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MMD > Archives > March 2003 > 2003.03.09 > 02Prev  Next

Mechanical Music in the Movies
By Matthew Caulfield

What was said in the 030308 MMD about the music being heard in movies
never (or rarely) coming from the actual mechanical music machines
seen in the movie is not true.  The Glen Echo merry-go-round and band
organ was used in a movie, as was the Griffith Park one (more than once
I am sure, because of its Hollywood location) and also the Trimper
merry-go-round in Ocean City, MD.  In each case the band organ music
you hear in the movie is real.

Movie studios have clearance departments whose business it is to
identify the selections being played and get the necessary ASCAP, Harry
Fox or whatever clearances needed.  I doubt that the musicians' unions
care in the least about the trivial loss of income that the use of live
band organ music in films causes them.

I have been occasionally called upon, while at the Library of Congress,
to help identify this or that band organ tune that a studio or radio
station needed clearances on, including the snippets of Sigmund
Romberg's "Maytime Waltzes" used in the movie sequence filmed at Glen
Echo Park.

Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)

(Message sent Sun 9 Mar 2003, 13:41:38 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Mechanical, Movies, Music

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