Reading Assignment for Week 3

This week we have the unique opportunity to read two different film music histories describing the same major shift in the late 1920s and early 1930s. I would like for us to use this shift as an opportunity to analyze film music historiography by reading the chapter from James Wierzbicki’s Film Music: A History called “Vitaphone and Movietone.”

To help you read strategically, I suggest that you focus on the major differences between Cooke and Wierzbicki’s narratives with the following questions in mind:

  • What are the authors’ assumptions about film music history?
  • How do their agendas differ? How does that affect their respective narratives of film history?
  • What elements of film music history receive less space in each narrative? Why do you think that is?

I’m looking forward to your comments on this and Modern Times on Wednesday!


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