The intense and continuing popularity of the long-running television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) has long been matched by the range and depth of the academic critical response. This volume, the first devoted to the show's imaginative and widely varied use of music, sound, and silence, helps to develop an increasingly important and inadequately covered area of research - the many roles of music in contemporary television.
In addressing this significant gap, this book provides an exemplary overview of the functions of music and sound in the interpretation of a television show. This is done through analyses that focus on scoring and source music, the title theme, the music production process, the critically acclaimed musical episode (voted number 13 in Channel Four's One Hundred Greatest Musicals), the symbolic and dramatic use of silence, and the popular reception of the show by its international fan base. In keeping with contemporary trends in the study of popular musics, a variety of critical approaches are taken from musicology, cultural studies, and media and communication studies, specifically employing critique, musical analysis, industry studies, and hermeneutics.
Contents: Foreword, Keith Negus; Preface, Christophe Beck and John C. King; Introduction: “Bay City Rollers. now that’s music”: music as cultural code in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vanessa Knights; Part I Constructing Sound: Music, Noise and Silence: Love, death, curses and reverses (in E minor): music, gender, and identity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Janet K. Halfyard; 'What's my melody?' Music and the deployment of genre in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Louis Niebur; Variations on themes for geeks and heroes: leitmotif, style, and the musico-dramatic moment, Rob Haskins; 'What rhymes with lungs?' When music speaks louder than words, Arnie Cox and Rebecca Fülöp; Battling the buzz: contesting sonic codes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Katy Stevens; And the rest is silence: silence and death as motifs in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gerry Bloustein. Part II Owning Music: Bands, Fans and Pop Culture: Bronze things; things of bronze: popular music cultures in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Catherine Driscoll; More than a watcher: Buffy fans, amateur music videos, romantic slash and intermedia, Rob Cover; 'You're just a girl!' Punk rock feminism and the new hero in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Renée T. Coulombe; Punks, geeks and Goths: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a study of popular music demographics on American commercial television, Kathryn Hill. Part III Making Music: Buffy, the Musical: Not 'the same arrangement': breaking Utopian promises in the Buffy musical, Diana Sandars and Rhonda V. Wilcox. 'Give me something to sing about': intertextuality and the audience in 'Once more with feeling', Amy Bauer; Rock, television, paper, musicals, scissors: Buffy The Simpsons, and parody, Paul Attinello; Afterword, Anahid Kassabian; Bibliography; Index.