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Batman Returns

The study of film music

QuestionAnswer
What is the context of "Batman Returns"? (Who-What-Where-How-Why-When) WHO: Danny Elfman WHAT: Dark orchestral score WHERE: Hollywood HOW: Orchestra and children's choir WHY: For Tim Burton's "Batman Returns" film, the second installment in the Batman franchise WHEN: 1992
Describe the melody of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [4] Batman motif played by horns (bar 1, bar 2) Penguin motif heard in choir (bar 3, bar 4) Penguin motif in strings with celesta ornamentation (bar 11) Augmented version of first statement of Penguin motif (bar 14, bar 15)
Describe the harmony of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [5] Pedal notes (bar 1, bar 2) Open chords/ bar fifths (bar 47) Dominant seventh (bar 45) Tone cluster muddies the water (bar 6) Builds to D major via F minor (bar 40, bar 41)
Describe the tonality of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [4] Plagal cadence (bar 2, bar 3) F minor to A minor tertiary relationship (bar 7) Accompanying music shifts by a semitone (bar 4) Numerous key changes (bar 7 to bar 11)
Describe the rhythm of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [5] Augmentation (bar 7) Change to 3/8 for one bar (bar 13) False relation on second quaver (bar 13) Flurry (bar 21) Changes to triple time (bar 42)
Describe the texture of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [5] Constantly changing Octaves played in unison (bar 22 to bar 25) Low thick horn texture (bar 1, bar 2) String counter figure with rich texture (bar 5, bar 6) Pedal notes (bar 1, bar 2)
Describe the instrumentation of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 1" [4] Sinister sounding pipe organ (bar 1, bar 2) Innocent choir (bar 3, bar 4) Celesta to connote infanthood (bar 11) Pizzicato arpeggios played by strings (bar 42)
Describe the melody of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [5] Batman motif by bassoon and bass clarinet (bar 12 to bar 15) Falling third vocal motif (bar 48) Descending triplets (bar 16) New syncopated accompanying figure in violins and percussion (bar 12 to bar 19) Ostinato in thirds (bar 3, bar 4)
Describe the harmony of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [5] C major chordal stabs (bar 25) Use of Gb/Bb and Gb7/Bb chords (bar 11, bar 20) First inversion chords (bar 96) Cello figure based around tonic major seventh chord (bar 1) Db7 in first inversion (bar 52)
Describe the tonality of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [5] First inversion chords give chromatic feel (bar 96) D minor (bar 1 to bar 11) Exposed tonality by open fifth chord (bar 85) Bb minor with tonic pedal note (bar 11 to bar 20) Ab major changed to Ab minor (bar 62, bar 63)
Describe the rhythm of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [5] Diminution (bar 27) Cross rhythms (bar 16) Augmented version of Penguin motif in violins (bar 1 to bar 11) Militaristic Triplets (bar 25) Interpolation from a regular to irregular phrase (bar 11 to bar 20)
Describe the texture of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [4] Additive increase (bar 1 to bar 9) Tonic pedal note (bar 11 to bar 20) Batman motif in octaves between horns and bass trombone (bar 19) Swelling dynamics (bar 57 to bar 62)
Describe the instrumentation of "Birth Of A Penguin Part 2" [7] Tam tam strike (bar 97) Snares off (bar 85 to bar 96) Muted trumpets (bar 20) Trumpet Fanfare (bar 11) Flutter tonguing flutes (bar 97) Stopped Horns (bar 12 to bar 15) Falling vocals (bar 63)
Describe the melody of "Batman VS The Circus" [5] Descending figure in strings (bar 59) Full orchestral oom pah ostinato (bar 89 to bar 90) Three note bass motif which becomes fragmented (bar 19, bar 20) Oom pah ostinato by trombones (bar 13) Quick four quaver note xylophone idea (bar 85)
Describe the harmony of "Batman VS The Circus" [4] E minor and C# major in first inversion with a crescendo (bar 10, bar 11) Descending diminished seventh arpeggio in low instruments (bar 70) Diminished seventh represents chaos (bar 34) Batman motif over Eb chord in strings (bar 64)
Describe the tonality of "Batman VS The Circus" [4] Whole tone scale (bar 43) Tertiary relationship between keys and chords (bar 10, bar 11) Unprepared key change from E minor to C minor (bar 13 to bar 18) Whole tone scale with C7 sextuplet in piccolos and violins (bar 77)
Describe the rhythm of "Batman VS The Circus" [5] Triplets against semiquavers and quavers with woodwind flurry (bar 60) Sextuplets (bar 69) Rhythmic displacement (bar 92, bar 93) Simple duple time for one bar (bar 81) Quadruple time sounding in triple time (bar 67)
Describe the texture of "Batman VS The Circus" [6] Use of layering (bar 1 to bar 6) Octaves appear in the piano (bar 26) Countermelody in the xylophone (bar 36) Fragments of Batman motif (bar 47) Violins in contrary motion to bass phrase (bar 71) Sustained chords (bar 73 to bar 77)
Describe the instrumentation of "Batman VS The Circus" [5] Oboe extreme vibrato (bar 56) Muted brass fanfare snippet (bar 89 to bar 90) High glissando in violins (bar 25) Prominent percussion with xylophone, snare and temple blocks (bar 26) Trumpet extreme lip trill (bar 50)
Describe the melody of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [4] Comical circus idea with pizzicato strings (bar 1) Penguin motif played by cello and bass clarinet (bar 6, bar 7) Penguin motif in waltz triple time (bar 20 to bar 25) Fanfare like finish (bar 53, bar 54)
Describe the harmony of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [5] Cluster chord Eb with added minor third (bar 8) Open fifth chord (bar 26) Falling thirds in celesta (bar 29) Augmented chord with contrary motion (bar 51) Cluster chord with crescendo (bar 52)
Describe the tonality of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [4] C minor with sweeping glissando up to top G in violins (bar 1 to bar 7) Rare perfect cadence (bar 46) Descending pitches in C minor (bar 47) Triumphant change to C major in trumpets (end)
Describe the rhythm of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [7] Arpeggio figures (bar 1 to bar 7) Waltz triple time feel (bar 20 to bar 25) Augmentation of Penguin motif (bar 26 to bar 28) Quadruple time (bar 40 to bar 46) Flurry (bar 44) Picks up pace (bar 47 to end) Contrary motion (bar 51)
Describe the texture of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [5] Rare monophony (bar 1) Homophony (end) Question and answer (bar 1 to bar 3) Octaves in harp (bar 17 to bar 19) Interplay between bass clarinet and harp (bar 40)
Describe the instrumentation of "The Rise And Fall From Grace" [6] Pizzicato strings (bar 1 to bar 3) Violin glissando (bar 3 to bar 4) Aggressive arco phrases in bass (bar 2 to bar 3) Prominent bass clarinet (bar 37) Flute trill (bar 46) Descending vibraphone (bar 51)
Wider Listening: "It Was Me" from "Watchmen" by Tyler Bates [6] Melody: Falling and rising C minor arpeggio Harmony: Extensive minor chords throughout Tonality: Flattened seventh of C minor scale Rhythm: Ongoing marching quavers Texture: Additive texture to full orchestra Sonority: Low gunshot bass drum
Wider Listening: "We've Got Company" from "Tron" by Wendy Carlos [6] Melody: Chromatic intro figures Harmony: Dissonant strings and synths Tonality: Hint of A minor Rhythm: Contrast of long notes and fast quavers Texture: Percussion thickens the atmosphere Sonority: Electronic whistles and synths
Wider Listening: "Transformations" from "Spider Man" by Danny Elfman [6] Melody: Conjunct dissonant string writing Harmony: Major and minor alternations Tonality: Implied A minor key signature Rhythm: Stark waltz time near the end Texture: Juxtaposing thick and thin Sonority: String pizzicato and arco
Wider Listening: "Kiriko And The Little Boy" from "Godzilla VS Megaguirus" by Michiru Oshima [6] Melody: Scalic with a falling fifth interval Harmony: Minor and major seventh chords Tonality: Predominantly A minor Rhythm: Lilting with sustained notes Texture: Thick lush string accompaniment Sonority: Warm sounding clarinet solo
Created by: 13hored