17. Januar 2018
Veranstaltung: When the Music Takes Over. Musical Numbers in Film and Television
International Conference at the University of Salzburg, March 8–10, 2018
Rajinder Dudrah (Birmingham City University)
Richard Dyer (King’s College, London)
Amy Herzog (Queens College, New York)
Musical numbers have served as constitutive elements of cinema since its early days in the so-called silent period.
From the musical moments in silent films emerged the film musical as a specific genre. Musical numbers remain
central components beyond generic categories and have succeeded from early sound film musicals to recent TV
In this conference we want to focus on “musical moments” in fictional film and television. Musical numbers in
fictional films have been analyzed according to their functions and their relation to the narration. Expanding these
issues from numbers in (mostly) film musicals, Amy Herzog (2009, 7) defines “musical moments” as scenes or
sequences that occur “when music, typically a popular song, inverts the image-sound hierarchy to occupy a
dominant position in a filmic work. The movements of the image, and hence the structuring of space and time, are
dictated by song.” If musical moments are not subjugated to the filmic narrative, the focus of their scholarly analysis
is able to shift from narrative functions and motivations towards issues such as affect, performance, musical and
filmic style and structure, visual musicality, configurations of cinematic time and space, gender construction, modes
of audience address, reception, fan culture and more broader philosophical questions about the ontology of
cinema. Examining “musical moments” can sharpen our view on cinema in general and can stimulate new
theoretical and methodological approaches in the field.
This international conference strives to establish a dialogue between researchers from various disciplines in order
to develop new directions for the analysis and interpretation of one of the most crucial elements in filmmaking and
one of the pivotal issues of film music research.
The conference is organized as part of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project “The Austrian Music Film, 1912-
1933” in collaboration with the Department for Art History, Musicology and Dance Studies at the University of
Salzburg and the Kiel Society for Film Music Research.
Find all information and the full program online: