Brief history of film music (PowerPoint)

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					Brief history of film music
Greek Melodramas
 • spoken word is accompanied by music
 • Music used to accent the drama
 • No real singing
 • Singing with lyrics
 • Choruses
 • Music highlights the drama or comedy
Wagner operas
 • Extremes of emotion
 • Leitmotifs that follow characters and
 • meant to evoke associations with an
   idea, character, or place
 • Considered it a total work of art, or
   Gesamtkunstwerk, in which drama,
   music, dance, etc. was more than the
   sum of its parts
Music and film
 • December 28, 1895
 • Lumière brothers
 • piano accompaniment
 • Reason: to cover up the sound of a
   noisy projector
 • to alleviate uncomfortable darkness
 • not intended to affect the film‟s emotional
Theme books
 • First attempts to associate on screen action
   with the music
 • themes were categorized by general names such as
   “Nature,” “Nation and Society,” and “Church and
   State,” as well as more specific ones, like
   “Happy,” “Climbing,” “Night: threatening mood,”
   and “Impending doom: „something is going to
 • Motion Picture Moods
 • The Jazz Singer, the first movie with talking
   sequences, ushered in the era of “talkies” in 1927
 • By the 1930s, producers and directors felt that
   there should be some logical reason for music
   appearing in a film.
 • Occasionally ruined the intended effect of the
   music by providing ludicrously comedic situations
   that destroyed the mood of the film.
 • a shepherd might be seen herding his sheep and
   playing his flute, to the accompaniment of a fifty-
   piece orchestra.
Music or no music
 • Film directors had two choices during this period:
   use music constantly in the background, as in the
   continuous operas and silent films, or not at all.
 • Since scoring a film during this period
   necessitated a great amount of music, it was
   unheard of for one person to compose the entire
   score for a movie. Instead, people would
Lots of music
 • film composers began to rely on “a large
   number of habits, formulas, and clichés . . .
   [including] the brass-blasting Main Title
 • But some composers held out for originality
 • Most early film composers of this type were
   brought from Europe
 • The classical music tradition begin this way.

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