Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hymns for the FallenCombat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Todd Decker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282322

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282322.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Helicopter Music

Helicopter Music

(p.145) 7. Helicopter Music
Hymns for the Fallen

Todd Decker

University of California Press

This chapter considers the sonic representation of the helicopter in combat films set in Vietnam and the Greater Middle East. The sound of unseen helicopters has frequently been used as a kind of effects-made music underlining tense narrative moments or dialogue. The sound of helicopter rotors in scenes set on or near helicopters has often been modulated (lowered in volume) or replaced entirely by music. Special attention is given to scenes of soldiers inside helicopters riding into battle and to how music has been used to shape the cinematic experience of helicopter-borne battle. Film form often follows musical form when helos take to the skies on-screen. The helicopter attack on a Vietnamese village to the supposedly diegetic sound of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” in Apocalypse Now is analyzed in detail. The editor Walter Murch built the sequence on Wagner’s musical form, expressing an equivalence between musical pleasure and the pleasures of firing weapons.

Keywords:   Apocalypse Now, helicopters, sound effects, Walter Murch, “Ride of the Valkyries,”, diegetic sound, musical form, film form, musical pleasure

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.