Music as image: an analytical-psychology approach to music in film

Nagari, B. 2013. Music as image: an analytical-psychology approach to music in film. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

TitleMusic as image: an analytical-psychology approach to music in film
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsNagari, B.

Sound and music, both independently and inside film are sometimes considered to be secondary to the visual. Some disciplines wish to classify them as triggers to neurological systems while some others will emphasise their affect-inflicting capacity; in both cases these remain as secondary functions and in the case of film as nothing but accompanying elements. Yet, observed psychologically sound and music have a unique and wholesome function in the human psyche. Carl Gustav Jung’s analytical psychology opens the door for the understanding of both as images, far beyond the consensual acceptance of image being of a visual faculty only.

Understanding music as image puts music in a different position inside a film as well as a stand-alone phenomenon in the every-day life. Analytical psychology, in both original Jungian and contemporary Post-Jungian versions, using the core ideas of archetype, opposites, functions of the psyche and image - supports the very concept of music/sound as image. This thesis will approach the consequent understanding of the role of music in film beyond the decorative-accompaniment task attributed to it and as an image on its own right.

The work is divided into three main parts: Part I will introduce general Jungian aspects to build the case of a Jungian psychological account of the music-image. Part II will attempt to combine theory with practice in analysing how the auditory image (mainly music) works (or sometimes clashes) with the visual (picture) to create the ‘film as a whole’ experience. Part III will implement a specific understanding of three individual film cases of different genres, eras and styles as psychologically scrutinised ‘case histories’.

PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Permalink -

Share this

Usage statistics

339 total views
1392 total downloads
These values cover views and downloads from WestminsterResearch and are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created.