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Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Home > Film: Dust Be My Destiny > Theme: Dust Be My Destiny > Variant: Fear and Devotion > Instance: 0:35:50

Theme name: Dust Be My Destiny
Variant name: Fear and Devotion
Start time: 0:35:50
End time: 0:36:28
Total duration: 0:00:38
Page #: 73
Measure #: 18
Scene: Reel 5 Part 1
Key: unstable - F# - F - Db
Meter: 4/4
Tempo (bpm): 92
Marking: Molto expressivo
Instrumentation: orchestra

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Description: This cue begins with an obsessively repeated three-note motive (the first three pitches of the Dust Be My Destiny theme) as Joe panics, followed by a major-key statement of the main theme as they decide to stick together and declare their love for one another; moves to lush strings, and then gentle pizzicato as the cue progresses (changes emotions with the characters); the final chord is startlingly interrupted by a dissonant train whistle
On-screen: Joe and Mabel decide to stick together
Music annotations: [m. 18] molto expressivo / f (fairly full); [m. 19] still slower; [m. 20] a tempo / accel; [m. 22] tenderly; [m. 24] appassionato; [m. 26] div / arpeggio (big); [m. 27] come sopra from Reel 3 Part 1 (1/2 tone higher); [m. 29] cute-like!!! / mysterioso / pp / pizz / (sustain little w. wind maybe); [m. 30] rall / This connects to Part 2
Film annotations: [m. 18] What do you think?; [m. 19] It’s tougher; [m. 20] Sleep by day; [m. 22] Mabel, that kind of a life; [m. 24] I’ll never leave you!; [m. 29] They sneak off
Orchestration annotations: [m. 22] all violins (continue) / add celli / violas / 2 celli / one bass; [m. 24] harp; [m. 25] W.W.; [m. 26] horn; [m. 29] 1st harp / celesta + vibraphone / pizz
Analysis: Begins with Joe's sense of fear, but this is overcome by Mabel's love and devotion to him; transforming unstable tonality into F# major, then F major, then Db major (the transformative power of love); Steiner's sense of dramatic pacing is excellent here - he slows the music down to make sure that the moment of arrival correlates with the dissonant train whistle, communicating the fact that their destiny is still unsure (the Fate motto is left unresolved)

alley | common-tone diminished 7th | devotion | dramatic | escape | fear | fragmentation | leading lady | leading man | love | mode mixture | obsessive | runaway | street