisor

Platte, Nathan

First Committee Member

Cook, Robert C.

Second Committee Member

Harvey, Trevor

Abstract

The 1961 Hammer horror film, The Curse of the Werewolf, paired innovative make-up and set design with the avant-garde music of Benjamin Frankel (1906-1973). Frankel’s concert works had by this time embraced serialism, but The Curse of the Werewolf was his sole attempt at composing an almost entirely serial film score. This music more fully bridged the divide between the continental modernist practices found in his concert works with more conventional film music techniques. Thus, The Curse of the Werewolf’s score represents a crucial point in Frankel’s broader creative development as a composer who increasingly embraced twelve-tone methods in his concert works.

Drawing from historical surveys, analytical scholarship, journal articles, and Frankel’s own writings, this thesis provides historical context surrounding Frankel’s life and involvement with the film. Most importantly, this study examines Frankel’s implementation of serialism in The Curse of the Werewolf’s score and its relation to the film’s visual and narrative components. I examine three pivotal scenes through traditional film music analysis combined with twelve-tone analysis. These analyses show how Frankel pairs motives with onscreen characters and situations while still embracing serial methods. This study sheds light on serialism’s application in film through the work of an overlooked British composer.

Public Abstract

The 1961 Hammer horror film, The Curse of the Werewolf, paired innovative make-up and set design with the unnerving music of composer Benjamin Frankel (1906-1973). Frankel’s concert works had by this time embraced relatively complicated techniques of composition known as twelve-tone methods. The Curse of the Werewolf was his sole attempt at composing an almost entirely twelve-tone film score. This music more fully bridged the divide between modernist compositional practices such as the twelve-tone methods found in Frankel’s concert works with more conventional film music techniques. Thus, The Curse of the Werewolf’s soundtrack exists as a crucial point in Frankel’s broader creative development as a composer who increasingly embraced twelve-tone methods in his concert works.

Drawing from historical surveys, analytical scholarship, journal articles, and Frankel’s own writings, this thesis provides historical context surrounding Frankel’s life and involvement with the film. Most importantly, this study examines Frankel’s application of twelve-tone methods in The Curse of the Werewolf’s score and its relation to the film’s visual and narrative components. I examine three pivotal scenes through traditional film music analysis, combined with twelve-tone analysis. These analyses show how Frankel pairs motives with onscreen characters and situations while still embracing the twelve-tone methods. This study sheds light on the implementation of twelve-tone compositional techniques in film through the work of an overlooked British composer.

Keywords

Film Music, Film Score, Frankel, Serial, Twelve-Tone, Werewolf

Pages

ix, 101 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-101).

Copyright

Copyright © 2017 Gregory Scott Newbold

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