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Synergy between music and silent action


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I am new to this type of learning environment and not a film student. I am, however, a huge fan of Hitchcock and his genius... Though I have seen several of his silent films, the input from the lecture videos have proven to be quite valuable, for example, the German influences, signature scene, and anxious worlds... After observing The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger I was able to see the progression of what would become Classic Hitchcock... By that I mean the acute synergy between the orchestral score and the action on the screen... A professor once told me, "Take your readers by the nose and lead them." Hitchcock does this with incredible accuracy via the music, action, or spoken word... His talkies would make wonderful silent films and vice versa mostly due to how the music moves the viewer in the same direction as it parallels the action and emotion being portrayed on screen. 

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I am new to this type of learning environment and not a film student. I am, however, a huge fan of Hitchcock and his genius... Though I have seen several of his silent films, the input from the lecture videos have proven to be quite valuable, for example, the German influences, signature scene, and anxious worlds... After observing The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger I was able to see the progression of what would become Classic Hitchcock... By that I mean the acute synergy between the orchestral score and the action on the screen... A professor once told me, "Take your readers by the nose and lead them." Hitchcock does this with incredible accuracy via the music, action, or spoken word... His talkies would make wonderful silent films and vice versa mostly due to how the music moves the viewer in the same direction as it parallels the action and emotion being portrayed on screen. 

There's a good chance that this synergy is not directly Hitchcock's doing. I am not aware that he had much input into the scores of his silent films. Certainly some directors did plan out what music would accompany their silent films. I definitely recall that this was done for Birth of a Nation and Metropolis. Even so, video releases of these films (and others like them) did not necessarily feature the original score. Without more information about the sources of these clips, we can't give Hitchcock definite credit for the music, I fear.

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This is something I've wondered about, especially in watching The Ring, Hitchcock's boxing melodrama. In an interview Hitchcock confirmed the audience would break into applause at the end of the "the party " scene due to the frenetic pace of the montage which included a dance sequence (similar in style to the Charleston dancing in The Pleasure Palace.) It seems odd that in controlling almost every aspect of his films H would not also require the score that would accompany his films. Perhaps he was resigned to the idea that local theaters would not be able to provide musicians that would be competent in playing a score beyond whatever music they were familiar with; or the theaters would avoid paying extra royalties to acquire the rights to the score.

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