To prepare for the School of Sound, you may want to have a look at some of the articles, texts and publications listed below.
The FILM SOUND DESIGN WEBSITE, www.filmsound.org, provides an ever-expanding collection of specialist essays, interviews and glossaries aimed at both experienced professionals and those beginning their careers in audio-visual media. The site includes articles by Michel Chion, Walter Murch, Randy Thom, the School of Sound and other professionals and academics.
PIX, a journal about cinema and related arts, edited by Ilona Halberstadt. Past editions contain several articles about music and musicians including John Cage, Glenn Gould and Michael Parsons of the Scratch Orchestra. PIX3, published in January 2001, features poems by Mani Kaul. it is available from all good bookstores and BFI Publishing, +44 (0)
20 7957 4789.
A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOUND
AND MUSIC FOR MOVING PICTURES
edited by Miguel Mera,
Royal College of Music, London
Altman, Rick (ed.)
Sound Theory Sound Practice (London, Routledge, 1992)
Collection of diverse articles covering theoretical and historical perspectives. Also contains a glossary of film sound terms.
Bordwell, David &Thompson, Kristin
“Sound in the Cinema,” in Film Art: An Introduction (New York, McGraw Hill, 1979/ repr.1993:pp189-219)
Excellent book dealing with all aspects of cinema.
Cameron, Evan William
Sound and the Cinema: The Coming of Sound to American Film (Pleasantville, N.Y., Redgrave, 1980)
Fine collection of articles dealing with the evolution of cinematic sound, the European influence on the coming of sound to America, visual and acoustic landscapes etc. Solid aesthetic arguments as well as contributions from practitioners including Bernard Herrmann, Frank Capra, Julius Epstein and Rouben Mamoulian.
Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen (Trans. Gorbman, Claudia, New York, Columbia University Press, 1994)
Excellent, thought-provoking book offering fresh perspectives on the audio-visual relationship. A seminal work. La Voix au Cinéma (Paris, Cahiers du Cinéma/Editions de L’Etoile, 1982)
Crowdus, Gary (ed)
“Sound and Music in the Movies” in Cineaste (Vol XXI, Nos 1-2, 1995:pp46 – 80)
Brilliant supplement containing articles by Elisabeth Weis, Claudia Gorbman, Rick Altman and Royal S. Brown as well as an interview with Ennio Morricone.
Colonna sonora: Dialoghi, musiche, rumori, dietro lo schermo (Milan, Edizioni il Formichiere, 1980)
Contains technical, theoretical and aesthetic discussions on the relationship between sound/music and image.
“Walter Murch: Designing Sound for Apocalypse Now” in Projections 6: Filmmakers on Film Making (London, Faber & Faber, 1996:pp149-162)
“Walter Murch in Conversation with Joy Katz” in Parnassus: Poetry in Review – The Movie Issue (Vol. 22, Nos 1 & 2, 1997:pp124-153)
Invisible Storytellers: Voice-over Narration in American Fiction Film (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1988)
Overhearing Film Dialogue (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000)
Sound-On-Film: Interviews with Creators of Film Sound (Westport, Conn., Praeger, 1994)
Includes interviews with Gary Rydstrom, Tom Fleischman, Walter Murch and many more as well as detailed bibliographical references and filmographies.
Madsen, Roy Paul
“The Sound Designer with Walter Murch” in Working Cinema - Learning from the Masters (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1990)
Merck, Mandy (ed)
“On the Soundtrack” in Screen (Vol. 25, No.3, May-June 1984)
A whole volume devoted to sound and music in films. Contains, among others, an excellent article by Simon Frith on ‘Mood Music’ and a reading of Diva by Robert Lang entitled ‘Carnal Stereophony’.
“Sound Design: The Dancing Shadow,” in Projections 4: Filmmakers on Film Making (London, Faber & Faber, 1995:pp237-251)
Thought-provoking article comparing sound with light.
Brophy, Philip (ed.)
The World of Sound in Film (Sydney, AU: AFTRS, 1999)
The Silent Scream: Alfred Hitchcock’s Sound Track (Rutherford, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982)
Thoughtful and insightful work that throws new light on Hitchcock’s films. Contains good bibliography.
Weis, Elisabeth &Belton, John (eds.)
Film Sound: Theory and Practice (New York, Columbia University Press, 1985)
Comprehensive collection of articles and extracts covering technology, history, theory, and aesthetics. Invaluable as reference.
“Godard’s Use of Sound,” in Camera Obscura (Nos. 8-9-10, Autumn 1982:pp193-210)
Theory of the Film: Character and Growth of a New Art (Trans. Bone, Edith, New York, Dover, 1970)
Contains chapters on “Sound,” “Dialogue,” and “Problem of the Sound Comedy,” a provocative evaluation of the possibilities inherent in the sound track.
Notes on Cinematography (Trans. Griffin, Jonathan, New York, Urizen Books, 1977)
A collection of brief, challenging statements on all aspects of filmmaking. Contains proverbial gems such as “What is for the eye must not duplicate what is for the ear.”
“On the Structural Use of Sound,” in Theory of Film Practice (New York, Praeger, 1973, Chapter 6:pp90-101)
. Theoretical work, full of insights and suggestions on many aspects of filmmaking.
“The Music of Sound” in Seventh Art (Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 1963:pp6-7)
Discussion of Antonioni’s use of music and sound
“Lang, Pabst, and Sound” in Ciné-tracts (Vol. 2, No.1 , Autumn 1978:pp15-23)
“Sound in Films,” in Films (Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1939:pp25-39)
Article that appeals for a more intelligent use of sound in film and especially encouraging the use of non-synchronous sound.
Eisenstein, Sergei M,
The Film Form (New York, Harcourt Brace, 1949)
Contains a detailed discussion of Meisel’s score for The Battleship Potemkin as well as the statement by Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Alexandrov on the sound film.
The Film Sense (London, Faber and Faber, 1986)
Contains a detailed analysis of the music in Alexander Nevsky as well as illustrating Eisenstein’s theories about the relationship between sound and moving pictures.
“Vers une dialectique du film sonore” in Cahiers du Cinema (No. 152, February, 1964:pp30-36)
“Clair’s Sound Hierarchy and the Creation of Auditory Space,” in Purdue Film Studies Annual 1976 (West Lafayette, Purdue,1976:pp113-123)
Article on Sous les toits de Paris
“Introduction to a New Art” in Sight and Sound (Vol. 3, No.11, Autumn 1934:pp101-104)
“Sound as Speech, Noise, Music” in Jacobs, Lewis ed., The Movies as Medium (New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1970:pp243-260)
Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (New York, Oxford University Press, 1960)
Contains analyses of various films as well as a review of existing theories on sound and film.
LaBelle, Brandon and Steve Roden
Sight of Sound: of Architecture and the Ear (Los Angeles, Errant Bodies Press, 1999)
A collection of intriguing and inspiring essays about sonic art, radio, and the crossover between audio experimentation and acoustics.
“Essentials of Film Art: Sound” in Film (London, Penguin, 1950:pp58-76)
Sound” in Film/Cinema/Movie: A Theory of Experience (New York, Harper and Row, 1977:pp206-237)
“Sound in Cinema and its Relationship to Image and Diegesis” in Yale French Studies (No. 60, 1980:pp16-23)
Film Technique and Film Acting (New York, Grove Press, 1960)
Contains sections on “Sound as a means of expression,” and “Asynchronism as a principle of sound.” Pudovkin also discusses the rhythmic problems with his first sound film.
“Le Contrepoint du son et de l’image,” in Cahiers du Cinéma (No 108, June 1960:pp7-22)
Taylor, Richard & Christie, Ian
“Making Sense of Early Soviet Sound” in Inside the Film Factory: New Approaches to Russian and Soviet Cinema (London, Routledge, 1991, Chapter 10:pp176-192)
Historical overview that gives insights into the cultural, political and industrial factors that affected early Soviet sound.
“Is Sound Recording Like a Language?” in Yale French Studies (No. 60, 1980:pp51-66)
“The Audible Image” in Films in Review (No.5, August/September 1954:pp371-373)
Atkins, Irene Kahn
Source Music in Motion Pictures (Rutherford, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1983)
Nicely written book contains an excellent bibliography on film sound.
Knowing the Score: Notes on Film Music (New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975)
Sections on the art and technique of composing for film as well as interviews with composers. Useful in places.
Dramatic Notes: Foregrounding Music in the Dramatic Experience (Luton University Press, Arts Council of England, 1998)
Excellent and unpretentious discussion of the affective power of music. Contains many interviews with composers e.g. George Fenton, Stephen Warbeck, Carl Davis, Judith Weir.
Brown, Royal S.
Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music (Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1994)
As good as any general survey of film music. Contains interviews with composers as well as analyses of Korngold, Rózsa and Godard.
Bruce, Donald Graham
Bernard Herrmann: Film Music and Film Narrative (Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1985)
Analyses of numerous Herrmann film scores. Thoughtful and readable.
Burnand, David & Sarnaker, Benedict
“The Articulation of National Identity through Film Music” in National Identities (Vol. 1, No. 1, 1999:pp7-13)
Article examining the use of music in narrative film for geographical location as well as racial and ethnic characterisations.
The Art of Film Music (Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1994)
Analysis, criticism and appreciation.
La musique au Cinéma (Paris, Fayard, 1995)
History and criticism of film music.
Coyle, Rebecca (ed.)
Screen Scores: Studies in Contemporary Australian Film Music (Sydney, AFTRS, 1997)
Series of compelling articles on a number of Australian film including Shine, Young Einstein and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Darby, William & DuBois Jack
American Film Music: Major Composers, Techniques, Trends 1915-1990 (Jefferson, N.C. McFarland, 1990)
History, analysis, criticism and appreciation.
De La Motte-Haber, H. & Emons, Hanns
Filmmusik: Eine Systematische Beschreibung (Munich, Carl Hanser Verlag, 1980)
Analyses of five aesthetic models (Kracauer, Zofia Lissa, Eisenstein, Eisler – Adorno, Arnheim)
Soviet Film Music: An Historical Survey (London, Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997)
Informative, detailed and readable history from 1917 to 1991.
Ehrenstein, David & Reed, Bill
Rock on Film (New York, Delilah Books, 1982)
Eisler, Hanns & Adorno, Theodor
Composing for the Films (New York, Oxford University Press, 1947/ repr. Athlone Press, 1994)
Still as provocative today as when it was first published. Will yield great rewards for anyone who can see beyond its Marxist rhetoric.
Soundtrack: The Music of the Movies (New York, Hopkinson & Blake, 1975/ repr. DaCapo, 1979)
Anecdotal work containing historical sections and brief discussions of Hollywood film composers.
Strains of Utopia: Gender, Nostalgia, and Hollywood Film Music (Princeton University Press, 1992)
Significant because it is the first, and only, work to consider gender in film music. However, it suffers from a great lack of musical justification for it arguments.
Frith, Simon & Goodwin, Andrew
On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word (New York, Pantheon, 1990)
Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996)
A provocative series of essays that shed new light on how jazz fits into American life viewed through the cinema. Detailed philosophical and historical arguments.
Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music (Indiana University Press, 1987)
The seminal film music book. Contains historical and aesthetic arguments including the movement from silents to sound, Classical Hollywood practice and an analysis of Eisler/Adorno’s critique. Zéro de Conduite, Sous les toits de Paris and Hangover Square are also discussed. This is a must read.
La Musique et le Cinéma (Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1959)
Scoring for Films (New York, E.D.J. Music/Criterion Music Corp., 1971)
Contains detailed technical explanations including click-track charts as well as considering the legal and moral obligations of the composer. Discusses principles for scoring diegetic music and underscoring dialogue.
Sound for Silents (New York, Drama Book Specialists, 1970)
Historical and practical account, includes musical examples, with a foreword by Lillian Gish.
British Film Music (London, 1947/ repr. Arno Press, 1972)
Sections on history, the British documentary and music recording.
Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1992)
Karlin, Fred & Wright, Rayburn
On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring (New York, Schirmer Books, 1994)
A detailed study and analysis of all aspects of film music. Especially useful for composers. Contains an excellent section on the dramatic effectiveness of certain types of orchestration.
Twenty Four Frames Under: A Buried History of Film Music (London, Quartet books, 1997)
History of film music with an examination of music’s emotional impact on the film audience. Contains an interesting section on film music and politics.
Larson, Randall D.
Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Music in the Fantastic Cinema (Metuchen, Scarecrow Press, 1985)
Study of music for sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres. Doesn’t quite have the impact it promises to deliver.
Lees, Gene & Mancini, Henry
Did They Mention the Music? (Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1989)
Music for the Movies (London, Sampson Low, 1948)
Anecdotal description of Levy’s own work for musicals and for scoring dramatic films. Lacking in technical and aesthetic detail.
Limbacher, James L.
Film Music: From Violins to Video (Metuchen, Scarecrow Press, 1974)
Contains short articles on film music by musicians and others as well as an inaccurate list of films and their composers
Aesthetic der Filmmusik (Berlin, Henscherverlag, 1965)
Film Music: A Summary of the Characteristic Features of its History, Aesthetics, Techniques and its Possible Developments (London, Faber & Faber, 1936/ repr. Arno Press, 1970)
An excellent historical survey dealing mainly with the move from silent to sound film. Contains a penetrating section on the aesthetics of the sound film.
Sounds and Scores: A Practical Guide to Professional Orchestration (Northridge Music, 1973)
A master of orchestration shares some of his secrets.
Manvell, Roger & Huntley, John
The Technique of Film Music (London, Focal Press, 1957/ repr. Hastings House, 1975)
A very detailed review of film music. Contains analyses of many scores including: 2001, Henry V, The Best Years of Our Lives and The Devils as well as numerous statements by film composers about their own techniques and preferences.
Marks, Martin Miller
Music and the Silent Film: Contexts and Case Studies, 1895-1924 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1997)
Contains very detailed analyses of The Birth of a Nation and Entr’acte as well as sections on music in the American silent film and a discussion of the research materials available on film music.
The Composer in Hollywood (London, Marion Boyars, 1990)
Discussion of American film composers. History and criticism.
Dmitri Tiomkin: A Portrait (London, T.E. Books, 1984)
Chronological discussion of Tiomkin’s work. Includes a complete filmography as well as analyses of Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train, and Gunfight at the OK Corral.
Presence de la Musique a L’ecran (Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1969)
Critical and aesthetic study of film music. Contains filmographies and biographies for numerous composers.
No Minor Chords (London, Doubleday, 1992)
Reminiscences of Previn’s life and work at MGM studios.
Prendergast, Roy M.
Film Music: A Neglected Art (New York, W.W. Norton, 1992)
Well written general historical survey of film music. Is far too biased towards American film music and particularly the works of David Raksin, but very good nonetheless.
Romney, Jonathan & Wooton, Adrian (eds.)
Celluloid Jukebox: Popular Music and the Movies Since the 50s (London, BFI Publishing, 1995)
Collection of essential articles on popular music in film. Contains interviews with Quentin Tarantino, Ry Cooder and Wim Wenders among others, as well as a good filmography.
Double Life: The Autobiography of Miklós Rózsa (London, Midas Books, 1983)
Music for the Films: A Handbook for Composers and Conductors (trans. Pring, S.W., London, Pitman, 1935)
One of the earliest books published about film music. Very interesting in historical terms.
Filmmusik, Musik Aktuell, Analysen, Beispiele, Kommentare (London, Barenreiter Kassel, 1982)
History and criticism. Two sound discs with examples are included.
Underscore (New York, Criterion Music Corporation, 1960)
Practical manual for composing for films. Slightly dated but good.
The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music (New York, Columbia University Press, 1998)
Very readable work examining the emergence and development of the soundtrack album within its economic, industrial, and historical contexts. Contains excellent chapters on the music for Goldfinger and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
Smith, Steven C.
A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1991)
Excellent biography providing a real insight into the character of the man.
“Conversation on Seeing” in Confronting Silence: Selected Writings (Berkeley, Fallen Leaf Press, 1995:pp36-45)
Despite the awkwardness of translation form the Japanese, the book remains original and provocative.
Music for the Movies (New York, A.S. Barnes, 1973)
Readable account that evenly balances anecdotal and analytical material. Film Score: The View From the Podium (New York, A.S. Barnes, 1979)
Statements from numerous film composers about their work. Includes discography.
Technological Rituals (University of Southern California, Annenberge Centre for Communication, 1999)
A series of conversations about an affair between art and technology.
Sound with Vision: Sound Techniques for Television and Film (New York, Crane-Russak, 1972)
The Technique of Audio Post-Production in Video and Film (London, Focal Press, 1990)
Contains sections on editing for film and video as well as sound recording and sound synchronisation.
Ballou, Glen M.
Handbook for Sound Engineers: The New Audio Cyclopedia (London, Focal Press, 1991)
37 detailed chapters on just about everything you would need to know about audio.
Towards a New Music: Music and Electricity (trans. Weinstock, H., New York, W.W. Norton, 1937)
A serious philosophical enquiry, from the composer’s viewpoint, into the effects that electronic inventions have had and will have on music. Still a very provocative book.
Dolan, Robert Emmett
Music in Modern Media: Techniques in Tape, Disc and Film Recording, Motion Picture and Television Scoring and Electronic Music (New York, G. Schirmer, 1967)
So much more than just a technical manual and no less provocative today despite being dated. An invaluable handbook for anyone involved in producing sound for film or TV. Contains many examples, details of recording set-ups and glossary of terms.
Sound for Film and Television (London, Focal Press, 1997)
A thorough introduction into recording sound for film and television. A good balance between practical and theoretical content is achieved. A CD of examples is included.
Honoré, Paul M
A Handbook of Sound Recording (South Brunswick, A.S. Barnes, 1980)
General text on sound recording includes bibliographical references and index.
Music Editing for Motion Pictures (New York, Hastings House, 1980)
A clear handbook for editors. Technical but not written for aliens.
The Sound Studio (London, Focal Press, 2003)
Detailed manual on film sound. Written in plain English and consequently excellent for reference. Not just technical also deals with aesthetics.
Reisz, Karel & Millar, Gavin
The Technique of Film Editing (New York, Hastings House, 1968)
Informed history and discussion of the techniques of film editing, Includes a section on sound and music.
The Art of Digital Audio (London, Focal Press, 1994)
This is a comprehensive work providing valuable technical detail.
Audio Design: Sound Recording Techniques for Film and Video (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1991)
Detailed study of sound reproduction and recording for motion pictures.
Noise: The Political Economy of Music (University of Minnesota Press, 1985)
The Joy of Music (London, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1954)
Bernstein’s passion and enthusiasm for music jumps out of the page in this remarkable work.
Silence (Connecticut, Wesleyan University Press, 1961)
Musica Practica (London, Verso Press, 1994)
A discussion of the social practice of western music from Gregorian chant to postmodernism.
David Lynch (Trans. Julian, Robert, London, BFI Publishing, 1995)
Analysis of Lynch’s work. Contains surprisingly little on sound.
La musique électroacoustique (Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1982)
Thoughtful study of electro-acoustic music.
Jacques Tati (Paris, Cahiers du Cinéma, 1987)
Criticism and interpretation of Tati’s films.
The Language of Music (London, Oxford University Press, 1959/r1989)
Deconstructs music’s affective power through a study of intervals, harmony and rhythm etc.
Digital Creativity (London, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1996)
The book looks at how digital creativity has evolved. It examines the tools available, gives examples of a range of artistic works and questions the implications of such digital creativity.
Lander, Dan & (eds.)Lexier, Micah
Sound by Artists (Art Metropole, Toronto, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff. 1990)
Meyer, Leonard B.
Emotion and Meaning in Music
(Chicago University Press, 1956)
Still as provocative as when it was first published.
In the Blink of An Eye (Los Angeles, Silman-James Press, 1995)
A thought-provoking essay on film editing. The reader is taken on a journey through the aesthetics and practical issues of cutting film.
Being Digital (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1995)
One of the world’s foremost experts on multimedia explores the impact of digital technology in our lives.
Lynch on Lynch (London, Faber and Faber, 1997)
A survey of Lynch’s career combined with his own insights into film-making and art.
Music and the Mind (London, Harper Collins, 1992)
A remarkable journey through music psychology. This is a must read.
Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema (London, Faber, 1989)
Contains a brief section on sound but Tarkovsky’s ideas on directing and film in general are fascinating regardless of your discipline.
Ocean of Sound (London, Serpent’s Tail, 1995)
Discusses ambient sound, contains interview with Brian Eno.
On Sonic Art (York, Imagineering Press, 1985)
Seminal work on aesthetics of electro-acoustic music.
Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (London, British Film Institute, 1970/ repr. 1992)
Singin’ in the Rain (London, British Film Institute, 1992)