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Hymns for the FallenCombat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam$
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Todd Decker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282322

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282322.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021



(p.189) 9. Metered
Hymns for the Fallen

Todd Decker

University of California Press

Having set aside the military march, serious post-Vietnam war films have explored other strongly metrical musics. Three World War II films have turned to triple-meter, or waltz-time, themes. Band of Brothers and Flags of Our Fathers alike use tuneful waltz-time music to support a sentimental transgenerational agenda linking fathers and sons. The Thin Red Line supports the philosophical ruminations of soldiers with a group of triple-meter melodies that create a zone of quiet reflection. Twenty-first-century war films use beat-driven music to excite the audience physically and also to characterize new sorts of soldierly action—such as work at a computer—as exciting combat action. Beat-driven combat film scores for Black Hawk Down, United 93, and Green Zone are compared. Finally, an extended combat sequence from The Thin Red Line scored to a stately ostinato musical cue is considered as an extreme case of music taking the place of diegetic sound.

Keywords:   Band of Brothers, Flags of Our Fathers, The Thin Red Line, Black Hawk Down, triple-meter music, waltz, sentimentality, military march, ostinato, beat-driven music, diegetic sound

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