Silent Film Accompaniment

WKS 405
Silent Film Accompaniment
June 28-August 6, 2021 / Weekly synchronous classes to be scheduled with students
Online course

This program has been cancelled for Summer 2021.

Philip Carli

In 1921, George Eastman started a school of music, in part to legitimize the new art of silent film by raising the standard of musical accompaniment. With the rapid advent of sound film in the late 1920s, in 1930 the Eastman School of Music ceased silent film accompaniment training entirely – until now. In the summer of 2021, Philip Carli, a world-renowned accompanist and composer for silent films and the house musician for the George Eastman Museum’s Dryden Theatre since 1989, will teach this resurging art at the Eastman School. The six-week, one-credit course will cover the essential techniques of improvised film accompaniment – analyzing the editing rhythm and narrative line of a film so as not merely to follow the action but to lead the  expectations and emotional response of the audience, always in service of the film. Students will also be introduced to the other two historical forms  of film accompaniment, cue sheet compilation and through-composition of notated scores. The course will be taught virtually, and balance study of film history and construction with compositional assignments. The class is  limited to eight students, who are expected to have professional experience or course work with either composition or improvisation. Keyboard is the normal medium of accompaniment, but other instruments may be used if approved by the instructor (interested students may contact Philip Carli at: This opportunity to study under a master motion picture accompanist is not to be missed.

$1790 / 1 credit     WKS 405-1
$399 / noncredit     WKS 405-2