SoSe 20: American Film Music from the Silent Movies to the Sound Film
ONLINE COURSE - Up until the 1950s, film music had been entirely symphonic. In the 1950s, however, Jazz opened the industry up to a vast and new world of possibilities. Although it had been used for ... Lesen Sie weiter
ONLINE COURSE - Up until the 1950s, film music had been entirely symphonic. In the 1950s, however, Jazz opened the industry up to a vast and new world of possibilities. Although it had been used for musicals and animated films, it had never been used in mainstream genre films of the 1930s and 1940s. The use of Jazz not only "contemporized" the sounds and theme of movies, but fewer musicians were needed, thus making orchestration less expensive.
The use of jazz and other experiments continued into the 1960s. It was in this decade that acceptance of new music led to the
scoring of Blackboard Jungle (1955), the first movie to use a rock ‘n roll soundtrack.
From the 1970s on, Hollywood again used large symphony orchestras and the leitmotif technique. Significant contributions were made through the RCA Soundtrack Records by Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra, who contributed to the rediscovery of classical Hollywood compositions of the 1930s and 1940s. This discovery prompted young directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, to reflect on this form of musical accompaniment of the action. As important milestones for the return of classical symphonic film music are John Williams' music for Jaws and Star Wars movies from 1977. The music should function as an anchor for the pretentious and convoluted film action function.
The first widespread use of synthesized sounds in films occurred in the 1980s, and film scoring once again underwent a significant revolution. For the first time, it became theoretically possible to score an entire movie with only one performer – using the synthesizer to produce the sounds of many instrumentalists. This advent (echoed in the general music world) caused popular songs (specifically contemporary rock music) to become the basis for entire scores.
Today, with the daily development of new technology and the general knowledge gained from a century of experiences, film composers have the ability to create the perfect score – accenting the movie’s plot and characters in such a way that it enhances the film and turns it into an experience.
In 1977, "Star Wars" brought us not only a new genre of science fiction film but a new sound format that would impact motion pictures like no other. Dolby created a way to deliver four-channel soundtracks optically on the film, addressing both cost and wear issues. Through their experience with noise reduction technology, Dolby was able to put two optical channels on the film in the space previously occupied by the Academy Optical Mono track. They then 'folded' a center and surround channel into the left and right optical tracks. When 'decoded' in the theater, the system yielded three screen channels and one surround. The thrill of multiple screen channels and surround sound was now within reach of the masses. By the mid- 80s, virtually every commercial release featured four-channel Dolby Stereo sound. Even today's digital soundtrack releases keep the Dolby Stereo soundtrack as a backup to the digital track and to maintain compatibility with older cinemas.