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Jazz Music in the 1920s

The Beginning of Jazz

The origins can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when African-American musicians started experimenting with European musical instruments in their own distinct style. Jazz originated from New Orleans in the 1900s, and soon disseminated to Chicago, New York and Kansas City. The 1920s were the most glorious years for this genre of music. The decade also witnessed the rise of many independent (Indie) record companies. The Indie companies started recording with jazz groups, which helped the genre reach wider masses, and led to its popularity during that decade. Jazz dance form was also developed during this period. Jazz bands began to mushroom all around the United States, and became very popular with the middle and upper class Americans, despite racism being prevalent during that period. There were skeptics who considered jazz music and its respective artists to be some sort of a threat, because jazz was very different from everything that they had heard till then. It reflected the drastic alternate changes taking place in society, where African-Americans were more powerful, women voted, and people had surplus time to perform, listen, and

The History of Silent Films

First Motion Picture Documentation
The history of silent movies begins with the history of cinema itself; as all movies made in those times did not have sound. Eadweard Muybridge’s Sallie Gardner at a Gallop was the first silent film ever to be made. It documented equine motion and was released in 1878. The film consisted of a series of 24 photographs that were projected on the Zoopraxiscope (considered the first movie projector) in succession at high speeds to create the illusion of motion. Muybridge’s Zoopraxiscope was the inspiration behind the Kinetoscope, which was meant for individual viewing. It used the same basic technique of relaying successive photographs to create the illusion of motion. However, in spite of being a ‘motion’-picture, Sallie Gardner at a Gallop cannot be really called a ‘film’, as it was merely a relay of successive photographs that created the ‘illusion’ of motion.

First Narrative Film
The first narrative film ever, Roundhay Garden Scene was made by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince. It was released on 14 October 1888, and was only 2 seconds long! Louis Le Prince is considered

What is Entertainment

In a world where we find ourselves evermore overwhelmed by-and drawn to-bright images and flashing screens, it is worth asking a few questions about that most important of consumer goods: entertainment. What makes entertainment entertaining? Why do we need it, or do we? What is entertainment, anyway?

These are a few of the questions I set out to answer in a class I taught a year or so ago: Entertainment in America. And while we couldn’t quite come up with satisfactory answers, even after a semester of reading and discussion, I’d like to try to set down a few of the thoughts that came out of that course here. But I don’t want to shove the partial answers I’ve come to down your throat-that’s no fun for anybody. Rather, what I’ll do in the following is offer a list of questions that you might ask yourself, along with a few resources that might be worth looking at as you search for your own answers to these increasingly crucial questions. I’ll also note, from time to time, the conclusions I have tentatively reached regarding these questions.

Are you ready?

History and Timeline of Opera

When and where did opera begin? Dafne, created by Jacopo Peri, an Italian composer and singer, is regarded as the earliest opera composition. It was largely inspired by an elite circle of Florentine humanists. The orchestration of Dafne consisted of a harpsichord, a lute, a viol, a triple flute, and an archlute. Sadly, no one has been able to trace it till date. Euridice, a work of the same composer has survived and is one of the ancient operas surviving today. Euridice was composed for the marriage of Henry IV and Marie de Medici.

By 1637, the opera had not remained confined to the court. Public performances of operas had begun. They soon acquired a style of their own and began gaining appreciation from society. However, opera had to face criticism from some sections of society, which believed that it had lost its dramatic purity. There was a fear among certain people that opera might lose its original form. Bel canto, literally meaning ‘beautiful singing’, is an Italian opera that requires agility and pitch control for performance. It received greater impetus in the nineteenth century, wiping out criticism and fear in the minds of the masses.

Nabucco that is based

History of Ska Music

Ska Music History
Jamaicans began to have increased access to radios post World War II and thus, were introduced to Caribbean calypso, steelpan and soca music from Trinidad and Tobago, and more American styles of music such as R&B and jazz. Popular American music was broadcasted further by prominent Jamaican radio stations such as Radio Jamaica and Rediffusion (RJR) and the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) during the late 1950s. The New Orleans and Miami radio stations made it possible for Jamaicans to listen to legendary musicians such as Champion Jack Dupree, Fats Domino, Amos Milburn, Jelly Roll Morton, Rosco Gordon, Professor Longhair, and Louis Jordan. In fact, ska innovator Prince Buster claims that the 1951 song ‘Later for the Gator’ (by American jazz saxophonist Willis Jackson) was the one that created ska.

♫ First Wave – Ska (1960s)
By 1956, Jamaicans had come up with an interesting concoction which they called ska because of the ‘Slak’ sound that the guitar strums made on being scratched. In 1960, the first ever ska song Oh Carolina was recorded by the Jamaican group Folkes Brothers and produced by Prince Buster. This song was recorded in WIRL Records in Kingston, which

The Importance of Music in Movies

It is hard to imagine people sitting through a silent film without any live music to accompany the scenes. From the very inception of motion pictures, the relevance of music has been clearly established. Music has always been recognized for its ability to invoke emotions among the audience and set the mood for specific scenes in movies.

Silent movies always featured live music, and it was first employed by the Lumière Brothers for backing their first projected motion picture, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory) on December 28, 1895. By 1910, theaters had begun permanently employing complete musical ensembles which, in turn, was replaced by the theatre organ. The period between 1910 – 1930 also relied heavily on photoplay music, which was written music meant specifically for silent films. This Buzzle article discusses the importance of music in movies in further detail.

Historic Film Score Examples
Max Steiner’s film score for the 1933 monster movie, ‘King Kong’ is ranked as the thirteenth greatest film score in the history of American cinema by the American Film Institute. From the spine-chilling quality of the drums that is played while a native girl is about to

History of the Melodious Indian Music

It dates back to the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, during the Indus valley civilizations. Archaeological studies have validated the presence of several musical instruments like harps and drums during this era. The Samaveda which is one of the four Vedas (scriptures) that include hymns and descriptions of Indian music. The Samaveda states that music originated as a tool for meditation and spiritual awakening. The era starting from 1500 BC to 500 BC witnessed the Vedic music. Vedic music was supposed to be closely intertwined with the Vedic religion, since music was an imperative element of the religious Vedic rituals.

Vedic music was mainly played for two reasons – please the Gods and as an accompaniment to the sacrificial offerings in the Vedic rituals. The prominent instruments of the Vedic era include veena, tunav, dundubhi, bhoomi-dundubhi, and talav. The Rigveda contains the richa which are the recited Vedic hymns. Samaveda is supposed to be the origin of Indian music. The word sama is actually a compound word made up of sa that refers to the hymns and ma, which refers to the musical notes.

The Vedic period also gave rise to the Gurukul system of imparting knowledge. In this system

Korean Musical Instruments

The origin of music in Korea can be traced back to ancient times. It gradually grew and gained importance in the courts of all Korean dynasties. Back then, there were four main genres of Korean music – folk, classical, devotional and court music. Over a period of time, music in Korea started evolving and it slowly began catering to a global audience, rather than restricting itself to its own shores. The fact that contemporary Korean music is a rage in the whole of Asia is a testament to its growth.

The recent case of plagiarism, wherein an Indian music composer was accused of ripping off a Korean song for a Bollywood film, is a good example of the impact and the popularity of Korean music all over the world. Speaking of popularity, Korean musical instruments aren’t lagging that far behind either. They have been attracting tremendous attention of late, not just in Asia, but elsewhere as well. On that note, let us take a look at some popular instruments that made Korean music into what it is today. A majority of traditional and contemporary choices happen to belong to the category of percussion, woodwind and string instruments. Let us

Cult Classic Movies

Cult movies have almost fanatic fan following. These movies can be mainstream or obscure at the start. Some elements in the movies that are unique may strike a chord with the audiences. This may be catchy dialogs, amazing script and screenplay, hilarious plots, and over-the-top costumes. Every now and then such, a movie lifts the spirits of the cinema goer. The person might just be a bored patron with nothing to do on the weekend and probably cannot sleep at night. So he goes to one of the midnight screenings and comes out smiling. The word quickly spreads and popularity catches on.

For the mainstream films however, the factor that stands out should be awesome and should make the audience sit up erect in their seats, because most of these movies are pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. Ideas presented should be radical, thought-provoking, and the effects should last long after the movie has ended. In short, the buzz that the movie gives should be like LSD, lasting much longer than the usual short drag on the cigarette.

Cult movies generate quite a bit of revenue for the movies too, and this adds to the longevity. For example, a movie like the recent

Korean Movies

Memories of Murder
This is a crime-drama that is based on a true life event. It is about the country’s first known case of serial murders. These murders took place between the year 1986 and 1991. Song Kang-Ho one of the most popular actors of Korean cinema along with Kim Sang-kyung starred as a detectives who try to solve the crime. It all happens when the police force was neither equipped nor experienced in solving a crime of such a scale. This engrossing movie will require your full attention. Must watch for thriller buffs.

A Moment to Remember
Have you ever experienced the loss and discovery within a relationship that is marred by Alzheimer’s disease? A Moment to Remember is does just that makes it so endearing. The movie begins on a romantic comedy note. It moves on to a blissful married life of the couple where the husband (Jung Woo-sung) discovers that his wife (Son Ye-jin) is suffering from forgetfulness. The movie then moves on to the revelation aspect of Alzheimer’s that the wife is diagnosed with. Despite all the trials the couple goes through due her forgetfulness, the couple remains committed. Finally, Su-jin forgets all her memories

Steps In Producing a Movie

Right from the inception of an idea through its material conceptualization leading to its successful completion as a film, the steps below will give you some insight into how you should proceed with producing your first film. Add your individual dexterity, creativity, right choice of cast and crew, adequate financial backing, and organizational skills to these and you’ll definitely have a blockbuster in your hands.

Come up with a Concept
This one goes without saying. Unless you plan on creating a random video collage, you need to zero in on an idea if you plan on making a movie. It is better to come up with 3-4 similar ideas and then decide upon one. When you have more ideas than one to work upon, you have the flexibility to decide on the best among them by checking in which direction each idea has possibility of further developing.

Scripting the Concept
Once you have successfully decided on your main theme, you should start preparing the script by further developing that idea. During this phase, it is advisable to carry writing equipment with you all time, as you never know when and where you get a cinematic inspiration that you would like

The Unbelievable Evolution of Horror Films

It could just be me, and it might be a critical eye too fervently trained to pick apart the most basic miscues in Hollywood and the surrounding industries, but the horror film industry has hit something of a boon of late. It seems to come in waves. In the 1970s, it was exploitation, slasher flicks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and going into the ’80s, it was the uber long franchise exploitation of that slasher formula in Friday The 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Then there was a lull for a few years, as audiences got bored with the same old movies.

Much like its oft resurrected villains, the horror genre always comes back though, and in the 1990s, it found its stride in the teen slasher genre, this time exploiting the exploding high school, college age teen drama, with films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Fast forward a few years, and once again the genre faltered. When you’ve seen one psychopathic, inhuman killer, you’ve seen them all. And so, the next step was something much different, and much more disturbing, born of the proliferation of stylized violence in the films of Tarantino and

Mexican Music Genres

Folklore Music

At the time of the Mayan civilization, percussion instruments were primarily used, like the maracas and drums. Other instruments like the ocarinas and flutes were used a little later. During the time of the Aztec civilization, various kinds of hymns were introduced to praise the warriors and the cantares. These ancient musical forms were an irreplaceable part of the pre-Columbian era, till the exploration of Hernando Cortes, the Spaniard who defeated the Aztecs to conquer Mesoamerica. He brought the priests, soldiers, African slaves and melodious Spanish music along with him. It was not too long after that, that all the three cultures of music, namely Mesoamerican, Spanish, and African were unified to form a new and unique form of music.

Son
Around 1800, when Mexico got independence from Spain, Mexican music was introduced to the other European forms of music like the polka and the waltz. It reflected on the traditional music of ‘the nine sons’, with each one representing a particular Mexican region. The name ‘son mariachi’ means the ‘dancers on a wooden platform’ and was the most familiar son in the past. But today Mariachi is referred to as a band of eight performers. Usually three

List of Historically Inaccurate Movies

Braveheart (1995)
This movie is based on the story of Scotsman William Wallace and his role in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward of England.
Bloopers: In Braveheart, the main character of William Wallace was shown to have led the Scottish crusade against the British authorities. William Wallace’s character as depicted in the movie had a relationship with Princess Isabella of France, who also bore him a child. The character of Robert the Bruce was shown to be fighting alongside the English in the Battle of Falkirk. The Prince of Wales, who went on to become King Edward II, was portrayed as an effeminate and weak person.

History Says: The real William Wallace had traces of Scottish nobility in his blood, he wasn’t a commoner as shown in the movie. Princess Isabella of France was around two years old when the Battle of Falkirk was fought, not the grown woman that she was according to the movie. Robert the Bruce was never a part of the Battle of Falkirk and King Edward II’s character was exaggerated in order to achieve a more dramatic effect.

Gladiator (2000)
The Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridius is made a

Documentary Filmmaking Tips

#1 Goals and Objectives
Unless you are clear about what you want to showcase, you will not be able to portray the same to your audience. Hence, it is important that you know the purpose and objective of making the movie very well. Once you know the subject well, it becomes easy for filmmakers to even make a documentary without words (which usually happens to be the soul of the movie). Moreover, if the objective of the movie is clear then the very purpose of screening this movie is successfully achieved.

#2 Understanding the Genre
Most documentary movies follow the thought-provoking style or rather the more intense genre, however, as a filmmaker you are free to explore all the different types. Now, it is the genre of the documentary that will decide the use of photographs, real events, videos and interviews, which when edited together will create an appealing impact. The genre would also determine how the scene has to be shot, therefore, it is important for a filmmaker to understand the style he wants to mold his documentary into.

#3 Defining Your Subject
The essence of a documentary movie is to fulfill its purpose; whether it is to inform,

Choose a Good Film School in Mumbai

Bollywood and its Stalwarts

Mumbai is sometimes called ‘Mayanagri’, which in Sanskrit means ‘the land of magic and illusions’. And Bollywood is all about weaving magic on the big screen. There are some magicians of the film industry who claim that they can infuse their magical touch into the aspirants. These veteran actors have their own acting schools in Mumbai that cater to anybody who comes to the city with a dream in their eyes and, of course, ample money in their pockets.

There are more than a few film acting schools in the city . A quick look through the yellow pages or even the evening daily will have many ads screaming in your face about how they can make you the next big star – provided you pay them a fee.

And the names behind these film acting schools are not small. Big names in the film industry have understood that there is big money in small town people chasing big dreams in Big Bad Bombay. There are various reasons why these film schools work.

The biggest reason is the city itself. The city has this virus in its air that makes one believe that anything is possible and everything

Cult Violence Growing in Popular Movies

In my last year of high school, my American history professor decided he would show us Saving Private Ryan. The result was a litany of forms to be signed by parents for those not quite 18, and questioning by most students why this was necessary. Only the year before a film had been pulled from an English class in the same school, only rated PG-13 for its portrayal of 19th century sex, but here was our teacher showing us an extremely bloody, violent battle-ridden film. The argument―”it’s history”.

Violence has long-held a certain mystique, the ability to stand tall above the censors and display endlessly gratuitous imagery for all ages. But it’s always been sex that truly upset the stuffy conservative minds of this country. The MPAA arose not because of excessive violence in films, but because of worries over indecent imagery related to sex.

A video game was pulled from the shelves and slapped with an Adult Only rating (the only time ever given) because of a possible unlockable sex scene. The game is one of the most violent offerings around―Grand Theft Auto. It’s an epic assault on every law written, complete with random shootings, drug dealing, and cop

Impressive Movie Review of Shrek Forever After

Shrek, now a father of triplets with a house and a loving wife, is living the life of a responsible husband and father. However, he begins to get bored with the mundane life of a married ogre (if ever there was one). He misses the days when he could just stomp off scaring villagers with his infamous roar. Due to the mounting frustration, in a fit of anger he stomps out of his children’s first birthday party. Wandering alone in the forest, he meets Rumpelstiltskin, who makes a deal with him, saying that in exchange of one day from his childhood, Shrek can live one day as a free, destructive ogre. Shrek agrees, only to later realize that the day Rumpelstiltskin took from his childhood is the day he was born. He now has 24 hours to save Far Far Away from falling into Rumpelstiltskin’s hands forever. He also has to make Fiona fall in love with him all over again.

After a highly disappointing Shrek The Third, Shrek IV does come across as a significant improvement. However, this movie has been unnecessarily complicated by showing the entire plot taking place in an alternate time zone when Fiona doesn’t

The First Horror Film Made

Popular belief tells us that it was a well-known French filmmaker Georges Melies, who made the first horror film. The film was titled as Le Manoir Du Diable (French for: The House of the Devil). It was released in 1896, on Christmas Eve, in Paris. It was a three-minute film and contained many traditional pantomime elements. This film also depicts a haunted castle and manor of the devil.

The Plot in Brief

The film begins with a bat flying into a medieval castle. The bat circles slowly and transforms into Mephistopheles. Preparing a cauldron, the demon produces skeletons, ghosts, and witches from its bubbling contents. Then, the demon conjures a young girl and some other supernatural elements. When one of these supernatural agents hold up a crucifix, the devil vanishes immediately.

History of Horror Films

The element of horror was initiated during the classic age of English literary history. Some of them are Gothic novels like Dracula, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

After the Second World War, the devastation caused by war gave rise to three genres: the horror-of-personality films, the horror-of-Armageddon sub-genre and the horror-of-the-demonic films.

However, during the age of modern and post-modernism, the element of