The Industrial Soundscape between Fiction and Documentary Film in Italy’s Long 1960s


  • Alessandro Cecchi Università di Pisa



Italian film music composers, Italian auteur film, corporate film, 1960s


During the long 1960s, which includes the culminating phase of the “economic miracle” and the beginning of the protest movement in 1968, the industrial imagination took forceful hold of the collective mind of the Italian people. While corporate films adopted the rhetoric of industrial progress, feature films offered a negative view of industrialization and underlined its problematic aspects: the exploitation of the working class, class struggle, alienation, pollution, the role of criminal enterprise. In both cases music and sound profoundly influenced the representation of the industrial contexts. Corporate films had a tendency to extol the virtues of labor and industrial production and used music extensively to this end. The wide circulation of these films in this period encouraged a critical approach to industrial contexts from feature film directors: in their films music and sound offered critical readings during the industrial sequences: they posed questions, encouraged ironic or tragic reflection, or gave the sequences grotesque or sinister overtones. This article analyzes film music and sound options in feature films against a backdrop of corporate film communication in order to trace the history of industrial imagination in Italian cinema.

Author Biography

Alessandro Cecchi, Università di Pisa

Alessandro Cecchi is Lecturer in Musicology and Music History at the University of Pisa. He obtained his Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of Pavia in 2007. His research interests cover music theory (Kurth, Schenker), musical aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin), music and German literature (Thomas Mann, Wolfgang Hildesheimer), the symphonies of Bruckner and Mahler, the stage works by Luciano Berio, the history of film music in Italy (Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, industrial films of the economic miracle), the circulation of musical performance through media (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli), and the problem of contemporary musical listening. His publications include book chapters (Oxford University Press, Pavia University Press, Kaplan, LIM, Pacini, Astrolabio-Ubaldini, Enciclopedia Italiana), journal articles (Il Saggiatore musicaleStudi musicaliMusic Sound and the Moving ImageMusica/TecnologiaAisthesisCultura tedesca), edited books (Routledge, NeoClassica) and guest-edited journal issues (Civiltà musicale, Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale) focused on the aforementioned topics. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Archival Notes: Sources and Research from the Institute of Music (Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice).





How to Cite

Cecchi, A. (2019). The Industrial Soundscape between Fiction and Documentary Film in Italy’s Long 1960s. Journal of Film Music, 8(1-2), 89-108.