Dissertation > Art > Music > Music theory and methods > Drama, music theory > Movies, television, radio, music

Hisaishi animated film musical harmony Techniques Research - on Hayao Miyazaki's eight animated film the representative music as an example

Author WangLong
Tutor ZhangZhun
School Shandong Normal University
Course Musicology
Keywords Joe Hisaishi Animated Film Music Harmonic Technique Styleand Characteristic
CLC J617.6
Type Master's thesis
Year 2014
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As one of the most prolific and influential modern composers in Asia, JoeHisaishi and his music works have become a mark in the world music today. Sincechildhood, influenced by classical music, he was admitted by composition major ofJapanese Academy of Music. With strong academic foundation, his musical thinkingwas influenced by avant-garde musicians such as Stockhausen and John Cage andJapanese modernist composers like Akira Miyoshi and Toru Takemitsu. It could evenbe well said that he drew on their successful experience. His unique school life formshis music rooted in western classical music theories with profound traditionalJapanese musical elements and modern music style. He absorbed the essence of botheastern and western music. His music covers a wide range of different styles includingpiano music, symphony, electronic music and advertising music. Of all his works, themost famous one should be the music he wrote for the animated films by MiyazakiHayao, the Japanese legendary animated film master. As the delicate, romantic musicby Joe Hisaishi always expresses the inner world of the protagonists in the films byMiyazaki Hayao and captures the slight emotional changes therein, the music and filmbring out the best in each other and touch the depth of our soul.This thesis studies the music from8popular animated films by Miyazaki Hayaowith a comprehensive analysis of the mode, tonality, style of the harmonic techniquesin the films. As the analysis object is animated film music, the analysis of art functionby different harmonic techniques in the film follows. In addition, Peirce’s theory ofsign is in use for interpreting the relations between the harmonic techniques and thesignified in the animated film by Joe Hisaishi. This thesis is divided into6chapters:Chapter One: It is divided into two parts. The first part introduces the life andworks of the composer, the music life of Joe Hisaishi and his cooperation withMiyazaki Hayao. At the same time, the author also selects the representative musicalworks from the8animated films in the brief description of the creation backgroundand the general survey. The second part is the overview of another key word“animated film music” in the thesis title in terms of its development, feature and elements in order to help readers understand the relevant concepts in the remainingpart of the thesis.Chapter Two: Mode and Tonality. It is divided into two parts. The first part talksabout the tonality arrangement. As the number of the music works in the8animatedfilms is huge, representative theme music, scene music and background music piecesare selected in every film to be used in the analysis of the tonality arrangement withthe relevant ideas of the animated film music. The second part summarizes thecharacteristics in use and development of tonality.Chapter Three: Harmonic Technique. It is the major chapter of technical analysisin chord material, harmonic progression, cadence and harmonic texture. The concreteexamples are used to argue and summarize the features of harmonic characteristics.Chapter Four: Analysis of Art Function of Harmony in the Film. The plot and theharmonic technique of the music are combined. The analysis of concrete exampleshelps summarize how Joe Hisaishi uses harmonic techniques to accentuate and perfectthe film theme and accord the music with plot development.Chapter Five: The theory of sign by American philosopher, Charles SandersPeirce (1839~1914), is used to explore the relations between the harmonic techniqueand the signified in the animated film music by Joe Hisaishi. The relation betweensignified and signifier in this theory helps classify and interpret the relation betweenthe harmonic technique and the signified in the method of image and symbol, tryingto explore the interdisciplinary filed in the study of harmonic technique.Chapter Six: It is divided into two parts. The first part elaborates on the aestheticvalue of the animated film music by Joe Hisaishi in terms of the combination ofemotion and life and the emphasis on both art and commerce. The second partdiscusses the enlightenment of his animated film music on China’s animated filmmusic creation in terms of style, theme, theatricality and creation environment.Focusing on the study of harmonic technique in animated film music by JoeHisaishi, this thesis carries a deep analysis of his8animated film music, summarizesthe “brief yet not simple” feature of his harmonic technique, trying to explore thecreative idea of “big melting pot” and the significance of “globalization of national music and the nationalization of global music”. The author hopes that this thesiswould serve as a modest spur to attract more studies on Joe Hisaishi and his musiccreation by more domestic and international scholars and peers and shed some lightupon the harmonic technique of China’s future animated film music creation.

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