By K. J. Donnelly (auth.)
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17 She notes that the film music of classical Hollywood tries to efface itself while emphasizing screen activity, and consistently uses repeated themes as a structuring device across the film. Gainsborough’s attempts to integrate music with films correspond far more with Gorbman’s schema than do the “prestige” British film scores of the same period. Film scores such as Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Scott of the Antarctic (1948) in which the music was quite roughly cut to fit the film, or William Walton’s Henry V (1944) where only the music for the battle directly homologizes screen action, tending predominantly to consist of autonomous musical pieces that were easily made into suites for the concert hall.
Waterland (1992) had extraordinary music by American Carter Burwell, who had worked with half of British band New Order (in their incarnation as Thick Pigeon). His score integrated chamber orchestra and electronics, consisted largely of variations of a single theme’s arrangement and was highly effective in its stateliness and affecting simplicity. Nostalgic depictions of the days and splendour of the British Imperial past became something of a perennial theme during the 1980s for both films and television produced in Britain.
In Britain, the situation was that music was often semi-outside films. Film music production often was closer to the music industry than the film industry, with each being more autonomous than was the case in the USA. Yet in the vast majority of 24 British Film Music and Film Musicals cases this led to something apart from “synergy”, in that both industries wanted profit on their own terms rather than having a more concerted attempt at co-ordinating for publicity purposes. Films in a number of cases undeniably appeared to be showcases for music, much like film musicals.