Film Music: A History by James Wierzbicki

By James Wierzbicki

Movie track: A heritage explains the advance of movie song by means of contemplating large-scale aesthetic traits and structural advancements along socioeconomic, technological, cultural, and philosophical circumstances.

The book’s 4 huge elements are given over to tune and the "Silent" movie (1894–1927), tune and the Early Sound movie (1895–1933), track within the "Classical-Style" Hollywood movie (1933–1960), and picture tune within the Post-Classic interval (1958–2008). while so much remedies of the topic are easily chronicles of "great movie scores" and their composers, this booklet deals a real historical past of movie tune when it comes to societal adjustments and technological and fiscal advancements in the movie undefined. rather than celebrating film-music masterpieces, it deals—logically and thoroughly—with the advanced ‘machine’ whose gentle working allowed these occasional masterpieces to occur and whose periodic changes triggered the large-scale twists and turns in movie music’s path.fi

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Extra resources for Film Music: A History

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But the other 1907 magazine article cited above, from Harper’s Weekly, gives a different impression. Remarking that the statistician who gave him an attendance figure seems to have “left out the babies,” the reporter notes that he counted an average of ten babes-in-arms at each of the dozen or so nickelodeons he had recently visited. ”19 In the first years of the nickelodeon, the presence of music—for better or worse—was clearly an option left to the discretion of the proprietors. As Rick Altman points out, Nickelodeon music was extremely varied, in location and source as well as type.

Resistant to the monopoly, various theater owners opted to file suit against the MPPC and, more significant, to form production companies of their own. Fierce competition between MPPC members and the independent producers at first resulted only in an increase in the number of new films that were available each week. Eventually, the competition provoked a fundamental change in the nature of the American motion picture. Focused from the start on the nickelodeon, the MPPC companies were concerned with the manufacture and distribution of a huge number of relatively short films.

The most often cited reasons for the allegedly necessary presence of music during showings of even the most primitive commercial films are the acoustical need to mask noise generated by the projector, the psychological need to lend “warmth” to images that might otherwise be interpreted as “disembodied” or “ghostly,” and the theatrical need—stemming from precedents in high-brow opera as well as low-brow melodrama—to embellish action and expressions of emotion with affectively appropriate instrumental accompaniment.

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