عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper studies the relation between song scenes and story elements in musical films. In most musical scenes, some of the codes and conventions of narrative prose pertaining to the rest of the scenes are violated. Rick Altman believes that in these musical scenes the conventions of narrative realism and the causality framework of the story are withdrawn so that the characters are free from the restrictions and responsibilities they have within the story, or at times their identity alters altogether. This paper argues that musical films, like other narrative genres have a clear and comprehensible narrative that demands stability of narrative elements and the presence of causality in the chain of events. This seems to be in contrast with the musical scenes rupture from the realist conventions of the rest of the scenes. Such contradiction – this paper proposes – may be resolved by using the concept of Genette’s ‘narrative levels’ and Chatman’s ‘cinematic narrator’ within the realm of structural narratology. First, it establishes some criteria to determine the narrative elements of song and dance scenes, on which a base of typological musical performances are suggested. Musical scenes are divided in diegetic and non-diegetic categories. In diegetic musical scenes, the cinematic narrator represents the event of song or dance, performed by characters in story world. In non-diegetic musical scenes, the event of dance and song is not taking place in story world, but in the upper narrative layer, called narrative discourse. In this case, actors can be a representative of character’s look, but not his/her acts. Having the required codes and intertextual connections, it can be understood and distinguished as the diegetic and non-diegetic elements of the scene. This is also applied to other elements of cinematic narrator like props, locations, sound and light. Diegetic scenes are divided in mediated and non-mediated categories. The former has non-diegetic elements like non-diegetic music accompanying diegetic songs, while the latter feels like a pure mimesis of a performance in the story world. The non-diegetic musical scenes are also divided in two categories: intermissions and interpretive. The intermissions are like pauses and brakes in the course of the film, where the story time is stopped and a song relating to story or characters is performed. On the contrary, story time continues to pass in interpretive scenes. They are rhythmic representations (translations) of a non-rhythmic event. The event is diegetic, but the rhythmic features belong to the extradiegetic level. It will be argued, then, that in song and dance scenes the nature of the story, elements and causality framework do not change; rather, the cinematic narrative elements find a new function. In diegetic song and dance scenes, the whole act of performing song and dance is limited to the defined casual and physical framework of story world; but in non-diegetic scenes, only diegetic elements are submissive to such rules and other elements are free to represents qualities beyond the story world. Thus, it is demonstrated that the causality agenda and physical elements of the whole narrative are equally present in these musical scenes.