The Idyllic Sublime

A Dialog on the Pastoral Style in Westerns


  • Michael Beckerman Department of Music, New York University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • William H. Rosar University of California, San Diego



western pastoral tradition in film, music and the sublime


Michael Beckerman and William H. Rosar explore, in dialogue fashion, the role of music in the Western pastoral tradition in film.

Author Biographies

Michael Beckerman, Department of Music, New York University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Czech and Eastern European music; Janacek, Dvorak, Martinu; nationalism, Gypsies, Mozart, Brahms, Gilbert and Sullivan, Schubert, and film music. He received the Janacek Medal from the Czech Republic and is a Laureate of the Czech Music Council. He lectures widely and writes regularly for the New York Times.

William H. Rosar, University of California, San Diego

Founding and current editor of Journal of Film Music


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Dary, David. 1989. Cowboy culture: A saga of five centuries. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

Lomax, John A. and Alan Lomax, eds. 1941. Our singing nation: A second volume of American ballads and folk songs. New York: Macmillan.

Monk, Ray. 1990. Ludwig Wittgenstein: The duty of genius. New York: Penguin Books.

Pierce, Richard. 2005. Cinema studies’ Richard Allen argues against film theory. NYU Today 19, no. 98. (accessed 27 November 2009).

Rosar, William H. 1994. Film music and Heinz Werner’s theory of physiognomic perception. Psychomusicology 13: 154-165. Shane. 1952. Directed by George Stevens, DVD, Hollywood, CA: Paramount, 2000.

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Wagner, Richard. 1893. Opera and drama. In Richard Wagner’s prose works, Vol. 2. trans. William Ashton Ellis. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner.



How to Cite

Beckerman, M., & Rosar, W. H. (2010). The Idyllic Sublime: A Dialog on the Pastoral Style in Westerns. Journal of Film Music, 2(2-4), 251–262.