Free Essay

Musical Genre Theory

In: Film and Music

Submitted By kpearsson
Words 866
Pages 4
Genre Theory is where certain movies follow a certain type of formula. It starts with the characters portrayed, the settings and iconography; the elements usually lead to the expectations of the audience to be a particular type of movie. For example, The Little Mermaid is an iconic Disney musical. Musical Genre movies are “Films that focus on songs as a major element, whether sung by characters in a realistic context such as a nightclub, or sung in lieu of dialogue to further the plot and express emotions (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014)”. Musicals aren’t just movies like The Little Mermaid; they can also be musical documentaries or concert films (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014). The Little Mermaid follows the story of a young beautiful mermaid princess, Ariel, who falls in love with a human prince, Eric. After the opening title sequence, the film starts out with King Triton, Ariel’s father, at a concert given by his seven daughters. They sing a musical number introducing themselves when they get to Ariel’s part; the girls notice the princess is absent. Ariel and her best friend, a tropical fish named Flounder, are treasure hunting in sunken ships. Once she gets the things she admires, she takes it to her hiding place and sings the iconic song, “Part of Your World”. As Ariel is finishing her song, she looks up and sees a shadow of a ship going over her kidding place. She decides to go to the surface to check it out, which is forbidden by her father, this is when she sees Prince Eric for the first time, love at first sight. King Triton finds out about her trip to the surface; he finds Ariel’s hiding place. As he’s giving her a lecture, King Triton manages to get Ariel to admits she’s fallen for Eric. Hearing Ariel is in love with a human, it outrages the king to the point of destruction. Once Triton leaves, Ariel sends every away and two eels show up offering her a deal from the Sea-Witch, Ursula. At first, she refuses, then as the eels are leaving she changes her mind and follows them to Ursula’s lair. Ursula offers Ariel a chance to be with her prince. Ursula offers up a deal Ariel can't refuse, the princess will get legs and become human, in exchange for her voice. Ariel agrees and is soon on her way to the surface, not before Ursula gives her one condition she must make Prince Eric fall in love and kiss her by sunset of the third day. If she manages to get the kiss of true love she will be able to remain a human, if not she become one of Ursula’s ‘pets’. The Little Mermaid follows the Musical genre to a ‘T.’ The songs of this film are a major element. The songs truly capture the raw emotions and the drama. For example, in the wedding boat scene when Vanessa, Ursula the sea-witch turned human, is singing in a mirror you can hear the evil vindictiveness in her voice as she’s happy, because she thinks she has just gotten her revenge on King Triton. In this song, Vanessa further tells us about her tricking Ariel into believing she had a chance of completing the task Ursula gave to her.
Emotion plays a big part in musicals. If you take a look at the ”Part of Your World” scene, you can tell just how happy Ariel is about having her collection of ‘hoozits and whatzits galore.’ Ariel sings the whole song with a huge smile plastered on her face as she’s daydreaming of one day being able to walk on the surface. Another good example of emotion is “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. It is sung by Ursula as she’s trying to convince Ariel to sign the contract. With this song, you can see and hear how Ursula is taking advantage of Ariel’s sadness and despair, by trying to manipulate her into signing the contract. Another next song that plays an impactful role in The Little Mermaid is “Kiss the Girl”. This part of the movie is set in what looks like to be a small lake. At this point in the film, Eric hasn’t kissed Ariel yet. All of Ariel’s friends, Scuttle, Sebastian, and Flounder, turn the lake into a romantic setting by using the natural surroundings to make the melody. Meanwhile, Ariel’s friends are trying to set the ‘mood’ for the big kiss that is supposed to save Ariel from certain doom. In Conclusion, the songs sung by the Ariel and friends and Ursula all play pivotal roles in the movie. They all show the emotion, intensity, and drama of what is sure to unfold as you enjoy the iconic Disney movie The Little Mermaid. This film detailing the journey of Ariel trying to find a place in Prince Eric’s heart lives up to the expectation one has when watching a film of the musical genre.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from
The Little Mermaid - Disney 1989 [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Musical Theater

...AUTHOR’S NOTE Don’t listen to anything I say. INTRO What does Anything Goes, Hello Dolly!, Les Mis and Wicked have in common with anything else that has ever existed? The answer at the bottom of the page (upside down “absolutely nothing”). It’s a strange world, musical theatre; we have all seen one, been in one, fantasized about starring in one, hate one or adore one. None the matter. When it comes down to it, we must come to realize that our proud, intelligent, gun-slinging species has created the most romantic and magical source of entertainment I have ever come to witness. How do other animals entertain themselves? Dogs chase their bums, cats get their nip-fix, dolphins screw, primates throw excrement. Humans deride at our beastly brethren for their means of amusement, yet I have little doubt if you sat a gorilla in the mezzanine to watch a hoard of synchronized singers and dancers telling their story in front of him, he would think “What the hell are these idiots doing? I want my stick back.” Yet what makes it so real? Where does the allure come from? The high notes or the kick lines? The consistency or the insanity? I have but one theory. One of my favorite words is “romance”. Not, of course, in the way you are probably thinking. I’m thinking in the broadest sense of the word. Not the squishy “I love you, you love me, so-on-and-so-forth mediocrity.” Not the “Oh, Shannon” and, “William, my sweet love.” Give me a break. The romance I’m talking about is the......

Words: 832 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Music Genre Paper

...The genre of music is made up of many styles and forms that have been shared throughout cultures and traditions. Many styles have caught on quickly and are loved by many whereas others have been more controversial and caused differences among people. No matter what types of music one may listen to it is usually the beat and style that suits that person during that time in his or her life or the mood he or she are in at that moment. The melody and harmony interact to create a masterpiece for one’s ears. The development of music was probably drum related instruments that someone started hitting that made beats and when different objects were hit there were different sounds made. “These simplest of simple instruments are thought to have been used in religious ceremonies as representations of animals. There was no notation or writing of this kind of "music" and its sounds can only be extrapolated from the music of (South) American Indians and African natives who still adhere to some of the ancient religious practices” (Hollis, 2012). Darwin (1871) noted that the human musical faculty “must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed” (Masataka, 2007, p. 35-39). Music has developed and evolved from just a few beats to being one of the most enjoyed past times of all time. Music has evolved from prehistoric music, middle ages, the Renaissance to modern day. After the Renaissance period music developed more from styles other than composers who created...

Words: 2063 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Genres and Genre Film – the Movie "The Help"

...These black women raised white children and the children loved them and they loved them back, but yet were not allowed to use the toilets in their employer’s house. These are the moments of the black maids in 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. These moments come when you see a black maid absurdly vacuuming a large stuffed bear or when one states: “Love and hate are two horns on the same goat.” Now that’s the spirit!” (The Help, 2011). Audiences know what to expect from movies from their Genres,” they tell their audience up front what to expect from the product they are buying. If they like a particular kind of story, chances are they will like this particular film, especially if the writer and director give the expectations a little twist” (Truby, 2010). Genre theory is used in the examination of films in order to enable the classification of films. Genres are dependent on many influences, such as story line, what the audience expects and who the director is. Genre theory is how we describe films; it is the method of shortening literary works. Plot and Story The feature-length film I chose was The Help (2013), which is an American Drama film depicting the lives of black maids and their white employers exposing the racism that the black maids faced on a daily basis. The time is 1963 set in Jackson, Mississippi during the civil rights movement. The film that follows the lives of two black maids and a southern society girl (Emma Stone), who returns home from......

Words: 1199 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Genre Theory

...Genre Theory The movie that I would like to talk about for this genre discussion is The Nightmare Before Christmas I would say that it falls under two categories, animation would be its main genre and its sub-genre would be classified as a musical. The way a musical is done is exactly the way it sounds, they add musical numbers throughout the film. They do not typically sing the entire time, but usually every ten minutes or so after watching some of the acting, it will flow into a musical number. Also the songs normally have something to do with what just happened with the actors. The Nightmare Before Christmas meets its musical criteria with more than ten songs in the entire movie. Three of its most popular numbers being “This is Halloween, Jacks Lament, and What’s this?” This film was written by Tim Burton, another movie I could compare it to and that he directed would be Sweeny Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, it is also in the musical genre. “It tells the story of a serial killer. Typically, however, musicals depict lighter fare, and indeed, in each case mentioned they make what might have been more difficult material easier for the audience to relate to.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011, Ch. 8.2). I feel that musicals are more of a required taste for movie lovers. I myself enjoy them as well as all movie genres, as the book says, they further add to the story and include more details and feelings into the movie.......

Words: 330 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...specially planned events and activities for students and families. TUESDAY 6 THURSDAY 7 7 OCtOBER CONCeRTS 10 28 10 30 10 31 11 02 8 p.m. 11 05 11 06 11 07 11 08 OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 9 11 09 THURSDAY FRIDAY SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3 p.m. Wind Symphony TUESDAY WEDNESDAY 7:30 p.m. THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3 p.m. A two-day residency by composer John Mackey will culminate with the performance of Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band, a stunning musical re-telling of Homer’s Greek epic poem, The Odyssey, and Mackey’s largest work to date. 10 31 FRIDAY THURBER THEATRE HalleBOOia! 8 p.m. DRAKE PERFORMANCE AND EVENT CENTER A collaboration between the School of Music and Department of Theatre. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by David Zippel. Book by Larry Gelbart. Directed by A. Scott Parry. An homage to 1940s film noir, the Tony award-winning jazz musical City of Angels weaves together the stories of Stine, a writer struggling to adapt his detective novel as a screenplay, and Stone, his protagonist, a hard-boiled private eye. As Stine is forced to compromise his artistic vision for the sake of Hollywood success, Stone gets steamed at his author’s lack of artistic integrity. The line between reality and fiction blurs as the creator comes face to face with his creation, and ultimately, himself. $25 $20 $15 general public senior citizens, Alumni Association, Ohio State faculty and......

Words: 2306 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Musical Films Analysis

...Major Essay: Question One Musical films have been present in Hollywood since The Jazz Singer (1927) premiered. Mast states that a film is a musical when the primary entertainment and investment lie in the musical numbers (p. 309, Wood, 2008). Musical films are often a beloved or hated genre due to the unrealistic nature of characters erupting into song and dance. This essay analyse four main conventions of the musical genre the spectacle, the narrative, the adaption of established stories and the power the combination of lyrics and music can achieve on screen. Examples from different periods in Hollywood will be used to explore these conventions and how they apply and have evolved to suite conventions of modern cinema. Kellner (2005) explains spectacles have been present in different cultures since pre-modern times. Examples of these spectacles include plays, the Olympics of Ancient Greece, in Ancient Rome public offerings of bread, circuses and gladiator games (Kellner, 2005). The human desire for the spectacle has not fallen into extinction but rather evolved with society and technology. Entertainment has always been a prime field of the spectacle and film has been one of the most productive industries to utilise the spectacle (Kellner, 2005). Hello Dolly (1969), My Fair Lady (1964) and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997) are three examples of film musical spectacles. All three of these movies contain elaborate costumes, bright colours and large......

Words: 2739 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Musical Literacy

...Musical Literacy: The Stuff of Genius Keith Rulli COM 156 December 7, 2012 Karen Nowak Musical Literacy: The Stuff of Genius Literacy is the ability to read and write, which implies knowledgeability and capability of exercising one's ability through comprehension and expression. It is developed through learning and training in the intellectual and formal standards of a language. It is not a natural talent or innate capacity, therefore, it is not to be underestimated in importance. Standard, or formal English, differs from substandard, or informal English, as well as broken English and slang, because it is contrained by formal rules and elements. Language of a higher caliber is of greater worth because of its sophistication which breeds sophistication. People with a feebly sentimental attachment to their own nature and its affections may be complacently stifled from pursuing a sophisticated consciousness. Fluency and literacy are not the same. Fluency only requires a degree of understanding that gives one the ability to easily and readily express oneself. Often, illiterate or borderline illiterate individuals are able to speak and understand the English langauge in a basic way. People who speak the same language often speak different dialects identifiable by characteristic nuances. The concept of musical literacy is one that many people are unfamiliar with. Musical literacy is partially an understanding of the notation system that enables one to read......

Words: 2324 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Musical Growth

...Theodore N Mcgrady Prof. Christopher Hanover Music 160 February 11, 2015 Music Analysis Assignment Musical growth in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space and Dan Emmett’s “De Boatman’s dance”. In this music analysis assignment, I am going to analyze two pieces of music. I will analyze first, “De Boatman’s Dance” by Dan Emmett and then “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. I shall listen closely for instrumentation, texture, melody, and form and I will talk about the genre of each song. Instruments used in “De Boatman’s Dance” include: a tambourine, bones, voices, and a banjo. I hear several voices singing in different parts. In the vocal section, I hear only men’s voices. I noticed that the tenor singer sings solo in some part of the song. Upon listening closely, I noticed that the singers lower their voices every second time they sing, “I rode de boatman’s boat” in the chorus. I noticed most part of the song is sung in baritone as the chorus is sung in alto and tenor; we hear a little syncopation by the bone. The melody is shared between the banjo and the voices. The music is divided into quadruple meter and takes the form of A-B-C but then there is an intro before the “A” starts. This form is continued throughout the song. In Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” the instruments used are: keyboard, effects, drums, bass and her voice. The voice overall has a pleasant timbre that is very sweet and gentle, and can convey emotions well. The voice cuts through the......

Words: 726 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Eng 225 Week 2 Dq Genre Theory

...ENG 225 WEEK 2 DQ GENRE THEORY To purchase this visit following link: Contact us at: SUPPORT@ACTIVITYMODE.COM ENG 225 WEEK 2 DQ GENRE THEORY ENG 225 Week 2 DQ Genre Theory Genre Theory. Genre, a category of artistic production characterized by similarities in composition and style, is a term used to discuss literature, music, art, and film. It is particularly useful in critical applications because it distinguishes a work within a context of similar works. In film, we are familiar with certain broad genre categories such as horror, science-fiction, romance, or drama. Understanding genre helps provide the viewer with certain expectations about the film. For instance, the film The Conjuring trailer (Version 2) is of the horror genre and thus can be discussed in context with other horror films. More specifically, it is of the sub-genre, supernatural horror, so it can be discussed in context with, say, The Exorcist trailer. Making this distinction enables the audience to situate their reaction within a particular framework. ENG 225 WEEK 2 DQ GENRE THEORY To purchase this visit following link: Contact us at: SUPPORT@ACTIVITYMODE.COM ENG 225 WEEK 2 DQ GENRE THEORY ENG 225 Week 2 DQ Genre Theory Genre Theory. Genre, a category of artistic production characterized by similarities in composition and style, is a term used to discuss...

Words: 1441 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Eng 225 Week 2 Dq Genre Theory New

...ENG 225 Week 2 DQ Genre Theory NEW To Buy This material Click below link Genre Theory. Genre, a category of artistic production characterized by similarities in composition and style, is a term used to discuss literature, music, art, and film. It is particularly useful in critical applications because it distinguishes a work within a context of similar works. In film, we are familiar with certain broad genre categories such as horror, science-fiction, romance, or drama. Understanding genre helps provide the viewer with certain expectations about the film. For instance, the film The Conjuring trailer (Version 2) is of the horror genre and thus can be discussed in context with other horror films. More specifically, it is of the sub-genre, supernatural horror, so it can be discussed in context with, say, The Exorcist trailer. Making this distinction enables the audience to situate their reaction within a particular framework. That framework is important to our work here. In this discussion:  Identify a film and classify it according to its genre (or sub-genre). Include a link(s) to a trailer or scene(s) from the film. Discuss the conventions that are typical in films of that genre (or sub-genre).  Explain how this specific film meets the expectations of its genre. Include the name or partial name of the film you identified in the “Subject” line of your discussion. Your initial post should be......

Words: 350 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Musical Eras

...NCFE-AUD-405 MUSICIANSHIP & THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NCFE LEVEL 4 IN AUDIO & MUSIC PRODUCTION WESTERN MUSICAL ERAS ESSAY Name : Abel Varghese ID No. : AAT/MPDN/00029/BLR Starting Date : 08/05/2016 Submission Date : 13/05/2016 Assessor : Raemus Casterlino Content Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..03 Medieval Music……………………………………………………………………....04 Renaissance…………………………………………………………………………..05 Baroque...…………………………………………………………………………….06 Classical……………………………………………………………………………...07 Romantic……………………………………………………………………………..08 20th Century music…………………………………………………………………...09 21st Century………………………………………………………………………….10 Introduction Music is said to be present in the ancestral period and it was first evolved from Africa and was later spread to the west, which later on became a fundamental constituent of life. Each era existed for a period of time, such as the pre-historic music, ancient music, biblical period , western musical period etc. The western musical era of music will be mentioned in detail below. This period consisted of the medieval music, renaissance music, baroque, classical, 20th century music, and 21st century music. Medieval Music The western music is popularly known for the Gregorian chant also known as the plain chant. This was during years 500 – 1400. It was more of the vocal religious practices of the roman catholic church. The plainchants had very little pitch change and had consisted of only a single melody and lacked harmony.......

Words: 1926 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Genre Theory

...Genre and Genre Film Introduction to Film Rachel Kamrowski Instructor Day 5/2/2016 Genre Theory is used in the categorization of films. Genres are dependent on various factors such as story line, whom the director is, and what are the audience expectations In using genre theory we create a short cut in how we describe films. Genres are categorized into and then sub categorized depending on the story and plot. Fantasy is a genre described as, “Any film with obviously unreal, magical, or impossible situations, characters, or settings, often overlapping with various other genres, especially science fiction, but sometimes historical dramas.” (Goodykoontz, 2014) Fantasy is a genre that typically includes a crossover genre, sci-fi, comedy, drama, even horror. The Harry Potter series is a great example of a fantasy genre with crossover and sub genres. It can be categorized also as a family film, and dependent on which movie in the series we are discussing, mystery, romance, and comedy as well. Harry Potter focuses on magic and the wizarding world which is central to it being a fantasy film, an escapism experience. This type of fantasy is a contemporary fantasy with the storyline playing out in modern times. For the purpose of this paper I will focus on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “The story at its simplest level is the idea about what happens, who does it, and all the reasons behind everything. The writer then chooses key characters and events, and arranges them...

Words: 823 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Horror Genre

...Horror Genre Teresa Gann ENG 225 Introduction to Film Instructor John Thorburn July 4, 2016 Horror Genre Genre theory is used in film studies to assist in the facilitation of the film category. A genre is a type or category (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). A genre is dependent on the factors varying in story lines and what the audience are expecting. The theory creates shortcuts in the description of the film. A genre theory is useful and efficient in shortening academic works. Horror films seek elicit emotions that is a negative reaction from viewers by playing on the viewer’s primal fear. The horror films often deal with the fears of the viewer, nightmares, revulsion and unknown terrors. The plots of this genre include evil forces, personage or event, into the world we live in. The elements of the story include werewolves, ghosts, demons, serial killers, cannibals, evil witches, monsters, vampires, vicious animals, gore, and extraterrestrials. Genre helps the viewers decide what kind of films they enjoy watching. I will be discussing a summary of the movie Saw, what genre the movie is and what other sub-genres exist in this movie. One film that fits into the genre of horror is Saw. This film was made in 2004 and was directed by James Wan. The stars in the film were Danny Glover, Cary Elwes, and Leigh Whannell. This movie is about a .psychopathic killer who is set on teaching his victims the value of life......

Words: 1037 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Beethoven's Musical

...Sonatas).       Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas constitute a great treasure that embodies a part of the human eternity. Numerous pianists and musicologists have researched or studied them, trying to impart to their students or readers the prodigality of these true musical riches.       Beethoven holds a key role in the transformation and evolution of the sonata form. Even if he maintains the characteristics initially set by his predecessors, Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven imposes on the sonata his strong personality creating a new, impressive, form of art, in which his own life, with its joys and sorrows, is projected. With Beethoven the musical theme acquires remarkable proportions, of such strength, that it imposes itself over the listener’s attention and memory. As the French composer, Vincent d’ Indy once said, with Beethoven, the musical theme turns into an concept that spreads throughout the hole work making it easily recognizable even if harmonic, modal or tonal aspects change.       The fundamental principle of organization of the Beethoven piano sonata is the tonality. We can say that Beethoven perceived tonality as the key to any composition, since it leads to the true understanding of the musical form.       In what the structural architectonic of the Beethoven piano sonatas is regarded, there are no apparent patterns: out of the thirty-two sonatas written by Beethoven, twelve have four parts, thirteen have three parts and seven have two parts. Another......

Words: 2698 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay


... Genre is a term which defines the different categories which things are categorized into. For example, when defining different forms of music; music is put into categories in which we use the term genre. Different music is put into these genres depending on the different rhythms used in it. It allows Rhythm and Blues to be differentiated from and Rock and Roll, and Rock and Roll to be differentiated from Gospel. In writing, a writer’s choice of style is the determining factor in how we choose his/her genre. When the genre of the writing is determined, then the particular audience can be determined to who its interest of reading might be. The audience in writing is defined by the person or group of people that is reading or listening to a certain choice of writing. Depending on what kind of writing genre is presented, determines the audience of the writer and how the writer choose to reach his or her audience. In order for a writer to reach a particular audience, the writer has to be able to compose his writing. The writer can do so in such a way that a rhetorical situation is formulated in a particular genre which reflects the type of audience that it interests. A rhetorical situation is situations in which a story and a scenario is presented and explains a situation that could possible occur in real life, therefore giving a situation in which the reader can assume the outcome; a certain form of communication to entail a situation. Different genres......

Words: 1571 - Pages: 7