Buffy, Ballads, and Bad Guys Who Sing: Music in the Worlds of Joss Whedon

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Kendra Preston Leonard
Scarecrow Press, Nov 16, 2010 - Performing Arts - 330 pages
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When writer and director Joss Whedon created the character Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he could hardly have expected the resulting academic interest in his work. Yet almost six years after the end of Buffy on television, Buffy studies—and academic work on Whedon's expanding oeuvre—continue to grow. Now with three hugely popular television shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, and the film Serenity all available on DVD, scholars are evaluating countless aspects of the Whedon universe (or "Whedonverse"). Buffy, Ballads, and Bad Guys Who Sing: Music in the Worlds of Joss Whedon studies the significant role that music plays in these works, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Kendra Preston Leonard has collected a varying selection of essays that explore music and sound in Joss Whedon's works. The essays investigate both diegetic and non-diegetic music, considering music from various sources, including the shows' original scores, music performed by the characters themselves, and music contributed by such artists as Michelle Branch, The Sex Pistols, and Sarah McLachlan, as well as classical composers like Camille Saint-SaŽns and Johannes Brahms.

The approaches incorporate historical and theoretical musicology, feminist and queer musicology, media studies, cultural history, and interdisciplinary readings. The book also explores the compositions written by Whedon himself: the theme music for Firefly, and two fully integrated musicals, the Buffy episode "Once More, With Feeling" and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. With several musical examples, a table with a full breakdown of the Danse Macabre scene from the acclaimed Buffy episode "Hush," and an index, this volume will be fascinating to students and scholars of science-fiction, television, film, and popular culture.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Buffys Music Arc
7
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Narratology of Thematic Score
29
The Sonic Transformations of a Champion
75
Tracking Gender on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
99
Critiquing the Treatment of Race in Buffy and the American Musical Once More with Feeling
119
Rhetorical Questions in Once More With Feeling
133
The Problem of Performance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
155
CHAPTER EIGHT ANGELS NARRATIVE SCORE
173
Conventions Reversals and Musical Meaning in Firefly
209
Joss Whedons Firefly and the Songs of the Clancy Brothers
243
CHAPTER ELEVEN THE MEANING OF WORLD MUSIC IN FIREFLY
255
Gender and Performance in Dr Horribles SingAlong Blog
275
INDEX
293
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
305
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Kendra Preston Leonard is the author of The Conservatoire Amťricain: A History (Scarecrow Press, 2007) and Shakespeare, Madness, and Music: Scoring Insanity in Cinematic Adaptations (Scarecrow Press, 2009).

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