The Sounds of Early Cinema

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Richard Abel, Rick Altman
Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 2001 - Performing Arts - 327 pages
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The Sounds of Early Cinema is devoted exclusively to a little-known, yet absolutely crucial phenomenon: the ubiquitous presence of sound in early cinema. "Silent cinema" may rarely have been silent, but the sheer diversity of sound(s) and sound/image relations characterizing the first 20 years of moving picture exhibition can still astonish us. Whether instrumental, vocal, or mechanical, sound ranged from the improvised to the pre-arranged (as in scripts, scores, and cue sheets). The practice of mixing sounds with images differed widely, depending on the venue (the nickelodeon in Chicago versus the summer Chautauqua in rural Iowa, the music hall in London or Paris versus the newest palace cinema in New York City) as well as on the historical moment (a single venue might change radically, and many times, from 1906 to 1910).

Contributors include Richard Abel, Rick Altman, Edouard Arnoldy, Mats Björkin, Stephen Bottomore, Marta Braun, Jean Châteauvert, Ian Christie, Richard Crangle, Helen Day-Mayer, John Fullerton, Jane Gaines, André Gaudreault, Tom Gunning, François Jost, Charlie Keil, Jeff Klenotic, Germain Lacasse, Neil Lerner, Patrick Loughney, David Mayer, Domi-nique Nasta, Bernard Perron, Jacques Polet, Lauren Rabinovitz, Isabelle Raynauld, Herbert Reynolds, Gregory A. Waller, and Rashit M. Yangirov.

  

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Contents

Early Phonograph Culture and Moving Pictures
3
Doing for the Eye What the Phonograph Does for the Ear
13
Remarks on Writing and Technologies of Sound
32
The Lantern Lecture in Britain
39
The Voices of Silence
48
The Decline of CafesConcerts
57
The First TransiSounds of Parallel Editing
79
Sound the Iump Cut and Trickality
87
The Role of Sound
192
Early Sound Practices and Nationalism
198
The Double Silence of the War to End All Wars
205
Domitor Witnesses the First Complete Public Presentation
215
The Special Scores with Notes
241
The Motif of Barbarism in Breils
252
Appendix A Les Voies du silence
271
le declin du cafeconcert
279

On the Trail
121
Debates about Sound Effects
129
That Most American of Attractions the Illustrated Song
143
Talker Pictures
156
The Sound of Meaning in Train
167
The Noises of Spectators or the Spectator as Additive
183
Les transisons du cinema des premiers temps
289
le spectateur comme
295
Iean Chateauvert et Andre Gandreaitlt
303
Appendix F Le double silence de la derniere guerre
309
Contributors
317
Copyright

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Encyclopedia of Early Cinema
Richard Abel
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (2001)

Richard Abel is Ellis and Nell Levitt Professor of English at Drake University, where he teaches cinema/media/cultural studies. His most recent book is The Red Rooster Scare: Making Cinema American, 1900-1910 (California, 1999), which was a finalist for the Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award. Currently he is editing the Routledge Encyclopedia of Early Cinema.

Rick Altman is Professor of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. After publishing Film/Genre (British Film Institute, 1999), which won the SCS Katherine Singer Kovacs award, he edited a special issue of IRIS 27 (Spring 1999) on the "State of Sound Studies." His current projects include a book on the silent cinema soundscape, a DVD devoted to illustrated song slides, and performances by his troupe, The Living Nickelodeon.

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