The Noisy Silent Cinema

Can’t wait for this talk on Wednesday!

will / write and talk

Silent cinema was never actually silent. You’ll probably know from your parents or grandparents that a large organ might rise up in front of the screen of the local cinema, not in a rude way, and entertain the audience between shows. This is a throwback to when movie houses used to employ thousands of musicians across the world, playing along to the flickers with stock tunes, jazzy improvisations and sound effects to accentuate the mood or action. These musicians would find themselves suddenly unemployed with the establishment of films with synchronised sound between 1927 and 1930. The comedian Harold Lloyd recalls in his youth around 1910 going to watch a movie that had live actors literally improvising the dialogue from behind the screen, but efforts to bring sound to the moving picture go back even further than that. To the very birth of cinema.

As part of my research into…

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