Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Emily Carman


Music in film is used as a tool that can psychologically transport the viewer and alter their perception of a narrative. It is a highly influential aspect of the mise-en-scene and can influence both our reality and the fictional world in the film, depending on whether it is non-diegetic or diegetic. The elaborate soundscapes of period films typically utilize period accurate scores and soundtracks to embed the audience in the environment of a different age. However, this paper will examine ‘musical anachronism’ and the correlation between music and emotion through an analysis of films such as A Knight’s Tale (Brian Helgeland, 2001), Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006), and Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019), which deliberately incorporate anachronistic soundtracks to form a sense of temporal dissonance. These film examples create impossible, paradoxical situations as they explore how song choices can evoke familiar emotions from contemporary audiences. The use of anachronism is a stylistic choice that gives period films a new sense of resonance by eliciting certain emotions enhanced by the collaboration of visual and auditory senses. Using key scholars that include music and film psychology researcher Guido Heldt, and Professor of Philosophy, Dr. James O. Young, who focuses on art, language, and emotions, I will apply their findings along with many others in the field of music, film, and psychology to examine the correlation between music and emotion. This paper sheds light on the multifaceted role of soundtracks in shaping cinematic experiences, inviting audiences to reconsider the boundaries between historical accuracy and emotional responses in film.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.