Musical accompaniment of moving pictures

Rose of the World cue sheet

The latest addition to the Bioscope Library is Edith Lang and George West’s Musical Accompaniment of Moving Pictures (1920). This is a guide for pianists and organists in the silent era, with plenty of musical detail (‘Musical Characterisation’, ‘Transition and Modulation’, ‘Improvisation’) and practical advice (“The player will do well, first of all, to ‘size up’ his audience”), with repertoire suggestions. It is also wide-ranging in the kinds of films it advises on – not only feature films, but animation, slapstick comedies, newsreels, travelogues and even educational films. There is particular discussion, with music cue sheet (illustrated), of the Maurice Tourneur five-reel film Rose of the World (1918). The book gives special attention to the theatrical organ. It’s available from the Internet Archive in PDF (27MB), DjVu (2.6MB) and TXT (139KB) formats.

100 years of the Autochrome

Anyone entranced by the Autochrome photographs in the current BBC4 series The Edwardians in Colour: The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn will want to know about an upcoming exhibition at the National Media Museum in Bradford, celebrating the centenary of the Autochrome. It’s not moving pictures, of course, but the Autochrome – the most beautiful of all colour photography systems (it’s all down to the potato starch they used…) – was invented by Auguste and Louis Lumière, inventors of the Cinématographe, and so it gets honourable mention here. The exhibition is called The Dawn of Colour, and runs 25 May-23 September 2007. More news once it’s started.