Film Music: A History explains the development of film music by considering large-scale aesthetic trends and structural developments alongside socioeconomic, technological, cultural, and philosophical circumstances.
The book’s four large parts are given over to Music and the "Silent" Film (1894–1927), Music and the Early Sound Film (1895–1933), Music in the "Classical-Style" Hollywood Film (1933–1960), and Film Music in the Post-Classic Period (1958–2008). Whereas most treatments of the subject are simply chronicles of "great film scores" and their composers, this book offers a genuine history of film music in terms of societal changes and technological and economic developments within the film industry. Instead of celebrating film-music masterpieces, it deals—logically and thoroughly—with the complex ‘machine’ whose smooth running allowed those occasional masterpieces to happen and whose periodic adjustments prompted the large-scale twists and turns in film music’s path.
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