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The Letter (1940)


Home > Film: The Letter > Theme: Chinese Shop > Instance: 0:55:30


Instance
Theme name: Chinese Shop
Start time: 0:55:30
End time: 0:56:29
Total duration: 0:00:59
Page #: 107
Measure #: 1
Scene: Reel 7 Part 3
Key: F Lydian / Bb quintal / [G pentatonic - Ab pentatonic] - F# Lydian / [A pentatonic - Bb pentatonic] / [B quintal - C quintal]
Meter: 6/4
Tempo (bpm): 63
Marking: Molto Modto (Mysterioso)
Instrumentation: special group
Solo Instrument: flute



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Description
Description: More Chinese-style music is used as Howard and Leslie walk to the store to meet with Mrs. Hammond; ringing, reverberant bell sounds accompany two oriental flutes playing in parallel fourths (in a high register); quite mysterious in tone; at the end, we hear an actual bell ringing as the door to the store is opened
On-screen: Howard and Leslie look around
Music annotations: [m. 1] mp; [m. 3] We are getting Seidenberg and Phil Score extra!!!; [m. 3] mf / expressivo; [m. 6] cresc / Hugo! [illegible]; [m. 7] pp / mf; [m. 9] mp; [m. 10] f / mistake in lines, sorry / mf; [m. 11] dim / p
Film annotations: [m. 1] Cue: XXX / They walk; [m. 7] Please wait here; [m. 10] Door bell; [m. 12] Door closes / Please wait here / Bell rings again
Orchestration annotations: [m. 1] celeste / 2 pianos / harps / small bells + marimba / vibraph let it ring / gong / basses / celli / 2 bassoons / b clar; [m. 3] 1 oboe / 1 piccolo (Bergh) / add 2nd celeste (we have it) / 2nd piccolo / 2nd oboe; [m. 6] 4 horns muted; [m. 7] str divisi (harmonic; [m. 7] 4 horns (muted) / gong; [m. 9] add 2 trbs (felt) + tuba; [m. 12] 2 bassoon / 3 celli / b cl / 2 basses + gong remain
Analysis: Here there are multiple layers of repeating patterns in different modes (Lydian, pentatonic, and quintal); the material in the top two staves repeats every measure and features mirroring motion with parallel fifths throughout; the material in the third staff repeats every two measures and also features melodic mirroring of parallel fifths; the melodic material in the fourth and fifth staves repeats every three measures and features more quickly moving parallel fourths in pentatonic gestures (rising a half step at each repetition); the bottom staff is a pedal tone figure that repeats every measure; in m. 7 an additional layer of sustained open fifths is added; these layers do not always always match tonally, creating some dissonant polytonality effects - particularly at the end, where the lower layers shift up a step but the others do not; here we have tonal centers on C, Bb, A, and F# simultaneously
Tags

antagonist | Chinatown | Chinese | Chinese | exotic | exoticism | lawyer | layering | leading lady | Lydian mode | mirroring | mysterious | open fifth | parallel fifths | parallelism | polytonality | quintal chord | tense | transition | waiting | walking

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