Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type





Nicolas Scherzinger

Second Advisor

Theodore P. Cateforis


film history, film music, performers, violin performance, violin solos

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Solo musicians have been present in film music since the beginning of film history. The extent of the musicians’ involvement has typically varied, from being featured soloists during film changes in a theatre to being featured soloists in a film soundtrack. Sometimes musicians were the subject matter of films, but not all of these films cast musicians in the on-screen role; instead directors selected an actor to portray the musician and had a competent musician train them to look like they could play an instrument on-screen. In many cases, directors asked musicians to record the actual piece in a studio to overdub the actor’s performance. In the last two decades numerous films have featured original solos written for violin, some of them emanating diegetically from the story, and some of them functioning non-diegetically in the support of the film’s narrative. Among the violinists asked to record these solos are such notable names as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Hillary Hahn. Throughout film music history, solo violinists have been visible or invisible (yet audibly present) within Hollywood films to varying degrees.


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