The Sonic Art of Film and the Sonic Arts in Film

In Noël Carroll, Laura T. Di Summa & Shawn Loht (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures. Springer. pp. 801-821 (2019)
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Abstract

My goal in this chapter is threefold. First, I argue that film is, at least partly, an art of sound. Most films are not made merely to be seen; they are also made to be heard. This offers an alternative to traditional accounts of film, which take film to be an essentially visual artform, and it suggests new directions for research in philosophy of film. Second, I argue that there are several distinct arts of sound in film. Some of these arts, like film music, are “aesthetic” arts; others, like sound effects, are “functional” arts. Still others, like sound design, are both functional and aesthetic. Third, I consider and reply to the objection that the arts of sound in film cannot be arts at all, because they are all functional.

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John Dyck
Auburn University

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