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However, I would have liked to seen a little more said about the periodization of the collection, which ranges from the late 19 th century right up to the early s, where a little more signposting would help further integrate, for example, Derek B. The collection clearly benefits from an unusually strong sense of interconnection between the chapters, with frequent cross-referencing and everywhere an awareness of collective purpose. This reflects the skill of the editors as well as the kind of collaborative endeavour between scholars, archivists and other specialists fostered by the British Silent Film Festival and the Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain research network.

The Sounds of the Silents in Britain presents a complex story in an engaging and accessible fashion, with an intelligently light touch taken, in general, with regard to theory. It is sure to become a valuable resource for film and music scholars, students and, indeed, anyone interested in this extraordinarily vibrant period of cinema. With its wonderful array of chapters particularly Burrows and Kember there is no excuse not to add the sound of silent cinema to any university module exploring this period of film and sound history. One closes the book having felt that its authors have enabled the reader to vicariously experience at least part of the dynamic and rather wonderful sounds of the silents.

The Sounds of the Silents in Britain

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Please try again in a few minutes. The Sounds of The Silents in Britain is an important collection on a neglected field; exploring the diverse sonic dimensions of cinema as it developed across the era leading up to synchronised sound, presenting a richly evocative array of ephemeral cultural practices. The past few years have seen a resurgence of interest in silent film.

Indeed, the digital technologies that today pertain to construct a more immersive, attention-grabbing, cinema experience, finds strange resonances with the wonderful array of ephemeral cultural practices explored in this book, whether directing, controlling or enabling attention and social interaction in the cinema.

Reading this book, one a gets a feeling for how rich and strange the cinema experience was for audiences in the early decades of cinema, and how full of sound in so many forms.

The sounds of the silents in Britain (Book, ) []

If these essays evoke a tension between social and personal engagement, and different agencies competing for attention, whether the screen, or a lecturer, music or the audience themselves, these resonate as very modern concerns. While paying homage to pioneers in the field, such as Rick Altman, the new research presented here refines and often challenges conventional thinking about the development and practices in sound and music. The Sounds of the Silents in Britain explores the sonic dimension of film exhibition in Britain from the emergence of cinema to the introduction of synchronized sound.

Written by experts on British silent film and film music, the chapters provide an introduction to diverse aspects of earlyfilm sound: vocal performance, from lecturing and reciting to voicing the drama; music, from developments in accompanying techniques to the impact of legislation on musical practice overall; and performance in cinemas more generally, from dancing and singalong films to live stage prologues.

The book also debunks some of the myths about the sonic dimension of film exhibition: it reveals that exhibition practices in London were arguably more sophisticated than those in New York before the onset of World War I, for instance, and that venue licensing decisions had a profound effect onwhether music could even be performed with film in some theatres.