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Cochran discusses new book on music in film

Published on September 27, 2023

Cochran discusses new book on music in film

Timothy Cochran
Professor Timothy Cochran presents a brief summary of his research on the power of music in film.

A faculty researcher at Eastern Connecticut State University recently celebrated the release of his book about the various functions of music in film. “Musical Sincerity and Transcendence in Film” by Timothy Cochran, associate professor of music, was published by Routledge Press.

The book brings together years of Cochran’s research on the nature and capabilities of film music. Cochran uses examples from several movies from recent decades spanning a variety of genres to illustrate key points created by on-screen scenes in which music is featured.

Importantly, Cochran argues that music can be a powerful vehicle of genuine expression and human connection. Several scenes he uses as examples highlight “people using music in a way that serves the narrative,” said Cochran.

A reception was hosted in acknowledgment of Cochran’s publication on Sept. 22 at the Fine Arts Instructional Center. Here, Cochran briefly detailed stages of the writing and publication of the book as well as some of its main points.

Cochran began the research for his book in 2015, during the summer preceding his first semester teaching at Eastern.

“I can’t thank Eastern enough for funding each stage,” Cochran said. He added an anecdote about his research beginning in a closet in Shafer Hall, his original office, which got a laugh out of the attendees.

Cochran continued entertaining the audience by showing several movie clips that he analyzed in his book. These clips included Ferris Bueller singing triumphantly on a parade float in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and the opening credits of “Moonrise Kingdom,” both of which include music serving as a dramatic setting for their respective scene.

“Music is never just music; it’s connected to our lives,” said Cochran. The musical examples he provided in film all underscore “relevant cultural – that is, human – ideals.”

Cochran credited the sudden influx of spare time created by the COVID-19 pandemic for spearheading the final wave of his research. The book was originally published late in 2021; however, given social distancing requirements, Cochran waited to release and celebrate the book.

“This book is a product of its time,” said Cochran.

Written by Noel Teter

Categories: Music, Arts, Faculty Research