Abstract

During the thirties, French cinema was mostly accompanied by small symphonic orchestras. Through the theoretical writings on “microgénie” (i.e., quality of a composition well-written for the microphone) and the scores of Arthur Honegger, we will try to define a conception of cinematic orchestral sound of this neoclassical composer and his contemporaries. While studying the number of musicians and the orchestral parts, the microphone positioning, the diversity of orchestral devices, and some musical writing principles, we will distinguish a “French film music sound” from the Hollywood orchestral sound of the same period.

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