The Role of Music in Storytelling

Matthew Hodge
Matthew Hodge Author Interview

Gotham City Sounds: The Music of Batman Villains is a case study on the psychological and emotional impact of the music used in the Batman franchise. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve always been fascinated with the role of music in storytelling. Whether it’s on a stage or a screen, music can absolutely affect an audience on a primal level. A great score can inform how you connect with a specific character or story. I also think pop culture entertainment is a great window into deeper conversations about important things. It’s why I’m a professor who consistently use pop culture references and examples in my college courses I teach. And if I want to navigate readers through the psychology of music for tormented characters, I figured analyzing Batman villain scores would be a fascinating way to go about it!

What villain’s theme music is your favorite and why?

I personally have a deep love for Danny Elfman’s Batman Returns score. The way he aurally connects the three main characters (Batman, Catwoman, Penguin) with complementary yet individualized music themes is masterful and emotionally powerful. In my opinion, that score is perfection.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I wanted to make sure my second full-length book met the bar I had set for myself with my first full-length book Cool Cats and a Hot Mouse: A History of Jazz and Disney. I was so honored and humbled by the reception Cool Cats and a Hot Mouse received (including it earning half a dozen national award recognitions). Just like my Disney Jazz book, I wanted my Batman villain book to educate readers about our history of entertainment in a captivating way.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have several upcoming chapters in scholarly books being published in the next year. I’m also excited to be launching a new pop culture hub called POP PROFESSOR, which will be a website where I’ll offer blogs and videos covering bite-size presentations of fascinating pop culture things (similarly to my books). That can be found at, and my professional website is I’m also still a full-time university professor, and enjoy spending my days in classrooms with students.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Why So Musical?
Move aside, Batman. It’s time for Gotham City’s infamous villains to take center stage! Whether through film, television, or video games, members of the Dark Knight’s notorious rogues gallery consistently come to life on screen with the help of creative scores constructed by masterful composers — the true unsung superheroes of Hollywood.
Award-winning composer, professor, and author Matthew Hodge shines a fascinating spotlight on the psychological and emotional musical representations constructed by composers for numerous portrayals of Batman’s iconic villains. These pages discuss dozens of Gotham City characters, including well-known villains and lesser-known troublemakers. From flamboyant tricksters and monstrous brutes to seductive femme fatales and complicated antiheroes, the musical possibilities are endless.
Gotham citizens, beware! Evil doesn’t just have a name and a face — it has a sound.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 13, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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