Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in a Suburban Age

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Stanley C. Pelkey, Anthony Bushard
Oxford University Press, 2014 M10 15 - 336 pages
The most familiar entertainment icons and storylines from the 1950s and 60s remain potent signs that continue to resonate within contemporary American society and culture. Both the political Left and Right invoke the events and memories of those decades, celebrating or condemning the competing social forces embodied in and unleashed during those years. In recent decades, the entertainment industry has capitalized on this trend with films and television shows that take a look back on the 1950s and 1960s with a mixture of nostalgia and criticism. Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in a Suburban Age explores how the central concerns of the Fifties and Sixties--and resulting treatment in the motion picture media--can be examined and understood through the music of the time period. With its focus on soundtrack and scoring, the book demonstrates that specific television shows and films offer a more nuanced vision of community and conformity than is usually recognized, revealing much about our own current social anxieties.

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1 A Survey of History Themes and Trends
2 Music and Mimicry in Sunset Boulevard 1950
 The Civic Voice in High Noon 1952
 Miklós Rózsas Score for Quo Vadis 1951
Gender Equality and the Music of Alfred Hitchcocks The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956
6 Music Maturity and the Moral Geography in Leave It to Beaver 19571963
 Music as Truth in The Twilight Zone 19591964
8 Living in Harmony? American Music and Individualism in The Prisoner 19671968
 Music the Obsessive Avenger and Eugenics in America
10 Masculinity Race and the Blues in the Bizpic Cadillac Records 2008
 Mobilizing Music and Performing Politics 19881990
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13 Musically Recreating the Fifties in Far From Heaven 2002
Aaron Copland and Thomas Newmans Suburban Scoring

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About the author (2014)

Stanley C. Pelkey II is Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Roberts Wesleyan College. A musicologist and cultural historian, he co-edited Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines (2005). Anthony Bushard is Associate Professor of Music History in the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is the author of Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront: A Film Score Guide (2013).

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