Music and the Moving Image

Rogers, Holly. 2022. Music and the Moving Image. In: Tom Perchard; Stephen Graham; Tim Rutherford-Johnson and Holly Rogers, eds. Twentieth Century Music in the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 295-318. ISBN 9781108481984 [Book Section]

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This is the first introductory survey of western twentieth-century music to address popular music, art music and jazz on equal terms. It treats those forms as inextricably intertwined, and sets them in a wide variety of social and critical contexts. The book comprises four sections – Histories, Techniques and Technologies, Mediation, Identities – with 16 thematic chapters. Each of these explores a musical or cultural topic as it developed over many years, and as it appeared across a diversity of musical practices. In this way, the text introduces both key musical repertoire and critical-musicological approaches to that work. It historicises music and musical thinking, opening up debate in the present rather than offering a new but closed narrative of the past. In each chapter, an overview of the topic's chronology and main issues is illustrated by two detailed case studies.

The first public screening of projected moving images by the Lumière Brothers in Paris in 1895 marked the beginning of an artistic revolution. Almost immediately, music became an integral part of the film industry, first being performed live to silent film screenings before becoming fully integrated into the cinematic apparatus on the advent of sound film. While the placement of music against the moving image for commercial film built on centuries of dramatic practice, it also developed forms of audiovisual communication unique to the twentieth century. In fact, we can say that moving-image art is a form exclusive to modern life. As the decades passed, many of the audiovisual conventions established in early film practice began to be appropriated by other moving-image genres, from television (1950s) and music video (1980s) to the interactive forms of video art (1960s), gaming (1970s) and online culture (1990s). These new audiovisual textures were also used by composers and artists to refresh the processes of music composition, while screen media quickly became an integral part of live music performance, from opera to stadium rock.

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1 January 2022Accepted
1 September 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2022 16:35

Last Modified:

02 May 2024 11:23


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