A Brief History of Film Music

In: Film and Music

Submitted By nishka
Words 3224
Pages 13
Charlie Chaplin composed his own music for City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and Limelight (1952). That was the exception, and few film-makers would imitate him. He wasn't clear at all whose job was to score the soundtracks.

German cabaret pianist Friedrich Hollaender scored Josef von Sternberg's Der Blaue Engel/ The Blue Angel (1930), which included Marlene Dietrich's signature tune Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe Eingestellt/ Falling In Love Again. Von Sternberg kept changing musicians: Karl Hajos scored Morocco (1930) and Franke Harling Shangai Express (1932) and The Scarlet Empress (1934).

In the 1930s, after a few years of experimentation, scoring film soundtracks became an art in earnest thanks to a small group of foreign-born musicians, first and foremost two Austrian-born and classically-trained composers. Erich-Wolfgang Korngold's coined a lush, overwhelming, operatic style with Michael Curtiz's Captain Blood (1935) and especially The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Sea Hawk (1940), as well as Charles Gerhardt's Anthony Adverse (1936) and Sam Wood's Kings Row (1942).

Max Steiner explored many different moods, sensational in Ernest Schoedsack's King Kong (1933), one of the first soundtracks to rely heavily on sound effects, pathetic in Victor Fleming's Gone With The Wind (1939), including Tara and countless references to traditional songs, exotic in Michael Curtiz's Casablanca (1942), melodramatic in Irving Rapper's Now Voyager (1942), gloomy in John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), epic in John Ford's The Searchers (1956), romantic in Delmer Daves' A Summer Place (1959), whose instrumental theme was a massive hit for Percy Faith's orchestra, etc. He also scored Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep (1946), John Huston's Key Largo (1948), Raoul Walsh's White Heat (1949).

Roy Webb (the New Yorker among all these foreigners)…...

Similar Documents

History of Music

...Charlie Chaplin composed his own music for City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and Limelight (1952). That was the exception, and few film-makers would imitate him. He wasn't clear at all whose job was to score the soundtracks. German cabaret pianist Friedrich Hollaender scored Josef von Sternberg's Der Blaue Engel/ The Blue Angel (1930), which included Marlene Dietrich's signature tune Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe Eingestellt/ Falling In Love Again. Von Sternberg kept changing musicians: Karl Hajos scored Morocco (1930) and Franke Harling Shangai Express (1932) and The Scarlet Empress (1934). In the 1930s, after a few years of experimentation, scoring film soundtracks became an art in earnest thanks to a small group of foreign-born musicians, first and foremost two Austrian-born and classically-trained composers. Erich-Wolfgang Korngold's coined a lush, overwhelming, operatic style with Michael Curtiz's Captain Blood (1935) and especially The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Sea Hawk (1940), as well as Charles Gerhardt's Anthony Adverse (1936) and Sam Wood's Kings Row (1942). Max Steiner explored many different moods, sensational in Ernest Schoedsack's King Kong (1933), one of the first soundtracks to rely heavily on sound effects, pathetic in Victor Fleming's Gone With The Wind (1939), including Tara and countless references to traditional songs, exotic in Michael Curtiz's Casablanca (1942), melodramatic in Irving Rapper's Now Voyager (1942),......

Words: 3071 - Pages: 13

American Music Film

...place in Hollywood history. What makes the backstage musical different from the typical musical is that the plot usually revolved around the theater and therefore can lead to natural breaks into song and dance. For example in Easter Parade Fred Astaire says that he can get anyone to become a great dancing partner, therefore Fred and his dancing partner, Judy Garland can break out in dance and the logic would not be questioned. This specific type of musical is very important in the history of American musicals. Like everything else in life, things change and mature and this form of musical is no exception to this. A lot of the movies in this genre started like a straight forward love story with singing and dancing but as time went on the plots for more complicated and mature. They also experimented with different idea and themes as time went on. As time went on the backstage musical changed. While there was a lot of change, one interesting thing that doesn't really change are the people behind these movies. Fred Astaire, Busby Berkeley, Judy Garland, Arthur Freed, and many more seem to have been the go to people for these type of movies. Understandably, they are all unbelievably talented and great at what they do. Also it seemed like MGM was the production company of most of these types of films from that time. These are some of the things that I found haven't changed during the time in which these films prospered. This week we watched two films, A Star is Born and...

Words: 1335 - Pages: 6

History Behind Music

...The fact that the music of films often has powerful effects on its audience is undisputed. Careful examination of the reasons behind these effects, however, has been largely ignored. We tend to compare previously unassociated dramatic pieces we hear to film music - but what piece cannot be compared to film music nowadays? Every pre-composed piece or spontaneous melodic fragment is potential fodder for a cinematic soundtrack. The real questions lie in how and why people have been compelled to combine drama with music throughout history. This essay attempts to clarify some of music's manifold roles in cinema and the reasons behind them by using as an example composer Bernard Herrmann's Citizen Kane soundtrack. In order to address these issues, a brief overview of the history of music in cinema is required. The root of music in film harks back to the Greek melodrams (the precursor in both literal language and event to the melodramas of today), a cross between a play and fledgling opera in which spoken word is accompanied by music.[1] As time passed, melodrams developed into opera, giving rise to types of performances known as number opera (those composed of a collection of closed pieces) and continuous opera (those including nonstop music), divisions that film soundtracks would later echo. Wagner's full-fledged support of program music at this time, as opposed to the absolute music that had previously reigned supreme, resulted in his novel invention of leitmotifs (first used...

Words: 2748 - Pages: 11

Film Music

...Hundreds of CDs, a few dozen LPs and a couple of books on film music. Can this prepare me for a 4000 word essay on the development of film music in American cinema? You bet it can. The topic of the essay for the unit of study American Film and Hollywood in my US Studies course will be about the development of film music over the last century, but in particular how it just isn’t as good as it used to be, and there are people to blame for this, which I’ll get to further below. When you’re passionate about film music and you’ve been listening to the works of composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner, John Barry, and many others from the so-called Silver Age of American cinema, you develop a certain taste and an in-built aural detector forms in your brain, connected to your ears, that makes you automatically know what separates a good film score from a bad one. Hell, even some bad film scores can have a sense of fun about them, even if they draw attention to themselves because film score aficionados are tuned into their siren-like abilities that lure us in to take notice and enjoy it for what it is. It may have a certain charm about it that makes it unique. Then you take a look back at the Golden Age film scores of Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, Roy Webb, Alex North, Dimitri Tiomkin, and you realize that these guys were true musical artists working with an antagonistic studio system, but they delivered so many......

Words: 777 - Pages: 4

History of Music Videos

...HISTORY OF MUSIC VIDEOS. PART 1: BRIEF HISTORY OF MUSIC VIDEOS. In 1894, sheet music publishers used a ‘magic lantern’ to project a series of still images on to screen simultaneously to live performance. This was later known as the ‘illustrated song’. This was the first step towards producing music videos. In 1926, many musical short films were produced with the use of ‘talkies’. They were usually six minutes long. Some short cartoons were also made by animation artist Max Fleischer. In 1930’s, popular artists songs were performed during cartoons. The early animated movies by Walt Disney like Silly Symphonies were built around music. Promotional clips were films popular in the 1940’s. They were usually short and normally accompanied by musical selections which were usually just a band on a movie set. Musical films were an important initial step to music videos. Many popular music videos have copied the style of Hollywood musicals from 1930’s to the 1950’s. In the late 1950's, the Scopitone, a visual jukebox was invented in France and was used by French artistes to produce films to accompany their songs. In 1964, The Beatles starred in their first feature film. They then went on to do another feature film filmed in color in London. The title track of this film was in black-and-white and is one of the prime models of the modern performance-style music video. In 1965, The Beatles started making promotional clips for distribution and broadcasts in other countries so......

Words: 2488 - Pages: 10

Film and Music

...FILM AND MUSIC So what is music? Well in a sense every sound produced from clapping two hands to slapping a person is music; The more recognized pundits define it as an arrangement of sounds in a pleasing sequence or combination to be sung; or played on instruments. Well who cares about music in a prolonged sense- music are something universal, something unique, and something which is soothing to our heart, our senses, which makes our nerves calm down- the effect is simply astonishing. Its like a web you have been caught in, a web of music, a web in which where ever you go you find music, music to touch your heart, to take you, in a sense, under its control. And why not- music tames the wildest beasts- even the critics have no answer to that Music is of many types- rock, jazz, classical raga, pop, flat, country, chamber, folk- yes folk is there too. Every community has some sort of traditional music to suit their rhythm. Then there is classical music that portrays the life's culture and tradition, rock music that tends to shake you up, and several other types of music that are all a pure bliss to the soul. Music has very deep roots in the history of humankind. It is as ancient as verbal language. Man produced various sounds- frightening of course- to scare off the savage beasts of the wild. He soon enough learnt that striking of stones produces sound, the gush of the falling water gives sound, animals and birds produce sound and even lightning with rainstorm produces......

Words: 268 - Pages: 2

Music and Film

...all day, I didn't really have time to post something. Well I would if I wasn't watching Schindler's List again, but when the mood strikes, one should watch that film. So here is an essay that I wrote a couple of months ago for school, which is all about film piracy and why I'm against it. The essay managed to get an extremely high excellence. See how different my writing is when I'm at school compared to when I'm blogging (if I seem to be over-exaggerating a lot this is because I'm just trying to get my point across, as I am supposed to be writing this essay for a 'school magazine'): In 1927, the first sound movie, called The Jazz Singer, was made. After years of silence on film, finally someone had successfully combined talking and music with what was happening on screen. This was the first of many cinematic milestones achieved through advancing technology. Since then there have been several introductions: Technicolour, Cinemascope, 3D, and even a brief trial with Aromascope...all of these opportunities used to try make cinema-going a more involving experience. However, advancing technology has also had a negative effect on the film industry. Since videos have become a form of watching a movie, film piracy has slowly become a huge problem, but even more so since the internet has become more powerful. Internet film piracy has become a global epidemic. As internet usage has expanded and there is now a lot more space to download and share files, pirates have been using this......

Words: 655 - Pages: 3

History of Music

...History of Music History of Music Music has been around sense the dawn of time. When man first started to discover music it was not the kind of music we have today. All it consisted of was grunts, moans, and banging things. Music has evolved just as much as the people that created it. From Chromagnum men to musician and from grunting too classical music, rock, and rap. The first people imitated music from nature. They mimicked the sound from their every day life. It had no rhythm, beat, or tune it was just noise, but later turned into what we now call music. Ancient people used music for much more than entertainment they used it in every day life. They would yell and scream during battle, blow a horn as a warning, have ceremonies to honor the dead or bring the rain, signal danger, to show your importance in society, it was also used as a healing power. On the front lines of battle would be a soldier that would be holding a drum or a flute. When this was a common act the instruments would be spread around to different cultures after a battle. This brought on a new way of looking at music. Around the 16th century people started to collect instead of play music. A persons hands and feet were the first of all the instruments and is still the most common, because every one has them. A persons hands and feet were readily available, and easy to use. The drum is the second most common percussion instrument. Like most of the other instruments the drum was found by......

Words: 419 - Pages: 2

Film and Music

...property is harmed. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies. International law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to military action. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public by public servants, a government's bureaucracy, military, and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil societyinform and support their progress[citation needed]. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice. There is an old saying that 'all are equal before the law.'. The author Anatole Francesaid in 1894, "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."[5]Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual."[6] Mikhail Bakunin said: "All law has for its object to confirm and exalt into a system the exploitation of the workers by a ruling class".[7] Cicero said "more law, less justice".[8]Marxist doctrine asserts that law will not be required once the state...

Words: 4167 - Pages: 17

A Brief History of Music in Film

...A Brief History of Music in Film Going to the movies is one of America’s top favorite pass times; and no movie-going experience would be complete without the accompanying sound tracks. The music in movies often heightens the suspense and deepens the drama. The right background music can make us fall in love with a character, be terrified of the villain, or even adore an unlikely hero. Starting with Silent films and continuing until today, music has been an important part in the movie industry. In the beginning, movies had no sound and eventually the studios figured out they needed something for their movies to be more entertaining. Very quickly they figured out music would supplement and go along well with the action on the screen. Music has always been able to affect people emotionally, so it made a perfect accompaniment for movies. In the early theaters, pianos quickly became a well-recognized fixture. Organs quickly followed and music became a permanent part of the movie-going experience. At first, it was up to musicians to choose what music they would play during the films; but the music still didn’t have a true designated purpose, other than used as filler. Eventually the studios began producing music for the musicians that was more suitable for the film. The music became more and more specialized based on what the studio wanted, until music was specifically written for each film. In fact, Charlie Chaplin composed his own music for some of his......

Words: 3299 - Pages: 14

Film History

...1. What do you think were some of the major changes that came to the film industry in the 1950s and 1960s? What forced these changes? During the 1950’s and 60’s there were so many changes that occurred which transformed the film industry forever. After World War II, soldiers came home and began to have families. People began moving to the suburbs, away from urban centers. The baby boomers began to be born and a whole new generation was formed. Studio control of when and where movies were viewed began to slip away from the moguls. The whole American movie audience after the war had changed. People liked to see a more common man, and they also began to like darker films. Television was also at first a major issue that the moguls were battling. They thought that no one would want to sit at home and watch such a tiny screen. However, they were proved wrong. The movies had also always been driven by the stars, and now it seemed independence was becoming popular. Censorship began to become lenient and many more movies with sex began to sell. Hollywood was completely changing as the founding generation was beginning to fade away. 2. The Hollywood studio system worked tireless to support the American war effort during World War II. Exactly what did they do? During World War II moguls and movies stars worked hard to support the American war effort. They could be seen waving the American flag on movie screens and raising money. Many stars even decided to......

Words: 796 - Pages: 4

Music and Film

...1) Describe the three basic types of music heard in original scores during the silent film era and cites specific examples from The Birth of a Nation. (10 points) The three basic types of music heard in original scores during the silent film era are adaption, arrangement, and original music. Adaption follows the strategy of borrowing pieces of existing music. The pieces do maintain majority of their original structure, but may be tweaked to the fit the film better. “Symphony No. 6”, by Ludwig Van Beethoven, is a great illustration of this in Birth of a Nation. The second type of music, arrangement, also follows the strategy of borrowed pieces, however it only uses the melody of the track. The melody is then altered with new accompaniments and arrangements. The Birth of a Nation shows this idea through “Maryland, My Maryland”, which utilizes the same melody as “O Christmas Tree”. Finally, original music was used, consisting of pieces written specifically for the film. Carl Breil, the score composer for Birth of a Nation, demonstrates this type of music through many leitmotifs paired with certain characters throughout the movie. For example, Elsie’s joyous and naïve tune. With adaptation you borrow substantial portions of existing music, usually classical, for use in film score. The music should remain largely in tack, although it can be altered or adapted to fit the film. Some examples of adaption can be heard in The Birth of a Nation, one is the use symphony No.6......

Words: 517 - Pages: 3

Music and Film

...Silent Film Era Chapters 6 - 8 Silent Film Era 1895-1927 ! Principal Questions ! ! ! ! Where were films shown? Who played the music? What music did they play? Who created the music? ! Some major silent films Theaters ! Films were first viewed as part of other shows, often vaudeville shows ! Nickelodeons began to appear in 1905 ! By 1908, over 5,000 established in US ! After 1913, building of Movie Palaces ! Roxy theater, built in 1927, seats 6,214! The Music ! Who chose the music? ! Generally the theater music director ! Original scores rare until the 1920s ! What type of music was played? ! Adaptations of Classics ! Arrangements of tunes ! Newly composed Who Played the Music? ! Nickelodeon - pianist ! Organs became dominant instrument: Wurlitzer ! Gradual growth ! Small number (chamber group) ! Small orchestra (13 or 14) ! Full orchestra (50 - 100) The Birth of a Nation ! Director: D.W. Griffith ! Composer: Joseph Carl Breil ! First masterpiece in film ! ! ! ! Noted for length Exploration of cinematography techniques Brilliant use of film to further the plot Film score created specifically for this film ! Flaw: racist The Big Parade Music for Birth of a Nation » One of the best American silent films » The biggest box-office hit of the 1920s » Much is playful and romantic, increasing the horror of realistic battle scenes ! Uses all three types ! Adaptations ! Arrangements ! New ! Best......

Words: 371 - Pages: 2

A Brief History

...A Brief History of "Outlaw" Motorcycle Clubs     Little scholarly research exists which addresses outlaw motorcycle clubs. These works attempt to explore warring factions of outlaw clubs, provide club members’ perspectives about media portrayal, expose myths, and elucidate motorcycle club culture.*1 The literature reveals gaps which leave many unanswered questions: Where do outlaw motorcycle clubs come from? How did they start? How or why did they evolve into alleged international crime organizations? The few histories of outlaw motorcycle organizations date the origins of such clubs to around 1947 and tend to oversimplify the issues of why these clubs formed and who actually joined them. Histories such as these are built on foundations of weak evidence, rendering inconsequential the origins of the subculture and relegating members of early organizations to the marginal status of “malcontents on the edge of society, and other antisocial types who just wanted to raise hell” (Valentine 147). This article extends current research by reaching back nearly half a century before 1947 to link the dawn of motorcycle organizations with the present reality of outlaw motorcycle clubs. The overarching goal of the article is to offer a more comprehensive history, an evolutionary history that may allow for a better understanding of contemporary motorcycle subculture. What follows is a taxonomy of social and historical factors affecting group formation of motorcycle clubs according to......

Words: 8033 - Pages: 33

Film History

...Beginning and Evolution of film industry in sub-continent Introduction:- Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. The origin of the name comes from the fact that photographic film has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies. Films are produced by recording actual people and objects with cameras, or by creating them using animation techniques and/or special effects. They comprise a series of individual frames, but when these images are shown rapidly in succession, the illusion of motion is given to the viewer. Flickering between frames is not seen due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Film-A true art-form:- Film is considered by many to be an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Any film can become a worldwide attraction, especially with the addition of dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which......

Words: 8337 - Pages: 34