Kendra Preston Leonard


Talk at UT Austin

I’ll be giving a talk on “Music for Early Film at the Ransom Center” at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin in the Musicology Lecture Series on 17 February 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in Music Recital Hall (MRH) 2.634. 

The Harry C. Ransom Center is home to more than 27,000 pieces of music for early film, meant to be played as live accompaniment in the cinema, and a large number of other resources that document the transition of Texas vaudeville houses to motion picture theaters in the 1900s and 1910s. These materials include handwritten cue sheets, notes made by cinema performers, photographs, pay stubs and other ephemera that help tell the stories of the musicians who accompanied moving pictures in Texas. I’ll discuss these resources and their status in the Ransom Center, and present information on how accompanists created scores for films in the 1910s and 1920s for Austin and other area movie palaces using music from the vaudeville stage, “legitimate” theater, music magazines, and music newly composed for use in the cinema.