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A Song in the DarkThe Birth of the Musical Film$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001

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Finding a Voice

Finding a Voice

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 Finding a Voice
Source:
A Song in the Dark
Author(s):

Richard Barrios

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0006

A rundown of the individual elements and artists that would join together to form the musical film. To create the songs, studios bought music publishers and hired songwriters to create lower-common denominator versions of Broadway and pop hits. Music arrangements and sound recording slowly improved, as did photography and editing. Two-color Technicolor was hugely popular, then became a liability through its limited palette and loss of quality control. The personnel drew from both stage veterans and film people: directors such as Lubitsch and Mamoulian, stage and opera stars like Jolson and Lawrence Tibbett, and silent-film performers with acceptable voices, such as Bebe Daniels and Gloria Swanson.

Keywords:   songs, songwriters, recording, arrangements, photography, editing, Technicolor, directors, stage actors, dubbing

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