The Music

Music for films during the silent era was marked by a lack of standardization.  Part of the reason was that the number of musicians and the type of instruments varied from theater to theater.  Only a small percentage of theaters had an orchestra exceeding ten musicians.  A large percentage of smaller venues had only a keyboard player on piano or organ.  While smaller combos were the norm, large cities had full sized groups.  The Capital Theater in New York had about seventy musicians available.

Very few films had original scores written for them.  Most films were supplied with a 'cue sheet' which indicated the type of music needed for each section of the film.  Each theater would use music from their library to fit the scenes.

We've collected music published for use by silent film orchestras and will be performing them with a full theater orchestra for the feature film and with keyboard for the shorts. 


The Conductor


The orchestra will be conducted by KVSO conductor and Music Director Allan Dennis.


Additional Films

Kavin SampsonOur additional films, including the cartoon and newsreel, will be accompanied by the KVSO's Kavin Sampson on the keyboard.