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The Letter (1940)

Home > Film: The Letter > Theme: Leslie > Instance: 0:00:11

Theme name: Leslie
Start time: 0:00:11
End time: 0:00:25
Total duration: 0:00:14
Page #: 1
Measure #: 4
Scene: Main Title
Key: c
Meter: 4/4
Tempo (bpm): 66
Marking: Maestoso
Instrumentation: orchestra

(click to enlarge)
Description: Turbulent and dramatic theme (part A) associated with the main character, Leslie Crosbie; features a dotted-rhythm motive followed by alternation between two pitches a minor third apart; this theme is named "Hammond Development" in the cue sheet
On-screen: The Letter
Music annotations: [m. 4] fff; [m. 5] gliss; [m. 6] ff; [m. 7] gliss F minor
Film annotations: [m. 4] The Letter
Orchestration annotations: [m. 4] T.C. / 2 trbs / 2 trbs / timp roll; [m. 5] W.W.; [m. 6] T.C. / timp; [m. 7] W.W.
Analysis: Each phrase oscillates between two distantly-related harmonies and features a suspended dissonance that doesn't resolve until the end (D-C in the first phrase, G-F in the second); the passage can also be understood as being based on a minor-major sevenths (with added ninths); the theme features changing meters between 4/4 and 3/4

9th chord | changing meter | main title | minor-major 7th chord | opening title sequence | oscillation | sequence | suspension | tense | title of film