Dissertation Index

Author: Leinberger, Charles, F.

Title: "An Austrian in Hollywood: Leitmotifs and Thematic Transformation in Max Steiner's Film Score 'Now, Voyager'"

Institution: University of Arizona

Begun: December 1994

Completed: May 1996


This document begins with some relevant biographical information on Max Steiner (1988-1971) with emphasis on the events leading up to and including the composing of the Academy-Award-winning score for the 1942 Warner Brothers film "Now, Voyager," as well as a description of the film technology of the time. This is followed by a detailed analysis of thematic material, both melodic and harmonic, and the transformation of those themes throughout the film. Leitmotifs, tonality and functional harmony are an important part of this analysis, as it demonstrates a strong nineteenth-century romantic influence. The relationship between these themes and the narrative of the film is also discussed. Also relevant is the process of film score analysis: the availability of unpublished film scores, and the resources available at various film archives in the United States.

Keywords: Steiner, Hollywood, Film, Cinema, Now Voyager, Leitmotif


I The role of film music in American culture
II The life and career of Max Steiner
A. Vienna
B. New York
C. Hollywood
III Analysis: Now Voyager, 1942
A. Motivic analysis of melody, harmonic function, rhythm and tonality
B. Relationship of motives to the narrative of this film
IV Summary of musical influences of nineteenth-century European opera on
twentieth-century American cinema.
A. Max Steiner
B. Other composers


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