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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > June 2019 > From theARCHIVE



In his monthly Random Notes column, the anonymous ‘Ike’ discusses the arrival of the talkies, and the collective panic they’ve caused among cinema musicians

The advent of the “Sound- Film, ” has caused much anxiety to orchestral musicians all over the world, and my post-bag is full of letters from players in theatres and cinemas asking what I think to the present situation, and what can be done to avert the threatened disaster.

The “Sound-Film” has come to stop; as it improves in its technique, so will “canned” music as the Americans call it, improve and widen its field; and as broadcast music becomes more and more indispensable, the demand for really first-class musicians will increase. At the moment matters are too much in a state of flux for one to be able to prophesy just what is going to happen in the immediate future; but it looks as if there is to be keen competition between broadcast music, the gramophone companies, and the “Sound- Film” producers. The present stage is that each of these bodies is trying to secure a controlling interest in famous orchestras, or to secure the services of skilled men in their particular line of production. It may be that very soon we shall see theatres and concert-halls leased or bought by one or other of the great film combines, or by the B.B.C. or the gramophone companies. Thus each form of mechanically produced music will have a controlling interest or a monopoly in the sources and means of musical production. Musicians who are wide-awake will follow the lead of several famous conductors; drop their antipathy to the mechanical methods of reproducing music, and bend their energies to perfecting themselves in the particular kind of musicianship required. In other words: specialise.

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About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.