Archival research and the study of the concert presentations of film music

Audissino, Emilio (2015) Archival research and the study of the concert presentations of film music. In: Audio-Visual Archives Conference, 17-19 July 2015, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Film music has increasingly entered into the concert programmes in the last twenty years, to become now standard repertoire not only of the so-called 'Pops Concerts' but also of the more classical-oriented ones. Yet, the presentation of the film-music repertoire in concert programmes is a corner of the film-music field that has received little scholarly attention – if none at all. Archival research, particularly using audiovisual archives, is the key to reconstruct how film music has been gradually introduced into concert programmes and in what forms.

As an example, I propose to describe the methodology and findings of the research that I conducted in Boston, U.S.A., in 2010 and 2011, the aim of which was to demonstrate John Williams' seminal contribution to the legitimisation of film music as a viable concert repertoire. The research was conducted at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives – where I compared the concert programmes of the Williams era with the ones from the previous Arthur Fiedler era – and at the WGBH Media Archives – where I watched all the Williams episodes of the TV show Evening at Pops (1969-2004). The archival research was more rewarding that expected, the findings demonstrating my thesis very convincingly. In particular, the videos I watched at WGBH, combined with the study of the programmes at the BSO Archives, were the basis of my classification of the forms and formats in which film music is typically adapted for concert performance. The video materials were also cardinal in showing that Williams has also had a central role in developing the multimedia concert presentations – i.e. an orchestra playing live to projected film clips – in its two formats (‘multimedia concert piece’ and ‘multimedia film piece’).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Music
Depositing User: Emilio Audissino
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:19

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