Composers in the Movies: Studies in Musical Biography

Composers in the Movies: Studies in Musical Biography

by John C. Tibbetts
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300106742

ISBN-13: 9780300106749

Pub. Date: 06/10/2005

Publisher: Yale University Press

Amadeus . . . Yankee Doodle Dandy . . . Swanee River . . . Rhapsody in Blue. Even before movies had sound, filmmakers dramatized the lives of composers. Movie biographies—or biopics—have depicted composers as diverse as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, and George Gershwin. In this

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Overview

Amadeus . . . Yankee Doodle Dandy . . . Swanee River . . . Rhapsody in Blue. Even before movies had sound, filmmakers dramatized the lives of composers. Movie biographies—or biopics—have depicted composers as diverse as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, and George Gershwin. In this enticing book, the first devoted entirely to such films, John C. Tibbetts surveys different styles and periods from the Hollywood of the 1920s and 1930s to the international cinema of today, exploring the role that film biographies play in our understanding of history and culture.
Tibbetts delves into such questions as: How historically accurate are composer biopics? How and why have inaccuracies and distortions been perpetrated? What strategies have been used to represent visually the creative process? The book examines the films in several contexts and considers their role in commodifying and popularizing music. Extensive archival research, dozens of illustrations, and numerous interviews make this an appealing book for film and music enthusiasts at all levels.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300106749
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
06/10/2005
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : the lyre of light1
1Classical style : composers in the studio era18
2A song remembered : Frederic Chopin goes to war81
3The new Tin Pan Alley : Hollywood looks at American popular songwriters102
4"Just an innocent bystander" : the composer films of Ken Russell155
5"A long, dark coda into the night" : the composer films of Tony Palmer217
6Revisionist portraits : a medley of recent composer biopics263

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