Stock library music used on silent films

Open, general discussion of music during the era of classic/nitrate movies
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jeffm

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Stock library music used on silent films

PostSat Oct 18, 2014 12:03 am

Has anyone here gone into detail on identifying the stock music themes heard on Castle, Official, and other 16mm prints of silent comedies? Visited British Pathe's page on You Tube a while back and was viewing some random clips on their menu. I clicked on a clip of a British professional "strong woman" named Josie Terena and realized I was hearing the exact background music used on Official's prints of "Laughing Gas" and other Chaplin films. What is the origin of these tracks, anyway?

Also on YT, I found an intermission candy and popcorn trailer with the same familiar music Castle used under the main titles of several of their W.C. Fields and Abbott & Costello excerpts.

One of the funniest coincidences of this kind I've seen/heard was watching E.J. Fancey's British-made Chaplin compilation, "Laughter Allowed." For the sequence from "A Night At The Show," Fancey's sound editor found some obscure yodeling record and synced it to the "no-talent" singing act on stage. It worked perfectly!
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oldposterho

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostThu Oct 23, 2014 1:44 pm

When I was in film school we had records that contained stock music we could freely use on our masterpieces, (my favorite was the ever popular "mysterioso"). I bet if these records were to ever turn up you'd be able to identify a lot of the music that ended up on these films.

--Peter
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jeffm

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostThu Oct 23, 2014 4:40 pm

There are some online postings of stock themes; some of the ones Hanna-Barbera used can be heard at a blog called YOWP; but old LPS of production music command prices in the $100-up range on ebay and similar sites, and you still have little or no idea what you're getting. It's just too expensive to experiment.
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Gumlegs

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostFri Oct 24, 2014 6:32 pm

There are lots of music libraries with tracks that can be inexpensively licensed for commercials, TV shows, features, etc. The Valentino library is well known as the best source for bad musical clichés. Monty Python made extensive use of it in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostSun Oct 26, 2014 5:03 pm

I've been noticing that a number of the recent Grapevine silent releases that don't have original piano or organ scores are very nicely scored using royalty-free flat-licensed music from the excellent and very diverse SonicFire Pro "Smartsound" music library, which I've been using for scoring my own productions over the past decade or so. You can hear many of the same music cues in a number of recent independent films and even a few Hollywood productions from time to time. Other Grapevine orchestra scores use classic 1920s-30s recordings authentically and reasonably well-synchronized to sound the way many late 1920s movie theatres would do them using twin turntables and many of the very same recordings.
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FrankFay

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostSun Oct 26, 2014 5:20 pm

I just HAVE to toss in this piece which has become a treasured musical cliche in the UK:
Last edited by silentfilm on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedded YouTube link
Eric Stott
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Jack Theakston

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostMon Oct 27, 2014 12:47 am

KPM (or APM in the US) also supplies many recognizable tracks, but much of them are from British libraries from the '40s and '50s.

Very few music libraries still use music from the '20s, and if they do, they're period recording and are used in "archival" series.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"
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Ray Faiola

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostWed Oct 29, 2014 5:13 am

Here's one of my favorite stock cues. It was used on the Commonwealth prints of the Paul Terry Cartoons:

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com/59KomicKapers.mp3
Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com
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jeffm

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostWed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 am

Thanks for the sound bite, funny stuff. Well, I started this whole thing; so here are the clips I mentioned to begin with.

Josie Terena and "Chaplin" music:


Intermission trailer with "Castle comedy" music:
Last edited by silentfilm on Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube links
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arlidar

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Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 12:48 am

There is music for silent films http://audioluck.com/piano.html

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