Night at the Silent Movies, A

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It’s 1917 all over again, and the new moving pictures are all the rage! Pianists and organists were hired to perform along with the movie, and James L. King III’s A Night at the Silent Movies captures this style in an epic recital-ready work.

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A Night at the Silent Movies goes back to the era of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Mary Pickford, when pianists and organists were hired to play music for the early silent films, beginning the era of film scoring. This three minute piece includes opening credit music, a hero, a damsel in distress, a chase scene with the villain, and a happy ending with a wedding. Students might be so inspired that they create their own silent movie to go with the music! Pianists learn how to handle abrupt changes in tempo and mood, bringing out left hand melodies, epic big endings, a couple of trills and several musical clichés! It’s a complete recital-ready epic story!

Key: F Major, G Major, Bb minor, Bb major

Mood: majestic, romantic, frantic

Pedagogy: sudden changes in mood, key and tempo; trills; left hand melodies


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