Tag Archives: The Jazz Singer

Film Music 101: Sidelining

In film music production, sidelining refers to when musicians appear onscreen in a film or television production. They will usually appear with their musical instruments, though they may or may not actually play on them.

Sidelining has occurred a lot over the course of history, so I will only select a few examples to show here.


The Jazz Singer-1927

During the famous scene where Al Jolson sings, a small orchestra is seated behind him. This movie is often considered the first “talkie” (that is, a film with synchronized sound).


Gone With the Wind– 1939

During the Confederate ball scene, there is a band on stage.

It’s almost not fair to include this movie since it’s about a group of musicians, but I couldn’t resist!

The Blues Brothers-1980

Practically any movie with live music in it is considered an example of sidelining, so there are too many examples to count. Another good example comes from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) during the scene in the opera house.

For more Film Music 101, see also: Film Music 101

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See also:

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

Film Music 101: Arranger

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: Leitmotif

Film Music 101: Orchestration and cues

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore