Reverb, acousmata, and the backstage musical

Peter Doyle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The class of feature films in which the characters ‘put on a show,’ generally referred to as the ‘backstage musical,’ offers a particularly revealing object for the study of film sound. On the one hand, the backstage musical explicitly explores, in fiction, the work and the processes of making and staging music, dance, and story. More covertly, it almost by necessity presents a kind of meditation on the relationships between competing spaces of representation, sound space, and visual space; with its stage within the stage, its fictive mise en scène nested within the larger mise en scène, it almost inevitably posits ‘theses’ about sonic frames and visual frames, visible frames and implied frames. And in purporting to look behind the scenes at how musical performance is staged, it cannot help but reflect, at least a little, on its own performing of sound.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge companion to screen music and sound
EditorsMiguel Mera, Ronald Sadoff, Ben Winters
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315681047
ISBN (Print)9781138855342
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017


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