Science Fiction Film & Television

All manner of revolving things

Musical technology, domestic anxiety and The Twilight Zone's ‘A Piano in the House’ (1962)

Science Fiction Film & Television (2012), 5, (2), 159–177.

Abstract

This article considers a ‘curious’ player piano found in Earl Hamner's ‘A Piano in the House’ (1962) and how it comes to upend the lives of all those within earshot. Aired during the third season of The Twilight Zone (US 1959-64), the episode uses a player piano to explore mid-century anxieties about gender, class and culture made obvious through the intercession of this antiquated instrument. By examining this narrative and its technological and cultural context, this article will show how representations of musical technology can function as a site where complex concerns about human agency in an age of technological reproduction can be sorted and (re) examined through the extrapolative structures of sf.

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Laudadio, Nicholas