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Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:03 am
by jeffm
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!

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:44 pm
by oldposterho
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

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:40 pm
by jeffm
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.

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:32 pm
by Gumlegs
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 clich├ęs. Monty Python made extensive use of it in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:03 pm
by Christopher Jacobs
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.

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:20 pm
by FrankFay
I just HAVE to toss in this piece which has become a treasured musical cliche in the UK:

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:47 am
by Jack Theakston
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.

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:13 am
by Ray Faiola
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

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:50 am
by jeffm
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:

Re: Stock library music used on silent films

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:48 am
by arlidar
There is music for silent films http://audioluck.com/piano.html