The Godfather Part 2: How the Musical Score Creates Transitions within the Film

The Godfather Part 2: How the Musical Score Creates Transitions within the Film

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The long and intense musical undertone in the Godfather Part II serves a unique role in the flow of the film. The diegetic music sets the scene throughout many different changes in scenery as well as plays a huge part in setting the mood and tone of the characters with their different changes of emotion. In this paper, I will demonstrate how the musical score creates transitions within the film, identifies with the characters and creates underscoring for moments in the film when there is not much going on.
While conspiracy theories ran rapid and organized crime was at the forefront of
large city government, The Godfather Part II accomplished something matched only by one other film in American history by making the AFI top 100 greatest films as a sequel.
This American crime novel, turned film, covers the trying life journey of Vito Corleone and his family from his escape on a near attempt of his life and the death of his father, to his survival and the uprising of his family business in New York City. As the Corleone family tries to make a large business deal with another New York Crime family, the Roth family, things get complicated as Pentangeli who was what mobsters call a capo regime, or a high up employee of the gang, asked his boss (Michael Corleone) to help defend New York against the Rosato Brothers. Seeing as though, the Rosato brothers were associates of the Roth family and he didn’t want to mess up their business dealings, Michael refused and later had an assassination attempt on his life, in his own home. Later, Michael finds out that Roth is the one behind all of the attempts on him and his business’ life, but not before Roth figures out a well built plans to peg Michael on extortion with Pentangeli as the key w...


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...to get across. I believe that this describes the usage of his composition perfectly in the Godfather.
Above all the criticisms or affirmations that Rota received throughout his career, one thing is fairly unanimous throughout most critics, film viewers and musicians. The Godfather Part II is one of the most successful works that he has ever composed for despite all of his triumph and successes. Rota transformed his work into a musical score that created transitions within the film, identified with the characters and created underscoring for moments in the film when there was a lack of action. He created the music that many strongly believe joins with the film, to encompass the Wagnerian concept of total art.



Works Cited

Dyer, Richard. Nino Rota: Music, Film, and Feeling. New York: Palgrave Macmillan on Behalf of the British Film Institute, 2010. Print.

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