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Composing for the Films

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
This classic account of the nature of film music aesthetics was first published in 1947. Its value comes from a unique combination of talents and experience enjoyed by the book's authors. Eisler's time at Hollywood gave him a particular insight on the technical questions which arise for composers when music is used in the production of films; while Adorno was able to ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 11th 2007 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published January 1st 1947)
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Aug 02, 2008 Jesse rated it liked it
This book, written while in exile in Hollywood by European intellectuals Theodor Adorno & Hanns Eissler, reminded me a good deal of "Barton Fink." It's a totally ridiculous critique of film scoring circa the 1940s, arguing that Hollywood arrangers should adopt 12-tone music & other "advanced" techniques that (I imagine) would get a hearty laugh from cigar-chomping studio bosses. Still, it's a definitely a valuable breakdown of early film music, with some interesting art-head/academic ...more
Sam Lundberg
Apr 03, 2016 Sam Lundberg rated it really liked it
It's funny this book that Adorno didn't even get credit for when it was released is now almost exclusively attributed to Adorno, with Eisler being ignored. (If you're wondering who wrote which section: Eisler likes Stravinsky, and Adorno hates him, so that's a good barometer.)
Dec 21, 2010 Kyle rated it it was ok
Basically, a 100 page theoretical exposition on not selling out. Interesting but without a great understanding of musicology, it was only interesting to see how Adorno framed certain things.
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Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was one of the most important philosophers and social critics in Germany after World War II. Although less well known among anglophone philosophers than his contemporary Hans-Georg Gadamer, Adorno had even greater influence on scholars and intellectuals in postwar Germany. In the 1960s he was the most prominent challenger to both Sir Karl Popper's philosophy of science a ...more
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