Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Scott Weiss


The performance of silent film scores with live screenings of silent films is an artform that is still enjoyed by 21st century audiences. One of the most frequently performed examples of this is The Phantom of the Opera (1925). In addition to being an iconic film in the history of Hollywood cinema, this film possesses a full orchestral score which allows it to have accessibility for mainstream concert-hall performance. Live film music has become increasingly popular in mainstream concert halls, and there is a consistent need for accessible repertoire in this medium.

Performing a silent film with live orchestral accompaniment is also an artform that has largely remained unchanged since the 1920s. Silent film scores do not generally possess aids such as click tracks or punch and streamer systems to assist a conductor. As a result of this, modern-day conductors may be unfamiliar with methods needed to synchronize an orchestral score with a silent film on a screen. The purpose of this study is to provide conductors with a guide to one of the earliest known scores to The Phantom of the Opera to help make the score more accessible for mainstream performance. This study provides an overview of the score, a breakdown of the score’s musical and aesthetic traits to allow for optimum synchronization with the film, and a list of errata for ease of performance.

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Music Commons