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Photoplay Music From the Mirskey Collection at the University of Pittsburgh


The Theodore M. Finney Music Library of the University of Pittsburgh houses the Mirskey Collection, a large collection of salon orchestra music used in the early twentieth century by Nek Mirskey’s Polonia Orchestra. The collection includes a large amount of photoplay music, or music composed for the accompaniment of silent films, and it has lately attracted the interest of silent-film-music scholars. This article briefly discusses the phenomenon of film scoring during the silent era, and takes a close look at the work that Pitt has done in providing access to the collection, which includes rare examples of the silent-film-music genre.