Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

‘Vertical Montage’ and Synaesthesia

Movement, Inner Synchronicity, and Music–Image Correlation in Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2015), 9, (1), 33–61.

Abstract

This article analyses Sergei Eisenstein’s audiovisual theory through an examination of music–image relations in Alexander Nevsky (1938). In the process, it charts the relationship between Eisenstein’s earlier montage theory, which was based on conflict, and his later ideas on synaesthesia and synthesis, whereby the relationship between image and music is theorised on the level of movement, or the generalised outline and structure that binds musical phrasing to the graphic properties in the image. The article also demonstrates how Sergei Prokofiev’s orchestral score complicates and enhances our understanding of Eisenstein’s theory and practice of vertical montage, revealing aspects of Nevsky’s sophisticated audiovisual structure that are unaccounted for in Eisenstein’s own writings.

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AFRA, KIA