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edison state park Film Score Music


To say that music plays a large role in our society would not do
justice to one of the most important and popular art forms of yesterday and
today.  We underestimate the effectiveness and power that music, in any form ,
can have over even the most insensitive of people.  In almost everything we do
and see music is involved in some form or another.  Be it a piece played at a
wedding, a song played on the radio or even the music played in the background
in a television commercial.  The music is always there, reminding us of past
experiences, making us smile and feel exhilaration and sometimes even making us
cry.  It is this power that music has over us that film score composers take
advantage of when they are writing the music to accompany the movies.  As
listeners we often do not appreciate that the music that is scored for films or
played in films is put there on purpose to create a certain feeling, emphasize a
point, give more life to a character or sometimes to simply add humour.  What
the average moviegoer does not usually realize is that a great deal of time and
thought goes into writing the score for a film and choosing the background music
for a scene.  None of the music is arbitrary; themes and sub themes have been
created with specific ideas in mind and have been put in place only to add to
the story and the characters.  It is also important to acknowledge that the
evolution into the type of film scoring that we are accustomed to today was not
a quick or easy transition.  It has taken almost a century to develop the
specific techniques that are used in todays films.  When the first moving
pictures were seen they were known as silent films, although they were not
actually silent.  They contained a very primitive type of musical accompaniment
that laid the foundation for what was to later develop.  As time passed the type
of music found in films developed into a fine art containing  specific
guidelines and techniques that most composers tend to follow.  The average
person does not usually pay astute attention to the music that is being used in
a film, however, if it were to not be there the films would seem empty and as if
something was missing.  The actors, the writing and the direction is what is
primarily noticed in a film but the music is the inconspicuous supporter of all
of these elements.  To create a film that will be effective it is essential that
the film have a thoughtful score, and, as the audience, it is our duty to
acknowledge the music in order to fully understand all that is being displayed
to us in the film.
To realize fully the foundation of what we now recognize as an
effective film score it is important to examine the music behind a silent film.
No film was actually ever completely silent.  There may not have been a
soundtrack that we are accustomed to, however, the music was always essential to
a movie, no matter how primitive it may be.  In the earliest days of film the
music was played on a phonograph.  This was around the time of Edison.  The
phonograph was an invention that did not last long in the world of film.  The
next step was the use of a vitaphone, which also did not play a lasting role in
the movie industry.  The next step was not the use of a recorded soundtrack but
rather it was the use of live musicians.  The live music came about as the
movies were becoming a little more common.  The films began to be played
commercially in Vaudeville houses, cafes, and music halls where musicians were
already hired to play in the musical concerts that evening.  Because the
musicians were already there they were asked if they would play along with the
film.  In the Vaudeville houses there was no specific place for them to sit so
they sat seated at the front , in front of the screen.  Even after theatres were
built to show the moving pictures a space was created at the front where the
musicians were to sit.  Because the musicians were inexperienced with
accompanying films they played what they liked or what they knew.  This made it
uncommon that the music actually fit with the action on the screen.  The
musicians paid little attention to the film and ... more

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: Phonograph, also known as record player, electromechanical instrument for reproducing sound from a record. A record is a vinyl disk that has a spiral groove with tiny bumps on the walls of the groove; the bumps encode a musical or other type of recording. The phonograph has four principal components: the turntable, the tonearm, the stylus, and the amplifier, although an amplifier is not always incorporated into the instrument.
The turntable is a flat, circular platform upon which the record is placed. An electric motor rotates the turntable at constant speed, usually 332, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute (rpm). The tonearm is a rod with a jewel-tipped stylus, or needle, at its free end. The tonearm either pivots to keep the stylus in the record groove, or is suspended by a mechanism that enables it to stay oriented in the same direction while it moves across the record. When the stylus moves along the undulating groove of the revolving disk, it vibrates, and the vibrations are converted into equivalent electrical impulses by the cartridge in the tonearm. These impulses are conducted by wire leads to an electronic amplifier and then to one or more loudspeakers.
The first practical phonograph was built by the American inventor Thomas Edison in 1877. Edison recorded sound on a cylinder, which was then rotated against a needle. The needle moved up and down in the grooves of the cylinder, producing vibrations that were amplified by a conical horn. Because of the vertical movement of the needle, this recording method was called the "hill-and-dale" process.
Edison had intended the phonograph to be used primarily as a dictating machine in offices. However, with the invention of the flat-disk phonograph, or gramophone, by the German-born American inventor Emile Berliner in 1887, the phonograph began to develop as an artistic medium for recording the great singers and musical instrumentalists of the time. The gramophone played records at 78 rpm, and the needle moved laterally (from side to side) in a groove of even depth. Like the cylinder phonographs, it reproduced sound with a needle whose mechanical vibrations were amplified by using a cone-shaped horn. Most such phonographs, moreover, were driven by spring motors and required rewinding. The records were made of shellac and broke easily.
Despite such limitations, the phonograph became increasingly popular in the United States, largely as a result of the production of a huge collection of recorded musical pieces by American and European record companies. The companies employed the greatest singers of Europe and the United States, such as the Italian dramatic tenor Enrich Caruso.
A wide variety of phonographs were also produced in Europe. In France, a gramophone was developed in which the needle traveled across the record from the center to the rim, reversing the usual process, and in which the record revolved at 90 rpm; this machine produced sound of very high quality for the period. Swiss music-box manufacturers specialized in the production of small portable phonographs.
The immense success of the phonograph led to demands for improved sound. About 1920, the old mechanical process began to be replaced by electrical recording and reproduction, in which the vibrations of the phonograph needle were amplified by electromagnetic devices instead of a horn. The 78-rpm records continued to be used, however, until the invention of the first fully practical long-playing record about 1948.
Mechanical Recording
The operation of a sound-recording system may, however, be most easily understood by considering the process of recording sound by the now obsolete mechanical method. In this method, sound waves are used directly or indirectly to actuate a stylus or cutter that engraves on a disk or cylinder a wavy-line pattern corresponding to the pattern of sound waves. This process, with minor modifications, was used for many years in the production of phonograph records. In the direct method of mechanical recording, sound waves strike a very light diaphragm of metal or other substance and set it into motion. Attached to the diaphragm is a needle or cutting point that vibrates with the diaphragm. Under the point is a disk or cylinder of wax, metallic foil, shellac, or other suitable substance that is moved past the needle so that the needle ... more

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  • D: Film Score Music D: Film Score Music Film Score Music To say that music plays a large role in our society would not do justice to one of the most important and popular art forms of yesterday and today. We underestimate the effectiveness and power that music, in any form , can have over even the most insensitive of people. In almost everything we do and see music is involved in some form or another. Be it a piece played at a wedding, a song played on the radio or even the music played in the background in a television commercial. Th...
  • I: : Phonograph, also known as record player, electromechanical instrument for reproducing sound from a record I: : Phonograph, also known as record player, electromechanical instrument for reproducing sound from a record : Phonograph, also known as record player, electromechanical instrument for reproducing sound from a record. A record is a vinyl disk that has a spiral groove with tiny bumps on the walls of the groove; the bumps encode a musical or other type of recording. The phonograph has four principal components: the turntable, the tonearm, the stylus, and the amplifier, although an amplifier is not always incorporated into the instrument. The turntable is a flat, circular platform upon which the record is...
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