Looking at the Screen through the Spindle Hole

A Phonographic Approach to Italian Cinema of the 1960s


  • Alessandro Bratus University of Pavia




45 rpm single, soundtrack album, Italian popular music, media convergence, record production


The use of songs in Italian cinema could be regarded as a minor issue from a cinematographic perspective, being seen possibly as a derivative by-product in both a film’s production and in its critical reception. However, music plays a crucial role in postwar Italian popular culture, as evidenced by the heated debate about the ideological function of popular and folk music that has raged among intellectuals (most notably Umberto Eco), musicians, ethnomusicologists, and composers. My starting assumption is that a perspective on cinema production gained from the vantage point of the phonographic medium can help to enlighten issues related to changing styles and production practices in Italian popular culture after World War II. Investigating the connections between the film and recording industries also highlights the need for film composers to be versatile and proficient in different genres, a quality that was an integral part of their role as specialized professionals.

Author Biography

Alessandro Bratus, University of Pavia

Alessandro Bratus obtained his PhD in Musicology in 2009 (University of Pavia), where he is currently Research Fellow. His teaching and research experiences in Italy and abroad have focused on analytical approaches to musical and multimedia products in Anglo-American and Italian popular culture from the 1960s onwards. His publications include scientific and popular books on Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan, as well as articles in edited volumes and scientific journals on topics related to composition and multimedia experimentation in popular music, structural relationship between form and meaning, the trope of authenticity in contemporary media.


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How to Cite

Bratus, A. (2019). Looking at the Screen through the Spindle Hole: A Phonographic Approach to Italian Cinema of the 1960s. Journal of Film Music, 8(1-2), 51–65. https://doi.org/10.1558/jfm.37322

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