MARVEL SUPERHERO FILM: THE USE OF MUSIC AND SOUND DESIGN IN NARRATIVE TRANSITION ZONES

Open Access
Author:
Broaddus, William Clarence
Area of Honors:
Music Education
Degree:
Bachelor of Music Education
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Eric John Mckee, Thesis Supervisor
  • Linda Carol Porter Thornton, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • film
  • music
  • film music
  • plot
  • narrative
  • Marvel
  • superhero
Abstract:
Releasing every year since 2008, Marvel superhero films have taken over the box office as a family favorite cinematic experience. The public acceptance begs the question as to whether or not there is something special about this group of superhero films compared to others. After further analysis, it seems that a majority of these films draw the audience in through a specific combination of sight and sound. While screen writers follow the five traditional segments of plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, it is the moments between these segments of plot that draw the audiences attention. Composers have identified these transition zones and use music in various ways to provide critical information about character development, conflict, and resolution. Through the analysis of four Marvel films: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2, I aim to evaluate the success at which these composers guide the audience through each transition zone into new segments of plot.