Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
October 6
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Today?
1762 - Death of Italian composer Francesco Onofrio Manfredini in Pistoia.

1786 - Death of Italian composer Antonio Maria Gaspare Sacchini in Paris.

1820 - Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano who toured the US to great acclaim, was born.

1837 - Jean-Francois Lesueur, French composer, died in Paris.

1866 - Reginald Aubrey Fessenden broadcasts first program of voice with music.

1869 - Premiere of Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes by Clara Schumann and Herman Levi.

1882 - Birth of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski in Timoshovka, Ukraine.

1977 - Premiere of M. Tippettīs Symphony No. 4. Chicago Symphony, Sir Georg Solti conducting.

1991 - Premiere of A. Hovhaness' Symphony No. 65, Op. 428 Artstakh. Hovhaness conducting at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
Can you imagine watching a movie, seeing the actors' lips move, and hearing no sound coming out?  Can you imagine watching Hilary Duff dance, but not hearing the music?  Can you imagine seeing a great chase scene without hearing the motors race and the tires squeal on the pavement?  Can you imagine watching James Bond blow up the bad guys, seeing the HUGE explosion on the screen, and only hearing your brother blow his nose?
That's the way most movies were before October 6, 1927!
The Jazz Singer
October 6, 1927
The Jazz Singer made its debut October 6, 1927.   It was the first commercially successful presentation of movie music. 

Before The Jazz Singer movies were silent.  Action scenes were intersperesed with screens from which you could read what the actors were supposed to be saying. 

That was fine..............................................................but it made for.................................................really long pauses in the action.  And if............................................something exciting was happening on the screen ..............you would not have any sound so that the action could continue.

In 1904, Frenchman Eugene Lauste managed to record sound onto a piece of photographic film, but nothing was done with it commercially.  But many entrepreneurs decided that sound on film would be great.  Various inventions tried to mingle sound and pictures.  They had names like the Vivaphone, Synchroscope, the Chronophone, the Cameraphone and the Cinephone. Edison produced the Kinetophone in 1913

In September, 1925 Warner Bros. contracted with AT&T to use their method of combining sound with film.  It released the film Don Juan, in 1926 on which it included music on an amplified sound track, but it was not commercially successful.

In October, 1927, The Jazz Singer, featuring Al Jolson was released by Warner Bros.  It was not an immediate hit in New York, but it gained long-lasting fame when it moved into America's heartland.

Singin' in the Rain is a great musical about just this period in time.  In it you can see some of the problems caused by the change in the movie industry . . . along with a great scene of what happened when the sound did not quite match up with what was happening on the screen. 
The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer (VHS)
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Singin' In The Rain
Singin' in the Rain
Debbie Reynolds played Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain, Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Aggie Cromwell in the Halloweentown movies.  Can You Guess who she played in the Rugrats television show and Rugrats in Paris?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
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