Film Composers in America: A Filmography, 1911-1970

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2000 - Music - 534 pages
0 Reviews
Film Composers in America is a landmark in the history of film. Here, renowned film scholar Clifford McCarty has attempted to identify every known composer who wrote background musical scores for films in the United States between 1911 and 1970. With information on roughly 20,000 films, the book is an essential tool for serious students of film and a treasure trove for film fans. It spans all types of American films, from features, shorts, cartoons, and documentaries to nontheatrical works, avant-garde films, and even trailers.

Meticulously researched over 45 years, the book documents the work of more than 1,500 composers, from Robert Abramson to Josiah Zuro, including the first to score an American film, Walter C. Simon. It includes not only Hollywood professionals but also many composers of concert music--as well as popular music and other genres--whose cinematic work has never before been fully catalogued. The book also features an index that lets readers quickly find the composer for any American film through 1970.

To recover this history, much of which was lost or never recorded, McCarty corresponded with or interviewed hundreds of composers, arrangers, orchestrators, musical directors, and music librarians. He also conducted extensive research in the archives of the seven largest film studios--Columbia, MGM, Paramount, RKO, 20th Century-Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.--and wherever possible, he based his findings on the most reliable evidence, that of the manuscript scores and cue sheets (as opposed to less accurate screen credits). The result is the definitive guide to the composers and musical scores for the first 60 years of American film.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.



Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Frank Loesser
Thomas Laurence Riis
Limited preview - 2008
All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Clifford McCarty, a bookseller and well-known film historian, is the author of Bogey: The Films of Humphrey Bogart and Published Screenplays: A Checklist, co-author of The Films of Errol Flynn and The Films of Frank Sinatra, and editor of Film Music 1. He was for many years vice president of the Film Music Society and co-editor of their journal, The Cue Sheet.

Bibliographic information