Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation attempts to move away from the original orchestral/compiled score binary still common in film music scholarship. To open up the analysis of film scores in ways that more accurately reflect late twentieth century Hollywood practice, four films (Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick, 1999], Magnolia [P.T. Anderson, 1999], Fight Club [David Fincher, 1999], and Moulin Rouge! [Baz Luhrmann, 2001] are examined. Each film uses a combination of pre-existing and original music where each type plays an equally important narrative, structural, and emotional role in the film. I create a new category in film music studies by calling this scoring practice the composite score.

Each chapter illustrates how the Hollywood studios move into the American indie market in the mid-late 1990s directly affected the development of the composite score. In order to differentiate their mainstream products from their indie ones, the studios assimilated former independent production companies and/or created their own subsidiaries. The resulting industry sector has been labelled Indiewood by film scholars. Now gone from the scene, these production companies were at their height of production and won many prestigious awards between 1999 and 2001. In this dissertation, the four films examined from this narrow window of time tell the story of musics role in differentiating late 1990s Indiewood films from their indie and mainstream counterparts. Musicological archival methods, along with a textual, film, and musical analysis, are used throughout to help illustrate the scores role in the changing cultural and industrial landscape of American cinema at the turn of the twenty-first century.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Todd Decker

Committee Members

Patrick Burke, Claudia Gorbman, Paul Steinbeck, Gaylyn Studlar,


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