Nathan Platte

Associate Professor

Nathan Platte teaches courses on film music and other 20th- and 21st-century topics for the School of Music. His research explores film music and sound of Hollywood’s studio era from a variety of angles, including the collaborative process of film scoring, the intersection of technology and music, the role of studio orchestras, and soundtrack albums. This work has taken him to film and music-related archives around the country, and he has contributed to conferences on film sound and archival research at the British Library and the University of Huddersfield.

Platte’s most recent book, Making Music in Selznick’s Hollywood, illuminates the collaborative efforts behind the film scores for King Kong, Gone With the Wind, and Spellbound, among others. Forthcoming publications treat the blending of music and special effects in The Wizard of Oz and George Gershwin’s music for RKO musicals. His current project explores the music and soundscapes of director Robert Wise’s films, including The Curse of the Cat People, I Want to Live!, The Haunting, and West Side Story

Selected Publications
  • Making Music in Selznick’s Hollywood. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • “A Star is Born: Max Steiner in the Studios, 1929–39,” in The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound, eds. Miguel Mera, Ron Sadoff, and Ben Winters. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • “‘The epic and intimately human’: Contemplating Tara’s theme in Gone With the Wind,” in Music in Epic Film: Spectacular Listening, ed. Stephen Meyer, (New York: Routledge, 2017), 149–169.
  • “Postwar Hollywood, 1947–1967,” in Sound: Music, Dialogue, and Effects, ed. Kathryn Kalinak. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015
  • “Before King Kong was King: Competing Methods in Hollywood Underscore.” Journal for the Society of American Music 8, no. 3 (2014).
  • “Performing Prestige: Orchestras in American Cinema, 1910–1960,” in The Oxford Handbook of Music in Film and Visual Media, ed. David Neumeyer, 620–638. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Franz Waxman’s Rebecca: A Film Score Guide. Cowritten with David Neumeyer. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2012.
  • The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook. Coedited with James Wierzbicki and Colin Roust. New York: Routledge, 2012.
Research areas
  • Film Music and Sound
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema
  • Collaborative Creativity
  • Musical Adaptations across Media

5468 Voxman Music Building (VOX)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States