Sunday, March 28, 2010

What and How to Play for Pictures

Here is a scan of Eugene A. Ahern's What and How to Play for Pictures (1913) [5 MB PDF]. Unlike Lyle C. True's very similarly titled catalogue from the following year, Ahern's book offers practical advice in the specific task of playing to the pictures; it is in that sense a practical manual. The copy I looked at did not contain a Table of Contents, but I have compiled one below:

Preface 5
How to Play 7
Appropriate Music 10
Short Scenes 13
Continuous Playing 18
Difficult Music 22
Producers' Suggestions 28
Popular Music 32
Arrangement of Themes 39
War Dramas 43
Society Plays 45
Brighter Prospects 50
Effect Playing 53
Specimen Program 56
Don'ts 58

Here is his preface:
This Booklet was not gotten up to criticize anyone's way of playing pictures, nor to teach you how to play the piano; but What and How to Play for Pictures is the object aimed at. The book also contains a little advice to beginners in this line of business.

The Booklet embodies my ideas of the business of playing the pictures. I do not claim to be infallible, but experience has shown me the wisdom of the views set forth. In the hope of assisting others in this particular occupation I offer the result of my own observations and study.
Eugene Ahern.