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Composers in the MoviesStudies in Musical Biography$
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John C. Tibbetts

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106749

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106749.001.0001

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The Classical Style

The Classical Style

Composers in the Studio Era

(p.18) 1 The Classical Style
Composers in the Movies

John C. Tibbetts

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on what many film historians refer to as the “classical period” of the studio system. Not coincidentally, it was also the “golden age” of the composer biopic, both classical and popular. The American film industry was dominated by the vertically integrated “Big Five” studios, namely, MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO, and Twentieth Century-Fox; by the “Little Three” studios, namely, United Artists, Universal, and Columbia; and by smaller, independent studios, such as Republic and Disney. Under these studios, a “consistent system of production and consumption, a set of formalized creative practices and constraints, and thus a body of work with a uniform style, a standard way of telling stories, from camera work and cutting to plot structure and thematics” was established.

Keywords:   film historians, classical period, studio system, golden age, composer biopic, American film industry

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