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How Sound Made It Into Films: A Quick History of the Fascinating Invention

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Yes, Films didn’t always have sound as some may say, remembering the silent film era. And in fact, they had sound but it was a completely different experience than today. 

In the old days, silent film music and effects came from orchestras and devices situated in the cinemas.

Nevertheless, the cinemas belonged to major studios that were not interested in developing sound systems.

Studios loved their traditional system and had no interest on changing it.

However, two studios soon revolted and created their own systems.

Warner Bros created the Vitaphone and Fox the Movie-Tone.

Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Nevertheless, these studios successfully manage to sync sound with images, and sound finally became part of the medium.

Though, this change didn’t happen so easily and, it was due to “The Jazz Singer” (1927) that the shift finally happened.

Furthermore, “The Jazz Singer” was the first film in the world to introduce sound as part of the scenes. And it was a shock to the public.

Hence, the success of this movie made studios covert.

The reasons why this happened: it was cost-effective, and orchestras wouldn’t be needed.

Therefore by the middle of the 1930s, those cinemas that had not converted into sound…closed.

So, the sound made it into films because two studios thought it would be great.

And today we experience all of it!

Here is a playlist of film soundtracks:

Interested on more movie knowledge? Check this out. 

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