A Melodic Analysis of the Film Songs by Henry Mancini

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          The purpose of this research is to study the life and works of Henry Mancini, as well as to analyze the characteristics of the melodies in his film songs. This study employed qualitative research methodology and was conducted by collecting data from websites, books and other documents and analyzing it according to western music theory.

          Henry Mancini was born on April 16, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He began studying piano and became seriously interested in music at age 12. After serving his country in WWII, Mancini joined The Glenn Miller-Tex Beneke Orchestra as a pianist-arranger. In 1952 he joined the music department of Universal-International Studios. He became famous for writing the main theme for the TV series "Peter Gunn." Throughout Mancini's life, he scored over one hundred movies and TV shows. He won four Academy Awards, twenty Grammys, two Emmys, a Golden Globe and eight gold records. Henry Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on June 14, 1994.

          The major findings of this analysis of melodic characteristics of Mancini’s film songs are as follows: 1) After any leap in the melody larger than a perfect 4th, the melody usually continues in the opposite direction of the leap.  2) The substitute chords and respelled chords are usually used so as to allow the root of the chord to move, smoothly, by step to the root of the next chord. 3) Frequent use of accented nonchord tones. 4) The climax note(s) always appear in each period of the melody.


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