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Musical Geopolitics: Masculinity, Nationhood, and the Scoring of Superman (1978–2006)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


This article explores the potential for the field of popular geopolitics of close attention to the form and structure of instrumental film music. Specifically, it analyses the film scores for Superman (1978) and Superman Returns (2006), showing how these, in conjunction with the films’ visual components, communicate a series of geopolitical logics and ideas about gender and nationhood. In so doing, this article extends existing concerns in popular geopolitics with music, principally lyrical popular music, contributing to a new research agenda that offers detailed readings of musical scores and notation, informed by semiotic perspectives. It advocates an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of film music, drawing on research in the rich and expanding field of film music studies. It supplements the close reading of the scores here with an analysis of audience reviews.

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