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Release: Jan. 19, 2000


LECTURE ON 'ILLUSTRATED SONG SLIDES' JAN. 28 -- Rick Altman, a professor of cinema and comparative literature and director of film studies at the University of Iowa, will present a lecture on "Illustrated Song Slides and the Multimedia Context of Early Silent Film Accompaniment" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28 in Room 1027 of the Voxman Music Building.

In his presentation, Altman will introduce a forgotten form of American multimedia entertainment. Illustrated song slides, which flourished from about 1895 to 1914, offered a separated hand-colored, projected image to illustrate each line of the popular songs of the day. A soloist would sing the verses, then the audience would be invited to join in the chorus, often many times over.

Constituting an important portion of turn-of-the-century vaudeville and early cinema programs, illustrated songs provided an essential mode of advertising sheet music and records at a time when sound technology was rapidly expanding and diversifying.

Altman has written about the Hollywood musical, genre theory and film sound. The French translation of his book "The American Film Musical" won the French Film Critics Award for the best book about film of 1992. His most recent book, "Film/Genre" won the Kovacs prize as best film book of the year (1999).

His current research project for a book on "Silent Film/Sound Cinema" involves a thorough rethinking of silent film sound.

Altman's lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Colloquium series presented by the musicology and music theory areas of the UI School of Music.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at The UI Film Studies program is on the World Wide Web at