A brief overview of the history of music

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a Breif overview of the history of music in film

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  • 1. A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OFMUSIC IN CINEMA

2. ROOTS The root of music in film harks back to the Greek melodrams across between a play and fledgling opera in which spoken word isaccompanied by music Melodrams then developed into operas, then number operas (thosecomposed of a collection of closed pieces) , continuous operas (thoseincluding nonstop music), This resulted in the invention of leitmotifs or themes recurring throughouta work that were meant to evoke associations with an idea, character, orplace ( Wagner) Wagner pioneered the idea of pairing all of the arts together in an opera- for example, music (the score), poetry (libretto), and painting (scenery)- without giving precedence to any of them. Named it Gesamtkunstwerk, it was a revolutionary idea, but didntgain popularity 3. PROGRESSION (SILENT MOVIES) First known pairing of music in film was December 28, 1895 when aParisian family (the Lumieres) gave a screening with pianoaccompaniment to test public reaction to their films The idea caught on quickly, and less than two months later entireorchestras were accompanying films in London theaters Music at the time was surely not intended to affect the films emotionalimport, the compositions played ranged from light popular music totraditional classical, with no relation to the subject of the film whatsoeverThe exact reasoning behind using music in conjunction with the silentfilm is the subject of much speculation. Popular opinion among musictheorists holds that its purpose was manifold: to cover up the sound of anoisy projector, and later, when technology quieted the latter, toalleviate uncomfortable silence. 4. THE FIRST FUNDAMENTAL STEP Directors began to realize that unrelated music detractedfrom the movies in which they were used Music handbooks, compendiums of musical themes meantto suit a particular action, style, scene, or mood, drawing onWagners leitmotif principle. These themes were categorized by general names such as"Nature," "Nation and Society," and "Church and State," aswell as more specific ones, like "Happy," "Climbing," "Night:threatening mood," and "Impending doom: something isgoing to happen. This developed further when sound in film was created. Filmscoring as we know it today