Silent Film

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Mark Kermode presents the music of silent film. When cinema became the entertainment of choice in the 1910s and 1920s, thousands of musicians were employed to provide the accompaniment to the films. Simple piano pieces were developed to convey the thoughts and emotions of the actors. As cinema developed, full orchestras were used, and scores began to be developed, borrowed and improvised from classical music and later, jazz. The programme features interviews with silent film pianist Neil Brand, film composer Carl Davis, Timothy Brock who restored the soundtracks to the Chaplin movies, which Chaplin himself composed, Ludovic Bource Oscar winning composer for The Artist, and Jean Darling, one of the few surviving child stars of the silent era.

Producer: Maggie Ayre.

Mark Kermode explores the music of silent film, and how it evolved from single piano to full orchestra and specially composed scores.