The Misterioso Pizzicato

Everything related to researching, scoring and performing music with silent film.
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Rodney
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The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by Rodney » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:25 pm

Light article about the famous "silent film cue."

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/ho ... sciousness" target="_blank
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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Donald Binks
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Re: The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:08 am

Interesting Rodney. I always wondered if it actually was played in the days of the silents? It always seems to have been "manufactured" to me sometime in the sound era when, in a talking picture harking back to the silent days - there is the required scene of a dastardly villain strapping a poor damsel to the railway tracks. No doubt it would not feature in a serious accompanist's repertoire?

I knew a woman back in the 1960's who used to be a pianist in a cinema in the days of silent pictures. She said - and this was corroborated subsequently by other musicians - that the best sounding accompaniments were those that featured in later sound era cartoons. Probably she meant that they worked marvelously for the knockabout comedy associated with manic cartoons and hopefully not for romantic dramas. :D
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Paul Penna
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Re: The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by Paul Penna » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:48 am

That familiar motif from Schubert's Erlkönig often served the same purpose; I first heard it in cartoons as a kid, not learning its source until much later. I imagine its use goes back to silent film and perhaps stage melodramas. Good point the article makes about tropes from the latter being associated with silent films in parodies.

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Rodney
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Re: The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by Rodney » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:21 pm

I'd bet that it pre-dates films entirely and was used in melodrama. It is so short that it's basically useless for anything other than a signal saying "here's a villain." I've used it ironically, in comedies, but never seriously.

For instance, those notes happen to quoted (ironically, of course) in the opening to the novelty piece "The Kewpie's Rendezvous," which we use as the score of the George Melies short "Apparitions," which is a silly ghost movie.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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Jack Theakston
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Re: The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by Jack Theakston » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:12 pm

Yannow, not for nothing, because this article does go into some interesting detail, but they completely botch the initial question, to which the answer is that it IS a Lampe piece from Remick's first portfolio from 1914. No doubt it's a riff on Zamecnik's piece from the previous year.
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FrankFay
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Re: The Misterioso Pizzicato

Unread post by FrankFay » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:59 am

It turns up about 1:10 in this fox trot, of course as a melodrama parody:


and at the beginning of the recording of the same piece:
Eric Stott

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