Silent Cinema and Song
Special Issue of IMMAGINE – Journal of AIRSC (Italian Association for Research in Film History)
N. 14: Autumn 2016. Edited by Serena Facci and Elena Mosconi

Silent cinema and song have much in common. They share a “popular” and “vernacular” vocation. In fact, during the opening three decades of the 20th century, the “moving images” quickly gave shape to a new semantic, syntactic and cultural discursive organization. During this same period, song was promoted by the renewal of technological equipment (i.e. the phonodisk industry, the radio), the renewal of genres and styles, and of artists (authors and singers). The coming of a new genre of entertainment and art-form–such as the cinema at the end of the 19th century–saw spectacle and media-systems restructure and change. The special issue of the journal Immagine will focus on this changed relationship between silent cinema and song .

Contributions of 30,000-40,000 characters (notes included) are sought for this issue of SILENT CINEMA AND SONG.
Both music and film scholars are welcome. We seek to cross interdisciplinary boundaries and expand our understanding of the complex and articulated relationship between silent movie and song. Collaboration between musicologists and film scholars is encouraged.

Topics might include (but are not limited) to the following sub-themes:
– Technological equipment and economic organization of the sound industry and movie industry in the silent era;
– The spaces where the relationship between cinema and song is consumed (i.e. the movie theatre and its perimeter: the street, the waiting room, the movie theatre itself);
– The protagonists: singers and musicians in the café-chantant, music hall, popular theatres and movie theatres;
– The players and their careers: singers-actors and actors-singers;
– Songs inspired by the great film stars;
– The paradox of the “diegetic” song in silent films (the representation of songs and singers, i.e. folk songs and singers, serenades, choir and church songs, etc.).
– The presence of cinema in popular songs;
– Neapolitan cinema and song;
– Song genres in /and silent movies;
– Film genres and song;
– The reception of film songs and / or movies with songs;
– The filmed song;
– The phonoscene.
* Abstracts of 250 words as well as a brief biography (3 lines) should be sent no later than 28 FEBRUARY 2016 to the following email address:
* Notification of acceptance or refusal will be communicated by 15 MARCH 2016.
* The language of the papers can be Italian, French or English.

• Full texts submission deadline is JULY, 30, 2016. All papers will be submitted to a double blind peer review. Serena Facci is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Università di Tor Vergata, Roma; Elena Mosconi is Associate Professor of Film Studies at the Università di Pavia.