26 October 2005

So that's what a musicologist does!

For those of you who've been wondering what Colin's been up to while Amy is enjoying her retirement (or if you've been wondering how one musicologist goes about his research), here's an update.

Since arriving, I've met five of my research goals for the year:
1) I've now read the music articles in all of the issues of the newspaper Les Nouvelles littéraires through 1930. (Auric was their music critic off-and-on from 1922 to 1940.)
2) I completed a draft of my essay on Auric's experience of silent cinema.
3) I have transcribed all of the letters written by Auric and his first wife that are preserved in the Music Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale.
4) I have digitized Auric's score for the 1937 film Orage.
5) I have put together full scores of three dance-band arrangements that were made of Auric's songs for the 1931 film A nous la liberté.

In the letters, I came across several things that will be useful for various parts of the dissertation (like Auric's poverty in the mid-1930s and his situation during World War II). But, I've also found one big gold mine--a letter from Auric to Tibor Harsànyi (who composed and orchestrated some of Auric's film music) with lots of details about how Auric approached and thought about film scores.

Tomorrow I'll start in on goal #6, transcribing the letters at the Bilbiothèque de l'Opéra and reading through their "dossier d'artiste" for Auric.

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