Quotes from the (anonymous) review of the final report of my project Sound and Music in Viennese Cinemas:The project contributed a great deal to the understanding of musical accompaniment practices for silent film within the European context. The findings are quite significant, both because of the relative independence of exhibitors in comparison to other national cinemas and because of Vienna’s unique place within the larger history of nineteenth and twentieth century musical culture. The final dissemination of the research is also very impressive. The fact that the project yielded a monograph, an edited collection, four journal articles, a book chapter, and several presentations at international conferences attests to Tieber’s exceptional work as principal investigator and manager the project’s resources.
The project undoubtedly places Dr. Tieber in the forefront of new research on musical accompaniment practices for silent film, on a par with Kathryn Kalinak, Julie Brown, Annette Davison, and Martin Marks. As Dr. Tieber notes, Rick Altman’s work looms large over the field, revolutionizing our understanding of the importance of musical culture to film exhibition in the nickelodeon era and beyond. Tieber’s work probably won’t augur the kind of paradigm shift that Altman’s book did, but it is pathfinding in its own way. I also commend Tieber for his efforts in mentoring Anna K. Windisch. Their collaboration has done much to raise Windisch’s international profile as a rising young scholar in the field
The most significant effects beyond the research field were mostly concerned with the silent film screenings that took place as part of the „Akkordeon Festival“ and the „KlezMore“ festival. Exposing audiences to films with live musical accompaniment is undoubtedly one of the most important things we do as scholars and researchers in terms of outreach. I know how important live music is in transforming the viewer’s experience of silent films. Moreover, events like this also highlight the role cinemas played in Vienna’s musical culture in the early 20th Century. And, as Tieber points out, the communication with musicians also sheds light on the very practical problems that were associated with the logistics of fitting specific musical selections to action onscreen.
At my own institution, our research foundation would be absolutely delighted if every project they supported produced a
major international conference and two books.
Dr. Tieber already has done an incredible amount of primary research on this topic.
a foundation has been laid for further studies on this rich topic and I would be delighted to see Dr. Tieber and Ms. Windisch continue doing work in this area.