Cataloging Max Steiner

A Corpus Study of Film Scores


  • Jeff Lyon Brigham Young University
  • Brent Yorgason Brigham Young University



Max Steiner, corpus study, thematic analysis, thematic catalog


The Max Steiner corpus study is a long-term research project, drawing on the Max Steiner Collection at Brigham Young University, to catalog and analyze the music from all of Steiner’s film scores. This paper outlines the goals, processes, and potential future outcomes of this research. One of the main research goals of this project is to discover what kinds of melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and instruments Steiner used to represent different emotions and character types. Because of the amount of data needed to understand each of these elements thoroughly, this type of analysis can best be done through a corpus study. This data will be published as an interactive database that will allow the user to explore themes as they develop throughout a film as well as discover related themes in other film scores by Steiner. Transcriptions of themes will be displayed with Steiner’s annotations, film stills, and analytical data. This paper presents our findings to date and our plan to analyze, transcribe, and catalog the remaining films.



How to Cite

Lyon, J., & Yorgason, B. (2021). Cataloging Max Steiner: A Corpus Study of Film Scores. Journal of Film Music.