Cartoon Musicianship

The past two weeks have been all cartoons and more cartoons! It has been a pleasure to read about cartoon music in Daniel Goldmark’s Tunes for ‘Toons. The book shed no light on my great grandfather and his time in Los Angeles but allowed me to put faces and names to some favorite cartoon moments. That is a big feat too because I have very few cartoon moments in my brain as I grew up with little television. But why some of these early and now “classic” cartoons have such an amazing impact comes down squarely to the influence of at least two people, Scott Bradley and Carl Stallings, who were amazing musicians working in early animation.

These two links will bring you to a video with clips and explanations from the experts:
Merrie Melodies: Carl Stalling and Cartoon Music by CarlStallingEnthusiast and Sing-a-Song of Looney Tunes by CarlStallingEnthusiast

And here you can see Bugs getting musical

In the Goldmark book there is a transcript of an piece by Bradley titled “Cartoon Music of the Future” from June 1941 for the Pacific Coast Musician. In this piece he describes the cartoons of the future, how they will be made and what a centerpiece cartoons will be for featuring the work of musical composers. I don’t think much of what he envisioned has occurred in these following decades, but the Musical Window of Possibilities that he throws open was so wondrous and hopeful that a reader can’t help but wish that some of his prophesies had come true.

Enjoy some 1934 Jack Frost with a musical score by Stallings. It is hard to image now a days a cartoon being made with a full orchestra!

About Guenevere Crum

Guenevere Crum is an artist and a great granddaughter of Edith and Paul Eisler. She has been actively sleuthing her Eisler - Vail Ross heritage since 1999.
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