Proposal for a book on Animated Music

The purpose of the book is establishing, critically and historically, the presence of a previously unrecognized genre of an animated film based upon music. In most (perhaps all) cases, the music existed prior to the production of the film; so that the film represents a interpretative performance, much as a concert or record do. I think it best to start the book with Walt Disney’s Fantasia (1940), which I consider a masterpiece of the form, even doing an individual entry on it in my Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (1973, 2000). Another reason for making it a good place to begin is its familiarity. From Fantasia, the narrative should first go backwards into remembering prior animations of music, particularly those of Oscar Fischinger (about whom, also see my Dictionary). From there we can go forwards in time, discussing at length and in detail not only other animators’ responses to Fantasia, including Warner Brother’s The Corny Concerto (1943) and the many Friz Freleng’s films involving music, but also the more experimental endeavors in this vein of James and John Whitney. Another film to notice is Bruno Bozzetto’s feature-length Allegro Non Troppo (1976), which combines mundane live-action with clever animation. I’d like to find and identify good rock videos that depend upon animation. Need I say that I have worked in this genre myself, producing videotapes based upon my electro-acoustic compositions. I see this book as a sequel to my “The Art of Radio in North America,” as both are partially about recognizing values of high art in work previously neglected, because of origins either too commercial or too obscure, and hope that the two books would be published with companion designs. I envision Animated Music as a short book, perhaps 100,000 words, with some illustrations. With sufficient support, it would take two years to write. In addition to appealing to enthusiasts for such films who are not yet conscious of it as a genre, the book could also be used in courses based in both film and music, in addition to informing a film series.