Documentary Music (Sorted by Year Ascending)



1. John Philip Sousa (1900)

Documentary, Short, Music

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"The famous American bandmaster, as he appears leading an orchestra in one of his well-known marches."

Star: John Philip Sousa

2. Sousa and His Band (1901)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Star: John Philip Sousa

3. Pour faire plaisir (1918)

4 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Pour faire plaisir (1918) is one of the best short films (4 minutes) by Roger Lion showing singing acts.

Director: Roger Lion

4. Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake Sing Snappy Songs (1923)

3 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.3
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In a rare filmed record, the famed songwriters and vaudevillians perform. One of De Forest's earliest experimental sound films.

Directors: J. Searle Dawley, Lee De Forest | Stars: Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake

Votes: 47

5. Fox Movietone News: Jenkins Orphanage Band (1928)

11 min | Documentary, Short, Music

5.4
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The Jenkins Orphanage Band - comprised of young African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina - was a notable influence in American jazz; it had also been the first black instrumental ... See full summary »

Star: Daniel Joseph Jenkins

Votes: 116

6. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

8.4
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A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 19,044

7. Finding His Voice (1929)

11 min | Documentary, Animation, Short

6.0
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Animated figure Talkie gets a visit from his friend Mutie in search for a job. Talkie takes him to the Western Electric sound lab, where a technician explains the process of putting sound ... See full summary »

Directors: Max Fleischer, F. Lyle Goldman | Stars: Carlyle Ellis, Billy Murray, Walter Scanlan

Votes: 138

8. Raf. Ramstedt laulaa merimieslaulun (1929)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Star: Rafael Ramstedt

9. Messaoud Habib (1930)

Documentary, Music

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An Arab woman dances to the sound of music by a small orchestra, led by the pianola player.

Director: Roger Lion | Star: Messaoud Habib

10. La raïs (1930)

Documentary, Music

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Scenes of an Arab woman dancing to the sounds of a song and music by a small orchestra.

Director: Roger Lion

11. The Cap and Gown Revue (1932)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Stars: Fred Kelly, Gene Kelly

12. The Kelly Brothers (1932)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Stars: Fred Kelly, Gene Kelly

13. Ghanili Dour (1932)

4 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Filmed song and veiled belly-dance by an Arab woman on a stage, accompanied by an orchestra of 1 violin, 2 guitars, and 1 tambour, led by Messaoud Habib at the pianola. When the music comes... See full summary »

Director: Roger Lion | Stars: Ghanili Dour, Messaoud Habib

14. Harlem Revue (1932)

Documentary, Comedy, Music

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Stars: The Brown Sisters, Bill Powers, Zazzy

15. Ankara - serdtse Turtsii (1934)

56 min | Documentary, History, Music

7.9
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The made to order record film taken off in 1933-1934 by soviet stage-directors on the instructions of Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk narrating about becoming of the new Turkish ... See full summary »

Directors: Lev Arnshtam, Sergei Yutkevich

Votes: 52

16. Avoda (1935)

50 min | Documentary, Music

6.2
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This documentary celebrates the pioneering labors of early Jewish settlers in Palestine, recording the technological and agricultural accomplishments of the pioneers and the idea of a socialist Jewish state.

Director: Helmar Lerski

Votes: 29

17. Honolulu: The Paradise of the Pacific (1935)

8 min | Documentary, Short, History

6.3
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A Traveltalk visit to Hawaii's capital city in the 1930s.

Director: Ruth FitzPatrick | Star: James A. FitzPatrick

Votes: 56

18. Rytmiä ja iskelmiä (1936)

10 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Stars: Robert von Essen, Sven Grönholm, Olof Larsen, Eugen Malmstén

19. Trzy etiudy Chopina (1937)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Eugeniusz Cekalski

20. Cotton Club Revue (1938)

Documentary, Music

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Star: Bill Robinson

21. For Auld Lang Syne (1938)

7 min | Documentary, Short, Music

8.7
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James Cagney introduced himself and proceeded to identify the attending guests as they arrived at this benefit function, most of whom stepped up to a microphone to be interviewed on the ... See full summary »

Stars: John Barrymore, Freddie Bartholomew, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

Votes: 88

22. Old Natchez on the Mississippi (1939)

9 min | Documentary, Short, Music

5.4
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This Traveltalks short focuses on the city's preservation of the architecture, apparel, and customs of the antebellum South.

Stars: James A. FitzPatrick, Aunt Jenny, Uncle Mose, Uncle Ned

Votes: 31

23. Marian Anderson: The Lincoln Memorial Concert (1939)

8 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.1
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Short film which documents Marian Anderson's singing performance at the Lincoln Memorial.

Stars: Marian Anderson, Harold L. Ickes, Kosti Vehanen

Votes: 147

24. O Nego Está Sambando (1939)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Musical number sung by "Trio de Ouro".

Director: Alberto Byington Jr. | Stars: Dalva de Oliveira, Herivelto Martins, Francisco Sena

25. Sweet and Hot (1940)

Short, Documentary, Music

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A short featuring several all-girl bands.

Stars: Dona Drake, Anita Jacobi

26. Forty Boys and a Song (1941)

Passed | 10 min | Short, Music, Documentary

5.5
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A tribute to the Robert Mitchell Choir School of Hollywood, which trains talented young boys in the musical arts in addition to regular academic studies.

Director: Irving Allen | Stars: The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir, Robert Mitchell, Ken Carpenter

Votes: 93

28. Scottish Mazurka (1943)

Documentary, Drama, Music

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Director: Eugeniusz Cekalski | Stars: Chór Wojska Polskiego, Alicja Halama, Czeslaw Konarski, Pawel Prokopieni

29. The United States Service Bands (1943)

Approved | 10 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.6
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Service bands from the Army Air Corps, Navy, Marines, and Army perform patriotic songs in front of iconic landmark buildings like the Capitol and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Star: Burgess Meredith

Votes: 29

30. Hymn of the Nations (1944)

Approved | 31 min | Short, Documentary, Music

6.6
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Conductor Arturo Toscanini is shown at his home in New York City and leading tenor Jan Peerce and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in Verdi's "Hymn of the Nations" and "Overture to 'La Forza del ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hammid | Stars: Arturo Toscanini, Jan Peerce, The Westminister Choir, Burgess Meredith

Votes: 34

31. A Night in Mexico City (1944)

20 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.0
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A tour of the capital city of Mexico.

Director: James A. FitzPatrick | Stars: James A. FitzPatrick, Mario Gil, Tipica Orchestra, Trio El Patio

Votes: 5

32. Trzy etiudy Chopina (1944)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Eugeniusz Cekalski | Stars: Olin Downes, Natalia Krassowska, Jerzy Lozowski

33. Befreite Musik (1945)

Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Peter Pewas | Star: Erich Fiedler

34. Myra Hess (1945)

9 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.0
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Piano virtuosa Myra Hess performs Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, known as the "Appassionata", on stage in a concert hall. Hess performs only the first movement of the sonata.

Director: Humphrey Jennings | Star: Myra Hess

Votes: 49

35. Song of the People (1945)

29 min | Documentary, Short, History

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How common people have had an influence on the history of Great Britain, told through music and song.

Director: Maxwell Munden | Stars: John Laurie, Bill Owen

36. Gitans d'Espagne (1945)

16 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Jean Castanier | Stars: Carmela Montoya, Nino de Cadix

37. Jivin' in Be-Bop (1946)

Not Rated | 59 min | Documentary, Music

6.8
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A musical film in the style of a documentary, featuring 19 musical and dance numbers, by many notable musicians.

Directors: Leonard Anderson, Spencer Williams | Stars: Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Carter, Sahji, Helen Humes

Votes: 28

38. Symphonie in Salzburg (1946)

Documentary, Music

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39. Hollywood Revels (1946)

58 min | Documentary, Music

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A filmed performance of a burlesque show at the Follies Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Director: Duke Goldstone | Stars: Kalantan, Harry Arne, Peggy Bond, Hillary Dawn

40. Song of the Sea (1946)

3 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Dave Gould | Stars: Bernie Kaai, Kuaana's Dream Islanders

41. Songs in Greece (1946)

10 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Giannis Hristodoulou | Stars: Petros Epitropakis, Yannis Apostolidis, Lalas Iakovidis, Tena Kotopoulou

42. Enchanted Lake (1947)

Approved | 7 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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The second of a series of nature and music shorts (called "Musicolor")produced by David L. Loew in association with conductor Werner Janssen. The initial entry was called "Toccatta and ... See full summary »

Star: Werner Janssen

43. Nekalan nokkelat nuottiniekat (1947)

10 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Director: Topo Leistelä | Stars: Osmo Hietala, Pekka Hildén, Antti Jussila, Nekalan Lapsikuoro

44. Concert Magic (1948)

Approved | 65 min | Documentary, Music

7.9
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This concert features virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) at the Charlie Chaplin Studios in 1947. Together with various artists he performed classical and romantic works of famous... See full summary »

Director: Paul Gordon | Stars: Yehudi Menuhin, Jakob Gimpel, Eula Beal, Adolph Bailer

Votes: 8

45. Toscanini: The Television Concerts, Vol. 1 - Music of Wagner (1948 TV Special)

55 min | Documentary, Music

7.6
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Director: Kirk Browning | Stars: Arturo Toscanini, Martin Bookspan, Ben Grauer, David Sarnoff

Votes: 5

46. Toscanini: The Television Concerts, Vol. 4 - Music of Mozart, Dvorak and Wagner (1948 TV Special)

55 min | Documentary, Music

8.0
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Stars: Arturo Toscanini, Martin Bookspan

Votes: 5

47. Steps of the Ballet (1948)

24 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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Robert Helpmann explains, and dancers from the Covent Garden and Sadler's Wells troupes demonstrate, basic steps and movements of the dance as a new ballet is rehearsed and performed.

Director: Muir Mathieson | Stars: Robert Helpmann, Jeanne Artois, Michael Bayston, Arthur Benjamin

48. St. Matthew Passion (1949)

80 min | Documentary, Music

9.0
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Director: Ernst Marischka | Stars: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Walther Ludwig, Karl Schmitt-Walter

Votes: 11

49. Moments in Music (1950)

Approved | 10 min | Documentary, Short, Music

6.3
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Using clips from several unidentified films of the preceding decade, featuring many well-known stars of the day, this short demonstrates that an endless variety of music to entertain all tastes can be heard when you go to the movies.

Director: Carey Wilson | Stars: Bing Crosby, Xavier Cugat, Nelson Eddy, Judy Garland

Votes: 56

50. Paris, capitale de la danse (1950)

17 min | Documentary, Short, Music

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The film shows the dance schools in Paris where ballet artists are trained.

Director: Marcel Martin | Stars: Berthéas, Janine Charrat, Yvette Chauviré, Geneviève Coulombel


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