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Sounding Funny

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Comedy has been a feature of cinema since its inception. From mickey-moused accompaniments to slapstick scenes, ironic musical statements, clever musical allusions and jokes, well-worn sound-effects, and even laugh tracks, sound has been integral to the development of the comedy on screen. This volume covers all aspects of sound (including dialogue) and music as they have been utilised in comedy film. The volume looks at various subsets of the ‘comedy film’ from the post-War period, including black comedy, romantic comedy, slapstick, dialogue comedy, parody and spoofs. This volume aims to explore the way in which music and sound articulate humour, create comedic situations and direct comedic identifications for viewer/listeners.

Published: Jan 25, 2016


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Sounding Funny: the importance of hearing (as well as seeing) the joke Liz Giuffre, Mark Evans
Chapter 2
The Soundtrack as Appropriate Incongruity Marshall Heiser
Chapter 3
The Sound of Satire; or, Trading Places with Mozart Ben Winters
Chapter 4
Parody, Self-Parody and Genre-Parody: Music in The Magnificent Seven and ¡Three Amigos! Erik Heine
Chapter 5
Austin Powers: Intentional Music Man Liz Giuffre, Mark Evans
Chapter 6
Paranormal Product: The Music and Promotion of Ghostbusters Jon Fitzgerald, Philip Hayward
Chapter 7
Red In Tooth And Lipstick: Music and Sound Design in Lesbian Vampire Killers Claire Butkus, Jon Fitzgerald
Chapter 8
‘Be a Clown’ and ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’: Comic Timing, Rhythm, and Donald O’Connor’s Face Jonas Westover
Chapter 9
Sound, Comedy and Cinematic Modernism: Kaasua, komisario Palmu! Kimmo Laine, Anu Juva
Chapter 10
Spanish film music in the 1940s: Comedy, subversion, and dissident rhythms in the films of Manuel Parada Laura Gonzalez
Chapter 11
An Okinawan Romance: Lyrical Dialogue, Comedy and Music in Nabbie’s Love Philip Hayward
Chapter 12
A Special Flavour: Comic Song Scenes in the Hindi Cinema Greg Booth
Chapter 13
Humour Between The Keys Peter Morris
End Matter
Index Mark Evans

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Through analyses of franchises, films, and sequences, Sounding Funny successfully identifies numerous ways in which music and sound have been used to create on-screen humor across genres, cultures, and markets. Its coverage of these sonic moves is by nature diffuse, but the book nevertheless recognizes several primary methods for enhancing filmic comedy through sound, including playful incongruity, intertextual reference, and meaningful contrast between musical styles. The value of this book lies in its breadth, and its authors’ many observations and detailed studies provide fertile ground for future research into the connections between music, sound, and humor.