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Henry ManciniReinventing Film Music$
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John Caps

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036736

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036736.001.0001

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Looking Back, Looking On

Looking Back, Looking On

(p.240) Chapter 17 Looking Back, Looking On
Henry Mancini

John Caps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the legacy of Henry Mancini. Mancini should be remembered for three contributions to popular culture: first the reinventing, the freshening of film scoring in the 1960s. Mancini offered to the young Kennedy-era generation his own bright and clear sophisticated style—as clean and courteous as mainstream pop, but as cool and knowing as modern jazz. His second contribution was his repackaging of the melodic material from those colorful scores into jazz-pop record albums for home listening (coinciding with the invention of the stereo vinyl disc and high-fidelity recording techniques) that put his memorable tunes and orchestral inventiveness directly into people's lives and gave him, unlike past film composers, fame under his own name. Third was his reintroduction of lyricism into popular music—of carefully composed, personally expressive, harmonically interesting melody writing that had flourished once, then dried up in the 1950s when a cold war reigned between capitalism and communism as between one war-torn generation and their anxious offspring.

Keywords:   Henry Mancini, composers, film scoring, musical score, jazz-pop, lyricism, popular music

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