Tritones sounding over subdominant harmony, either as suspensions, accented passing tones, or incomplete neighbors, constitute a class of sonorities regularly heard in film and television music. I collectively refer to these phenomena as “subdominant tritones” (SdTT), and theorize a link between the SdTT and emotions it engenders. The article presents close visual/musical analysis of selected SdTT-tinged passages in feature films that animate various heightened emotional states, including longing, nostalgia, relief, and melancholy.
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