Dramatic Vocalise Database

Bassman, George (1914–97)

The Clock (1945)

After helping arrange Herbert Stothart’s score for The Wizard of Oz (see Oz, “Musical Program”), George Bassman (1914–97) later composed the film score for The Clock (1945), starring Judy Garland in her first non-singing role. In the movie, soldier Joe Allen (Robert Walker) is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice (Judy Garland). She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves falling in love with each other, and decide to get married before Joe has to return to camp at Aberdeen, Maryland, and eventually leave for WWII. In one scene they kiss, accompanied by wordless chorus, signifying that the kiss is in fact “magical,” if not “supernatural” as representative of their love in the fleeting moment. It is this use of dramatic vocalization that points toward Bassman as the originator of dramatic vocalization within The Wizard of Oz.

(Nauman 2009, 242)



A Magical Kiss

Robert Walker kisses Judy Garland, accompanied by unseen wordless chorus.

Final Scene

The music in both clips includes a prominent falling-fifth head motive, one that sounds like a melodic theme in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé.

Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé, mm. 12–15 [horn]

This same theme was used as the basis for Stan Kenton’s “Artistry In Rhythm.”