How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students

By Edgar Dale | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X SOUND AND MUSIC

THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOUND

MANY of you can remember when talking pictures first appeared. The first pictures of this type were shown in 1926, and by 1929 most of the larger theaters had been equipped and were using sound pictures almost entirely. According to the Motion Picture Herald, 13,091 of the 13,247 motion- picture theaters operating at the end of 1932 in the United States were wired for sound. Perhaps you wonder why sound motion pictures did not come before. As a matter of fact, the idea was one that had occurred to the early inventors of the motion picture, but the electrical synchronization which we now have was not then developed. In 1916, Epes Winthrop Sargent said:

Although it is not to be supposed that talking pictures will ever replace the silent drama, since it merely gives back a poor travesty on the speaking stage, and the injection of dialogue defeats the end of the motion picture, it is only a question of time when the perfection of the device will bring it forward as a form of entertainment. The chief value of a talking picture will lie in its ability to reproduce the action and support the phonograph record. It will be possible to both see and hear the operatic and dramatic star.1

Sound effects can be obtained in two ways. One is by means of a sound record on a disk like a phonograph record. This was demonstrated for the first time in 1926 under the name "Vitaphone." The other method of sound reproduc

____________________
1
Techniques of the Photoplay, p. 302.

-171-

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How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Chapter I What is Motion-Picture Appreciation? 3
  • Chapter II Shopping for Your Movies 16
  • Conclusion 24
  • Chapter III The History of the Movies 26
  • Chapter IV A Visit to a Studio 37
  • Chapter V Motion-Picture Reviewing 59
  • Chapter VI The Story 74
  • Summary of Standards 95
  • Chapter VII Acting 98
  • Chapter VIII Photography 121
  • Summary of Standards 149
  • Chapter IX Settings 151
  • Summary of Standards 169
  • Chapter X Sound and Music 171
  • Summary of Standards 177
  • Chapter XI Direction 179
  • Conclusion 204
  • Chapter XII What Are Motion Pictures For? 205
  • Chapter XIII What Next? 220
  • Appendix Suggested Readings 233
  • A Glossary of Motion-Picture Vocabulary 235
  • Index 241
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