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Music, madness and modernity in Karl Freund's Mad Love (1935)

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Abstract:

Music and musical instruments play a significant role in the 1935 film Mad Love. Dimitri Tiomkin provided the score for Mad Love. The score lacks the level of sophistication of the composer's later scores, and he makes significant use of pre-existing music in this early work. By using pre-existing music, the music, its composers and their history help to create a network of meaning in which the characters of Mad Love can be interpreted. More than merely accompanying and emphasizing the plot, music, instruments, compositions and their historical entailments enhance and even create narrative layers in the film. This article focuses on the historical musical elements of the film's score and narrative, and discusses how they bring depth and breadth to the film's characters, augmenting the hermeneutic web in which we can interpret the work.

Keywords: FILM MUSIC; FRÉDÉ; HERMENEUTICS; MAD LOVE; ORGAN; PIANO; RIC CHOPIN; RICHARD WAGNER; SOUNDTRACK

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/host.2.1.3_1

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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