A New score for Pandora's Box (Pabst, 1929).
Skinner, Julian Harry
This work considers the relationship between music and silent film focussing particularly on the areas that inform the composition of a new score for the film Pandora’s Box (Pabst, 1929). The paper begins with a consideration of the origins of the narrative and a discussion about the relationships between Wedekind’s originating plays and Pabst’s film. The discourse explores the way in which the new score is informed by the understanding of Pabst’s work as being both modernising and reductive. Through an examination of the organisation of the plot, it establishes the rationale behind the organisation of the score.\ud Part 2 of the paper focuses more closely on aspects of the relationship between music and image. It discusses all aspects of the techniques employed within the score\ud including the use of referential music and sound, the application of cliché, the employment of the rhythm of inter-title ‘speech’ and synchrony. As an original\ud contribution to knowledge, the paper establishes the novel idea of the organisation of music and sound as Layers of Synchrony and with reference to examples within the\ud new score explains how the composer may view the various layers within an arrangement as having additional function through their purposeful, synchronous distribution in relation to the moving image. With reference to the historical and theoretical contexts surrounding the application of music and sound to silent film, and\ud additional reflection on the role and impact of current technology on the compositional process, the paper sets out to establish that the new score for Pandora’s Box is both reflective of the advantages of 21st century technology and the 1930s hybrid form known as the film sonore.