Segments in this Video

Music & Film (03:43)


Today, filmmakers understand the power of music. The talkies and musical scores change the world of cinema; see examples from the 1920s to today.

Cinema/Music Relationship (03:38)

In early films, music accompaniment is a practical and artistic choice; pianists become the established norm. Musicians have little guidance on what to perform. Ernö Rapée writes "Motion Picture Moods" and music begins to illustrate on-screen images.

"The Birth of a Nation" (03:56)

D.W. Griffith directs the first full-length motion picture in 1915 and commissions a musical score from Joseph Carl Breil. The leitmotif is the key component to film music; music directs feelings.

Expressionism (06:01)

In Germany, filmmakers and composers explore music and film, creating a surreal approach; "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a key film of the period. Hans Erdmann further develops the use of original film music.

Illustrating Images Through Music (03:44)

William Axt's scores emphasize certain on-screen elements. Filmmakers begin recognizing the power of music; Charlie Chaplin oversees the scores for his films.

"Battleship Potemkin" (02:51)

Edmund Meisel creates the soundtrack for Sergei Eisenstein's film, improving its reception in the Soviet Union.

"Metropolis" (03:37)

Fritz Lang's 1927 film marks a milestone in cinema and music. Gottfried Huppertz creates a film score that unites sound and vision.

"The Jazz Singer" (03:30)

Technological advancements in America allow films to have synchronized dialogue. The 1927 film ushers in a new era of cinema, musicals.

"October: Ten Days That Shook the World" (03:12)

Although musicals become popular in America, silent films remain prominent in the Soviet Union. Dmitri Shostakovich creates the music for Eisenstein's 1928 film about the Russian Revolution.

"The New Babylon" (04:59)

Shostakovich composes the score for the 1929 film, matching sections with the pace of the crosscuts. In 1930, Friedrich Hollaender creates the score for "Blue Angel." Charlie Chaplin begins composing music for his own films.

Classical Scoring Technique (06:21)

Filmmakers change production methods to incorporate synchronized sound. Studios implement in-house composing; Max Steiner becomes the first true film composer. Within 30 years, music becomes a crucial cinematic element.

Credits: Episode 1: The Birth of the Film Score (00:43)

Credits: Episode 1: The Birth of the Film Score

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Episode 1: The Birth of the Film Score

Part of the Series : Great Film Composers: Music of the Movies
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The birth of the music soundtrack drew influences from across the world including expressionist Germany, Post-revolution Russia, and America where cinema was heading towards the 1930s and the arrival of sound. The early period featured musical scores played live from Charlie Chaplin, Joseph Carl Briel, Gottfried Huppertz, Hans Erdman, and Dimitri Shostakovich whose work included Nosferatu, Birth of A Nation, Metropolis and City Lights. The first fully composed synchronized film would be King Kong in 1933.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL204702

ISBN: 978-1-64867-780-9

Copyright date: ©2020

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