“You can run any of these pictures and they’d be dragging and boring, but the minute you put music behind them, they have life and vitality they don’t get in any other way.”
Molto Animato! Music and Animation
Since the infancy of the motion picture art form, moving images have always appeared more fluid and expressive when accompanied by music. Whether accompanied by a lone piano player, a symphony orchestra, or a record synced to the images on screen, music helps create pacing, carries emotion, and makes the storyline soar.
The advent of sound film created an entirely new concept in film scoring. A composer could create a symphonic score and synchronize it with the action and mood of the film. In particular, animated films or cartoons opened opportunities for composers wanting to enhance the visual images of the animators with music, sound effects, and songs. Film composers still call “catching” an action or event with a particular musical or sound effect “Mickey Mousing.”
Molto Animato! Music and Animation explores the unparalleled collections in the Music; Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound; and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress. Molto Animato (“very animated”), juxtaposes music scores, lyrics, and drawings with film clips and sound recordings to provide a glimpse into the intricate wedding of art forms that bring drawings to life. This exhibition provides a small sample of the Library’s treasures that demonstrate the magic of animation and the music that makes it come alive.