An introduction to music research
An introduction to music research

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An introduction to music research

3.5 Music for the moving image

Moving images also play a role in music study. The phrase ‘music for the moving image’ may cover a multitude of areas, including music for television programmes, music videos, websites, video games and film (which itself includes commercial narrative traditions such as those typified by Hollywood in an English-speaking context, documentary film or experimental art film). All these areas constitute a relatively new subdiscipline in mainstream musicology as it is practised in Anglo-American academic institutions.

Even so, critical attention has been focused on film music since its earliest days. Often this took the form of newspaper or journal criticism. Bruno David Ussher, for instance, had regular columns commenting on film music in the Los Angeles Daily News and Hollywood Spectator in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and the musicologist Frederick Sternfeld wrote a number of articles for journals such as the Musical Quarterly during the 1940s.

Further information

If you are interested in this, you can explore some American film music criticism of the 1940s by reading a publication entitled Film Music Notes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (available on the Internet Archive), which was the official publication of the National Film Music Council. The articles often contained manuscript examples of scores reviewed.

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