How Much Jewish Is Music In The Film Yentl (1983)? : Compositional Work With Ethnic Music Elements



Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The integration of ethnic music into the film score is a great challenge for every composer of film music, which is conditioned by thorough knowledge of historical circumstances connected with the place and time given by the film. From the compositional point of view there are several ways how to integrate the ethnic music into the film score. The most authentic reproduction of music typical for specific place or time with the use of adequate instruments is most often used in diegetic form. On the other hand, non-diegetic musical parts enable the composer to be more creative thanks to the use of ethnic elements freely integrated into music components, e.g. harmony, melody, rhythmical stylization or the choice of a typical instrument. The core of my speech is the music analysis of the ethnic elements and how they are used in the film Yentl (1983). The director, producer as well as the main star of this film is Barbra Streisand, who had invited a French composer Michel Legrand to compose musical score. The plot of the film takes place in a Jewish shtetl in an area of a present Polish-Ukrainian border country on the brake of the 19th and 20th century. The composition had been proceeded by a Legrand´s long-term study of a Jewish musical culture typical for the given area and time. From the composers point of view this task was particularly challenging as the film has no specific genre. This film can´t be considered a typical form of musical, because there is just one singing role, Yentl, interpreted by Barbra Streisand. The authors of the lyrics, which will be analysed from the point of structure and content, are renowned American artists Marilyn and Alan Bergman.
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