Musical Themes in "Max Wants a Divorce"
After selecting Max Wants a Divorce as their film, Don Meyer and Sydnie Bivens researched historical movie music at the Balaban and Katz Archive at Chicago's Harold Washington Library. They found a wealth of short tunes, called "photoplay music," to represent the many moods found in a movie. This music came in collections featuring short segments for different types of scenes: romantic, spooky, fast-paced, suspicious, etc.
Meyer and Bivens combed through the twenty-odd minutes of Max Wants a Divorce, selecting fifteen musical themes to use with the film. Meyer then arranged the short segments into a score, adding appropriate transitions between scenes as necessary. He also orchestrated the music for a small chamber orchestra consisting of strings, piano, percussion, and woodwinds and brass as available.
Each of the clips below highlights a different theme found in the film. Thumbnails below the video clips take you to the cover of the sheet music and/or the sheet music itself.