Links to relevant film and film music websites

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can find updated materials for the second edition hereThe materials on this page and its sub-pages were designed for the first edition of Hearing the Movies. We will not remove anything from this page but we will also not maintain or update it in future.

Film History, Analysis, and Criticism

Yale Guide to Film Analysis

Basic film terms defined, principles of continuity editing explained.  Includes video examples.
Bordwell is the co-author of Film Art: An Introduction, by far the most important and influential introductory film studies textbook. On his site, he not only has extensive links and other information related to film studies, but he maintains a blog and has posted a number of analyses and chapters from earlier editions of Film Art along with stimulating original essays. His hallmark is clear, understandable writing and deep insights into film production and style. One of the most valuable websites on film and film studies.

Composer Sites

Franz Waxman
Composers & Songwriters: The Film Music Society's excellent set of links to composer sites

General Film Music Trade and Fan Websites

Film Score Monthly
Film Music Magazine

Photoplay Music

The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra specializes in accompanying silent film and the group has released a number of CDs with photoplay music cues from the period.  The site contains a lot of information and source material that Rodney Sauer has collected, including Sam Fox Moving Picture Music, vol. 1.  This link will take you to a page with both PDF and midi files of the music.

Susquehanna Valley Theatre Organ Society
The Susquehanna Valley Theatre Organ Society is "dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Theater Organs and to their use in musical performances."  The site has a page with a number of PDFs of photoplay music.

Sheet Music Sites

Sheet Music Consortium
This link provides access to a global search engine for most of the sites below. It does not seem to be always accurate, however, so it is worth searching individually as well.

Duke University
Lester S. Levy Collection (Johns Hopkins)
Lilly Library (Indiana University)
The Maine Music Box (University of Maine)
Music for the Nation (Library of Congress)
There are at least twelve sets of nineteenth-century melodramatic cues available here. Search under "melodramatic" rather than "melodrama."

General Sound and Recording Websites

Old issues (through volume 56 [1951]) of the Journal of the Society Motion Picture Engineers can be located hereJournal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (volumes 57-62 [1954]) can be located here.

History of the Sound Track

David Morton's Recording History
Steven Shoenherr
The material is excellent and the whole site is very well illustrated.
Film Sound History (MTSU SMPTE)
Vitaphone Project
List of Pre-1927 Sound Films
Widescreen Museum
Some PDFs of period maintenance manuals and trade journal articles as well as numerous high quality images.
Lots of good stuff on widescreen film formats and the various sound technologies that went with them, though the information can sometimes be hard to find.

Exhibition Sound

Lansing Heritage
Site devoted to history of Lansing, JBL, and Altec, with a lot of material on loudspeaker technology for motion picture auditoria.
100 Years of Cinema Loudspeakers ( timeline)

Digital formats and theater standards
Dolby Labs
DTS (Digital Theater Systems)
SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound)

Reliable Wikipedia Articles

Illustrated Song
Short, but reliable information with links to some examples.
Includes information on original Kinetophone.
Sound Film
Good coverage of early (pre-Vitaphone) sound film.  Lots of pictures.
Surround Sound

Other Encyclopedia-style Sites

Film Reference

Film Information (including reviews and awards)

Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
Information on production, box office, music credits, sound credits as well as sound formats on release prints and sound track listings. Links to trailers and reviews.
Turner Classic Movies
Similar information as IMDb, with especially strong music credits.  Links to trailers and clips from films.  Good synopses.  Some production materials from Time Warner archives and original content from TCM. 
Many Wikipedia articles on individual films contain information on the sound track not available on IMDb or TCM.  As with all these sites, the information is not always accurate and is so best confirmed through other sources. 
Movie Review Query Engine
searchable database
Academy Awards database
The Oscars page; searchable
Jazz on the Screen (Library of Congress)
searchable filmography of jazz on screen.
Facets Multimedia
good commercial site for world cinema.
filmarchives online
A searchable database pointing to mostly non-fiction films in European archives.
The venerable print index has been digitized and made available through the Indiana University Libraries. Coverage of film and television periodicals, plus some related journals, through 2001. To be effective, searches on this database (or the Film & Television Literature Index below) should be combined with results from RILM or Music Index, which index music periodicals (both FILM and Music Index are available through library subscriptions).
Film & Television Literature Index
(no link) -- available through EbscoHost; check with your library to see if they have a subscription. Far more extensive coverage than Film Literature Index, including current issues of periodicals. Asl see the comment about music literature databases under Film Literature Index above.
Bill Wrobel's Film Score Rundowns
detailed descriptions of music cues for a subset of classical films, in particular those with underscoring by Bernard Herrmann. The cue lists are derived from archival sources.

Online Film Resources

Google Video
Particularly strong in television, both new and vintage.
Internet Archives (includes Prelinger Archives)
This is a free (ad-supported) Flash converter, which takes Flash video files (FLV) and transcodes them to MP4.


Copyright Chart for Public Domain (Cornell)
Copyright Renewal Database (Stanford)
Copyright Quick Guide (Columbia)
Fair Use Publication of Film Stills (Society for Cinema and Media Studies)
Fair Use of Film Materials (Kristin Thompson)
Copyright Issues with Mash-ups (American University)
"Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video" (American University)
Orphan Works (American Society of Picture Professionals)

Video Game Music and Sound

Game Sound (Karen Collins)
Bibliographies: articles and books.
Bibliographies: articles, books, and links.

Media Theory, Cultural Theory

essentially a bibliography whose links take you to online articles (or online copies of published articles). Very clearly organized.
approachable, sometimes whimsical site devoted to popular culture and cultural-theory influenced media studies.  (NB: The site is currently generating malware warnings.)

last update: 03 February 2010.
(c) All original material on this website copyright by the authors.