Consider the use of particular sonorities such as the theremin in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) and “Spellbound” (1945) to signify mysterious outer space and (possibly deranged) inner space. Drawing on our friend James Wierzbicki’s 2002 article “Weird Vibrations: How the Theremin Gave Musical Voice to Hollywood’s Extraterrestrial ‘Others'” (Journal of Popular Film and Television, 30:3, 125-135) and on his chapter “The Golden Age of Film Music,” consider the importance of the “golden age” sound as a backdrop for sonic experimentations. How did new sounds quickly gain such strong semiotic properties given audience expectations of lush, emotional, orchestral scoring?
Quote BOTH Wierzbicki texts (article and book chapter) to make your argument.
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