Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde


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About the Book

Music in film is often dismissed as having little cultural significance. While Hammer Film Productions is famous for such classic films as Dracula and The Curse of Frankenstein, few observers have noted the innovative music that Hammer distinctively incorporated into its horror films. This book tells how Hammer commissioned composers at the cutting edge of European musical modernism to write their movie scores, introducing the avant-garde into popular culture via the enormously successful venue of horror film. Each chapter addresses a specific category of the avant-garde musical movement. According to these categories, chapters elaborate upon the visionary composers who made the horror film soundtrack a melting pot of opposing musical cultures.

About the Author(s)

David Huckvale has worked as a researcher, writer and presenter for BBC Radio and as a lecturer for various universities in England. He lives in rural Bedfordshire.

Bibliographic Details

David Huckvale

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 235
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, notes, glossary, discography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3456-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5166-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction      1

1. Maestros (John Hollingsworth, Marcus Dodds and Philip Martell)      7
2. The Horror from Vienna (Arnold Schoenberg)      25
3. Serial Killer (Benjamin Frankel)      38
4. Modified Modernism (Humphrey Searle and Elisabeth Lutyens)      54
5. The Uncanny (Richard Rodney Bennett)      71
6. Romantics (Harry Robinson and James Bernard)      88
7. Prehistoric Modernism (Mario Nascimbene and Tristram Cary)      115
8. Australian Menace (Don Banks and Malcolm Williamson)      133
9. Modern Gothic (Mike Vickers and John Cacavas)      154
10. Catching Up with the Future (Paul Glass)      178
11. Television Terror (John McCabe, Paul Patterson and David Bedford)      189

Conclusion      204
Glossary of Musical Terms      207
Select Discography      211
Select Bibliography      213
Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “a highly entertaining,meticulous examination” —Rue Morgue
  • “fascinating, informative, and illuminating reads”—Soundtrax