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By Juslin P.N.

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Extra resources for Five myths about expressivity in music performance

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With few exceptions, they do not represent “film music” as the term is commonly understood today. Before music could become what one textbook author has aptly called “the soul of cinema,”57 there first had to be—in the industrial, institutional sense—a cinema. A mature American cinema would develop by the time of World War I, but first the medium had to evolve through a chaotic period dominated by the so-called nickelodeon. 28 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7111 3 THE NICKELODEON, 1905–15 Most of the shows have musical accompaniments.

10 A description of the typical “spectatorium” of 1907 as being “one story high, twenty-five feet wide and about seventy feet deep”11 is probably not inaccurate. In the United States, the rise of the nickelodeon had enormous societal impact. 2 Edison’s greatest marvel—The Vitascope. Courtesy of Library of Congress. 31 MUSIC AND THE “SILENT” FILM (1894–1927) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 3011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4011 1 2 3 4 5 6 711 clothiers, a pawnshop or cigar store,”13 or in some plusher and arguably more dignified space, their eponymous cost of admission contrasted strikingly with the price of tickets for “live” entertainments.

The vast majority of films produced during cinema’s first years were of the documentary sort. Of the 1,424 titles produced by the Lumière brothers between 1895 and 1907, barely a hundred feature actions that in one way or another were staged for the sake of the camera. Because of the limited lengths of the film reels or loops, the durations of early motion pictures were necessarily brief; the pioneering filmmakers could offer audiences little more than glimpses, and thus they concentrated on subjects that by virtue of their imagery alone were somehow spectacular.

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