Sam Fox Moving Picture Music, Volume 1 (J.S. Zamecnik, 1913) is a music book for beginning and intermediate pianists who play for silent movies. Classical piano training rarely includes learning to improvise, so the many pianists who played in theaters relied on reading or memorizing piano classics and modern popular songs and ragtime. But there was little music in these repertoires for common film situations -- misteriosos, storms, fights, etc. While not the first film music written, Sam Fox Moving Picture Music was the first such collection to be widely distributed, and can still be found in piano benches and libraries (such as the Denver Public Library, where I checked out this copy). The series eventually grew to four volumes. J.S. Zamecnik also wrote more ambitious music for advanced pianists, organists, and theater orchestras, in other series like "Sam Fox Photoplay Music" and "Sam Fox Cinema Impressions."

This music is in the public domain, and you may play it anywhere you like. The MIDI file performances are copyright (P) 1998 by Rodney Sauer, and you cannot use them to make money without my permission. But you may use them for nonprofit enjoyment, including accompanying movies.

The book as a PDF file:

By right-clicking (Windows) or control-clicking (Macintosh) on the link below, you may save this file to your hard drive. It's pretty big, but it includes 300 dpi scans of the 23 pages of Sam Fox Moving Picture Music volume 1. Print it out, and you can play the pieces on your own piano.


The MIDI files:

Click on these MIDI files to hear my interpretation of the Sam Fox Moving Picture Volume 1 pieces. These are performances, not MIDI files from transcriptions, and are not designed to be converted into notation.

Festival March

Indian Music

Oriental Veil Dance

Chinese Music

Oriental Music

Mexican or Spanish Music

Funeral March

Death Scene

Church Music

War Scene
1. In Military Camp
2. Off to the Battle
3. The Battle

Cowboy Music

Grotesque or Clown Music

Mysterioso--Burglar Music 1

Mysterioso--Burglar Music 2

Hurry Music 1
(for struggles)

Hurry Music 2
(for duels)

Hurry Music 3

Hurry Music 4
(for mob and fire scenes)

Storm Scene

Sailor Music

Fairy Music

 Plaintive Music 1

 Plaintive Music 2


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