Film Music: A History

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415991994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415991995
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Customer Reviews


1 helpful vote
 on May 29, 2017
By Christina B. Conroy
A marvelous history.

Clear and Logical

1 helpful vote
 on February 13, 2013
By Craig Morgan
This substantial piece of literature is the missing link on this subject. James Wierzbicki has a very clear style of writing, deeply engaging and compelling. This book is essential for every serious inquisitor on the subject of film music.

The perfect gift

3 helpful votes
 on February 3, 2012
By K. French
We know nothing about music or music history but we bought this as a gift for our nephew who is studying to be a symphonic composer, specifically for film. He said it was exactly the book he was searching for. We will take his word on that and you should too because he is a creative genius!

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