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Hello and welcome to Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast!  This podcast is for anyone who loves classical music, or is just getting ready to dive in for the very first time.  Thanks so much, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Dec 1, 2022

Film music began as a solution to a problem. Early film projectors were really loud, therefore something was needed to cover up all the noise.  In addition, silent movies apparently seemed a bit awkward without any musical accompaniment.   Enter, usually, a pianist, who would improvise musical accompaniments to the events on the screen. None other than Dmitri Shostakovich got his first job as a cinema pianist, honing his improvisatory skills, and sometimes receiving cat calls and boos for his fantasy filled musings that tended to stray away from the action on the screen. Music in the silent film era had to help the audience in pointing out important moments to the audience,  enhancing the emotional effects of the story, and most importantly, it had to give a certain musical line to every character, giving to them the emotional depth that the audience couldn't get since they weren’t going to hear their voice.  To do this, early film composers turned to the idea of the Leitmotif, an idea developed by the opera composer Richard Wagner. This idea would take hold even once "talkies" took over the screen, with composers such as Max Steiner, Charlie Chaplin, and others setting the stage for a century of brilliant music, by composers like Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Dmitri Shostakovich, Rachel Portman, Hans Zimmer, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Christopher Willis, and dozens and dozens more. Today on the show we'll talk about this development of film music, and also hear some of the greatest and most recognizable film music ever written. We'll also talk about why film music is sometimes looked down upon in the classical music world, and how we might begin to change that perception. Join us!