Notes and Editorial Reviews
Music has helped to create the right atmosphere for many theatrical productions since time immemorial, and during the last century another art form - namely filmed entertainment - has continued this well established custom. Long before the movie pioneers learned how to link pictures on screen with recorded sound, numerous musicians were employed to provide an accompaniment to the flickering images, helping to lull the audience into the right frame of mind, although it has been suggested that another motive was to smother the sound made by the noisy film projectors. Whatever the true reasons, by the time films started talking towards the end of the 1920s a musical accompaniment was deemed essential by producers and audiences alike. This created a wonderful opportunity for composers to exploit the new medium and the result was a truly astonishing outpouring of melodies of all kinds, from composers and lyricists of varying talents. Alongside the shows and musicals were the purely dramatic films which required a different kind of music to establish just the right background, and a number of leading 'serious' composers, normally active in classical fields, found themselves being offered prestigious commissions. In this collection we salute the backroom boys whose music has meant so much, whether memorable songs from fondly recalled shows and films, or distinctive orchestral scores especially for the cinema.