105 Years of Film Music: Part Two - The 1930s

The second part in an ongoing special series on the history of film music

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Publicity photo of American actress Fay Wray promoting the 1933 feature film 'King Kong.' Publicity photo of American actress Fay Wray promoting the 1933 feature film 'King Kong.' (Wikipedia Commons)

Last month, host David Garland kicked off what will be a series of programs on the history of film music. Presented on the last Saturday of each month for ten months, the series covers the styles and innovations in the soundtrack field, decade by decade.

This second installment of the series features music from the 1930s. With the advent of sound in movies came an influx of European-born composers who brought musical sophistication and ingenuity to Hollywood. Garland shows that right from the start, movies were inspiring resourceful composers to create music of depth and power. We hear from "King Kong," "The Wizard of Oz," "Adventures Of Robin Hood," "Gone With the Wind," "Lost Horizon," and even "Laurel & Hardy."

About the Series

For over a century, music and movies have been making magic together. Music composed for films is varied and exciting, with qualities that connect it to the classical tradition, as well as special attributes of its own. Join us on March 29 for music of the 1940s.

Comments [3]

Rick from Eastchester

This was a wonderful episode. I enjoyed the biographical facts and really liked the excerpts. Of all of these men, I think Waxman was the finest of an extraordinary group. Thanks for a great show.

Mar. 03 2014 05:34 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

You mentioned how music for a particular film was not considered to be of great value. I've read stories about "Over the Rainbow" where various people involved in the film didn't want it included. The one I remember was Arlen and Harburg thinking the song might not be appropriate for a young girl to be singing. Too melancholy. They went to a neighbor, Ira Gershwin, and asked him what he thought. On listening, Ira told them there was no way they could leave out such a beautiful song.

Nice to hear the very toned down vibrato of the young Garland.

Feb. 22 2014 09:41 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

Oh well. The show is still hours away but I thought this was cute and in only a slight stretch of the imagination somehow related to music in its various forms.

An ancient wind instrument duplicating a relatively modern synthesized sound from a popular video game of not so long ago.


The video ends with the tune indicating passing to a new level. Indeed.

Feb. 22 2014 04:45 PM

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