Music Video Pre 1950
History of the Music Video: Early 20th Century Scriabin was perhaps the first modern exponent of multimedia: a light show choreographed to music. He had developed a scale to match specific colours to notes in an octave, in his belief that there was a direct and quantifiable correspondence between wavelengths of light and sound. In 1911 Alexander Scriabin wrote his symphony Prometheus -- Poem of Fire for orchestra and "light organ". This early example of film set to music contains the DNA of modern music videos.
Alexander Scriabin TASK: Listen to Scriabin’s performance twice. Using your senses and pre-conceptions about the connotations of colour devise a six shot storyboard for a music video. E:\scribin.avi
History of the Music Video: Early 20th Century Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) was a German maker of abstract films whose name almost invariably turns up in animation histories. He was an intensely serious, uncompromising filmmaker who constantly ran afoul not just of predictable enemies, like the Nazis, but of people who should have been his allies. Much of his work can be intimidating in its rigor; but that is not true at all of his greatest film, Motion Painting No. 1, which he completed in 1947. • Following on from this the animated films of Oskar Fischinger in the 1920were supplied with orchestral scores. Many people refered to Fishinger’s work as "visual music" Oskar Fischinger
History of the Music Video: Early 20th Century The original black-and-white entries in the Silly Symphonies series, produced from 1929 to 1932 were only mildly successful, with the exception of the pilot film, The Skeleton Dance. Most theatres were unwilling to run cartoons without star characters, and the Silly Symphonies were relegated to a distinctly secondary status in most regards. In fact, when Disney began distributing his product through United Artists in 1932, United Artists refused to distribute the Silly Symphonies unless Disney associated Mickey Mouse with them somehow, resulting in the "Mickey Mouse presents a Silly Symphony" title cards and posters that introduced and promoted the series during its five-year run for U/A. The early animated efforts of Walt Disney, his Silly Symphonies, were built around music, as were the Warner Brothers cartoons, even today billed as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.walt Disney - Looney Tunes
History of the Music Video:1930s The film was requested of Eisenstein directly by Stalin who wanted a film that would warn the Soviet people of German aggression. The film contains many elements that reflect the then current global political situation. The helmets worn by the Teutonic soldiers look much like larger German soldier helmets from the period. Swastikas are also to be found decorating many of the Teutons. The film also shows Nevsky making peace with his old enemies the Mongols in order to face the knights, hinting at the necessity of making peace with the western powers to deal with Nazi Germany. • Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky, which features extended scenes of battles choreographed to a score by Sergei Prokofiev, set new standards for the use of music in film and has been described by some as the first music video. Sergei Eisenstein Alexander Nevsky
History of the Music Video:1940s Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's quintessential works used legions of showgirls and props as fantastic elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances. He felt that a camera should be allowed mobility, and he framed shots carefully from unusual angles to allow movie audiences to see things from perspectives that the theatrical stage never could provide. This is why he played an enormous role in establishing the movie musical as a category in its own right. 1940s - MGM Musicals – Busby Berkley’s choreographed dance routines Busby Berkley • .
History of the Music Video:1940s Another early form of music video were one-song films called "Soundies" made in the 1940s for the Panoram visual jukebox. These were short films of musical selections, usually just a band on a movie-set bandstand, made for playing. Thousands of Soundies were made, mostly of jazz musicians, but also torch singers, comedians, and dancers. A new invention hits clubs and bars in the USA: The Panoram Soundie is a jukebox that plays short videoclips. Panoram Soundie
TASK • Choose a decade between 1900 and 1950. • Working in your production groups create and storyboard a short ‘music video’ fitting to the time. • Try to find a suitable piece of music, research the time period and reflect this in your mise-en-scene.