The Sounds of the Silents in Britain explores the sonic dimension of film exhibition in Britain from the emergence of cinema to the introduction of synchronized sound. Written by experts on British silent film and film music, the chapters provide an introduction to diverse aspects of early film sound: vocal performance, from lecturing and reciting to voicing the drama; music, from developments in accompanying techniques to the impact of legislation on musical practice overall; and performance in cinemas more generally, from dancing and singalong films to live stage prologues. The book also debunks some of the myths about the sonic dimension of film exhibition: it reveals that exhibition practices in London were arguably more sophisticated than those in New York before the onset of World War I, for instance, and that venue licensing decisions had a profound effect on whether music could even be performed with film in some theatres. Based on extensive archival research and musicological analysis, The Sounds of the Silents in Britain represents an important addition to early film and film music scholarship.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 11 / 2012