Research Results

The research findings will lead to different kinds of research products, in both digital and printed formats.

Preliminary research results and in-depth studies of representative topics of the journalistic discourse on film music have been discussed at international conferences, such as the Transnational Opera Studies Conference (Bern, July 2017), the International Music Theory Conference (Vilnius, November 2017), and Musical Moments Conference (Salzburg, March 2018).

Among others, this project intersects with the following topics: a) the critical debate concerning the mechanization of musical instruments in film projections; b) the questions arising from film adaptations of opera and the pluri-medial combination of cinema and music theatre; c) the notion of film rhythm and the dichotomy small-scale rhythm vs. macro-rhythmic (or Eurhythmie) in the film theory and practice of the Twenties; d) the relationship of critical activity and compositional practice in authors like Kurt Weill and Paul Dessau.

The comprehensive investigation of these and other related topics will lead to a monographic treatise on the historical aesthetics of film music in the silent era, which is expected for 2020.

The digital open access repository FMJ Archive constitutes the documentary section of this aesthetic investigation. Aside from being hosted on the server of the University of Vienna, a link to the database will also be available on major reference websites for both musicology and film studies (such as institutional sites and reference portals).


Digital Products

FMJ cartolina_03fr

FMJ Archive, edited by Francesco Finocchiaro, DOI 10.25365/phaidra.38




Hans Erdmann e il dibattito sulla musica per il cinema muto nel giornalismo cinematografico di lingua tedesca“Poli-femo”, 2019, nn. 17-18, Special Issue Ton sur ton, Lo stile della saggistica critica sulle arti I, pp. 111–128

In the Mirror of Criticism”: The Film-Music Debate on ‘Reichsfilmblatt’ from 1924 to 1929 (with a Source Catalogue), «Fontes Artis Musicae», LXVII n. 1, January-March 2020, pp. 34–62 (Read it on

Musica e cinema nel ventennio fascista, “Quaderni del CSCI”, 15, 2019, Special Issue All’ascolto del cinema italiano: musiche, voci, rumori, edited by Roberto Calabretto, Marco Cosci, and Elena Mosconi, pp. 24–30 (Read it on

Il cinema parlante. Spunti per una drammaturgia della voce da Fritz Lang a Terrence Malick. In La voce mediatizzata, edited by Marida Rizzuti and Stefano Lombardi Vallauri. Milan: Mimesis, 2019, pp. 69–92 (Read it on

The Sound of the Nightmares: On the Jazz Music in Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ (with Leo Izzo). In Cinema Changes: Incorporations of Jazz in the Film Soundtrack, edited by Emile Wennekes and Emilio Audissino. Turnhout: Brepols, 2019, pp. 203–218 (Read it on

“Im Anfang war der Rhythmus”. Aesthetic Abstractions in the Film Music Composition of the 1920s, «Principles of Music Composing», XVII, 2018, Special Issue Ratio versus Intuitio,  pp. 144–156 (Read it on

“Der absolute Film”: Über die musikalischen Metaphern im ästhetischen Manifest des abstrakten Films. In Novembergruppe 1918: Studien zu einer interdisziplinären Kunst für die Weimarer Republik, edited by Nils Grosch, Münster, Waxmann, 2018, pp. 181–193 (Read it on

“Musica organica versus musica meccanica”. Un’antitesi metaforica nel dibattito musicale fra le due guerre, in Musica e metafora: storia analisi ermeneutica, edited by Francesco Finocchiaro and Maurizio Giani, Torino, Accademia University Press, 2017, pp. 117–153 (Read it on

The ‘Vindobona-Collection’ of the Universal Edition, “Music and the Moving Image”, IX n. 3, Fall 2016, pp. 38–56 (Read it on


Conference Papers & Presentations


The Visible Man. Emotions and Music in Silent Cinema (with Julie Brown, Elisabeth Trautwein-Heymann), Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, July 23, 2019

FMJ Archive: a Digital Database for German-Language Film Music Journalism, IAML 2019 Conference, Jagiellonian University Kraków, 14-19 July 2019

Die Filmmusik von gestern, lecture-recital at Campus aktuell 2019, University of Vienna, June 13th, 2019

Film Music as a Problem in the Mirror of Criticism, “Music and the Moving Image 2019″, New York University, Steinhardt, May 30 – June 2, 2019

“Im Spiegel der Kritik”: The film-music debate on Reichsfilmblatt from 1924 to 1930, II NEMI Meeting “Periodical press as a source in musicology”, CFSH-NOVA Lisbon, 16–18 May 2019

“Maintaining Italy’s Name through the Screen”. Music and Sound in Fascism’s Film Politics, International Conference Mapping Spaces, Sounding Places. Geographies of Sound in Audiovisual Media, University of Cremona, 19–22 March 2019

Aporien der Filmrestaurierung: Die musikalischen Dokumente der Stummfilm-Zeit zwischen Medienarchäologie und Marktgesetzen, Austrian Musicological Society, Vienna, 6–8 December 2018

Film Music as a Problem in German Print Journalism (Project Presentation, with H. Engelke), Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, Universität Osnabrück, September 25–28, 2018

Film Music as a Problem in German Print Journalism (Poster Session), International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres, Leipzig, July 22–27, 2018

Arias and Ensembles in the Film Adaptations of Operas: Some Preliminary Reflections, Musical Moments Conference, University of Salzburg, March 8–10, 2018

‘Der absolute Film’: The Role of Musical Metaphors in the Aesthetic Manifesto of Abstract Cinema, Symposium Novembergruppe, Dessau, March 3, 2018

Film Music as a Problem in German Print Journalism (Poster Session, with H. Engelke), Austrian Society for Musicology, Vienna, November 22–25, 2017

“Im Anfang war der Rhythmus”. Aesthetic Abstractions in the Film Music Composition of the 1920s, 17th International Music Theory Conference, Vilnius, November 8–10, 2017

Cinema and Musical Theatre in the Weimar Republic: Two Case Studies, 2nd Transnational Opera Studies Conference, Bern, July 5–7, 2017

‘Metropolis’ di Fritz Lang: la città del futuro nell’età del jazz (with Leo Izzo), International Conference When Jazz Meets Cinema, Lovere (BG), May 5–7, 2017.

Il cinema parlante. Spunti per una drammaturgia della voce da Fritz Lang a Terrence Malick, International Conference La voce mediatizzata, IULM University, Milan, October 27, 2016.


Public Communication


Renata Scognamiglio, Festival di Montepulciano – Il 44° Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, Rai Radio3 “Qui comincia”, July 21, 2019

Elena Minetti, Montepulciano: musica e passioni nel cinema muto, “Amadeus”, July 18, 2019

Bernadette Ralser (Interview): Die Stummfilmmusik als Stimme der Gefühle, June 6, 2019

Hanna Möller (Interview): Eine laute Revolution,«Uni-View Magazin», March 7, 2018

Ronald Posch (Interview): Die Vollendung des Worttondramas im Stummfilm, «Die Presse-Zeitung», September 30, 2017

Francesco Finocchiaro, Lo schermo in piazza, “Amadeus”, June 2017, pp. 82–85

Radio Interview at RAI Radio3 Suite, May 31, 2017.