A film score is a broad term referring to the music in a film, which is generally ...
completely edited to Morricone's score as the composer had prepared it months ...
Film Score & Music Introduction A film score is a broad term referring to the music in a film, which is generally categorically separated from songs used within a film. The term soundtrack is often confused with film score, though a soundtrack may also include songs featured in the film as well as previously released music by other artists, while the score does not. A score is written specifically to accompany a film, by the original film's composer(s). Each individual piece of music, within a film's score, is called a cue and is typically a composition for instruments (eg. orchestra) and/or non-individually featured voices. Since the 1950s, a growing number of scores are electronic or a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments. Since the invention of digital technology and audio sampling, many low budget films have been able to rely on digital samples to imitate the sound of real live instruments. Usually, after the film has been shot (or some shooting has been completed), the composer is shown an unpolished "rough cut" of the film (or of the scenes partially finished), and talks to the director about what sort of music (styles, themes, etc.) should be used – this process is called "spotting." More rarely, the director will talk to the composer before shooting has started, so as to give more time to the composer or because the director needs to shoot scenes (namely song or dance scenes) according to the final score. Sometimes the director will have edited the film using "temp (temporary) music": already published pieces that are similar to what the director wants. Most film composers strongly dislike temp music, as directors often become accustomed to it and push the composers to be imitators rather than creators. On certain occasions, directors have become so attached to the temp score that they decide to use it and reject the score custom-made by a composer. One of the most famous cases is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where Kubrick opted for existing recordings of classical works rather than the score by Alex North, which eventually led to a law suit by composer György Ligeti when he was surprised to hear his compositions in a motion film; though one should note Kubrick hired two composers (the other Frank Cordell) to do a score, and while North's 2001 is indeed a famous example, it is not the sole example of well-known rejected scores. Others include Torn Curtain (Bernard Herrmann), Troy (Gabriel Yared), Peter Jackson's King Kong (Howard Shore) and the The Bourne Identity (Carter Burwell). Once a composer has the film, they will then work on creating the score. While some composers prefer to work with traditional paper scores, many film composers write in a computer-based environment. This allows the composer and orchestrator to create MIDI-based demos of themes and cues, called MIDI mockups, for review by the filmmaker prior to the final orchestral recording. Some films are then re-edited to better fit the music. Instances of this include the collaborations between filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass, where over several years the score and film are edited multiple times to better suit each other. Arguably the most successful instances of these are the associations between Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. In the finale of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Morricone had prepared the score used before and Leone edited the scenes to match it. His other two famous films, Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, were completely edited to Morricone's score as the composer had prepared it months before the film's production. Another example is the famous chase scene in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The score, composed by long-time collaborator John Williams, proved so difficult to synchronize in this specific scene during the recording sessions that, as recounted in a companion documentary on the DVD, Spielberg gave Williams carte blanche so to speak and asked him to record the cue without picture, freely; Spielberg then re-edited the scene later on to perfectly match the music. When the music has been composed and orchestrated, the orchestra or ensemble then perform it, often with the composer conducting. Musicians for these ensembles are often uncredited in the film or on the album and are contracted individually (and if so, the orchestra contractor is credited in the film or the soundtrack album). However, some films have recently begun crediting the contracted musicians on the albums under the name Hollywood Studio Symphony after an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians. Other performing ensembles that are often employed include the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (an orchestra dedicated exclusively to recording), and the Northwest Sinfonia.
Film Score & Music The orchestra performs in front of a large screen depicting the movie, and sometimes to a series of clicks called a "click-track" that changes with meter and tempo, assisting the conductor to synchronize the music with the film. Films often have different themes for important characters, events, ideas or objects, taking the idea from Wagner's use of leitmotif. These may be played in different variations depending on the situation they represent, scattered amongst incidental music. A famous example of this technique is John Williams' score for the Star Wars saga, and the numerous themes associated with characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa (see Star Wars music for more details). The Lord of the Rings trilogy uses a similar technique, with recurring themes for many main characters and places. Others are less known by casual moviegoers, but well known among score enthusiasts, such as Jerry Goldsmith's underlying theme for the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, or his Klingon theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture which other composers carry over into their Klingon motifs, and he has brought back on numerous occasions as the theme for Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation's most prominent Klingon. Most films have between 40 and 120 minutes of music. However, some films have very little or no music; others may feature a score that plays almost continuously throughout. Dogme 95 is a genre that has music only from sources within a film, such as from a radio or television. This is called "source music" because it comes from an on screen source that can actually be seen or that can be inferred (in academic film theory such music is called "diegetic" music, as it emanates from the "diegesis" or "story world"). Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller The Birds is a rare example of a Hollywood film with no non-diegetic music whatsoever. In 1983 a non-profit organization, the Society for the Preservation of Film Music, was actually formed to preserve the "byproducts" of creating a film score: the music manuscripts (written music) and other documents and studio recordings generated in the process of composing and recording scores which, in some instances, have been discarded by the movie studios. The written music must be kept in order to perform the music on concert programs and to make new recordings of it. Sometimes only after decades has an archival recording of a film score been released on CD.
Historical notes Before the age of recorded sound in motion pictures, great effort was taken to provide suitable music for films, usually through the services of an in-house pianist or organist, and, in some cases, entire orchestras, typically given cue sheets as a guide. In 1914, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company sent full-length scores by Louis F. Gottschalk for their films. Other examples of this include Victor Herbert's score in 1915 to Fall of a Nation (a sequel to Birth of a Nation) and Camille Saint-Saëns' music for L'Assassinat du duc de Guise in 1908 – arguably the very first in movie history. It was preceded by Nathaniel D. Mann's score for The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays by four months, but that was a mixture of interrelated stage and film performance in the tradition of old magic lantern shows. Most accompaniments at this time, these examples notwithstanding, comprised pieces by famous composers, also including studies. These were often used to form catalogues of film music, which had different subsections broken down by 'mood' and/or genre: dark, sad, suspense, action, chase, etc. This made things much easier for the in-house pianists and orchestras to pick pieces that fitted the particular feel of a movie and its scenes. German cinema, which was highly influential in the era of silent movies, provided some original scores. Fritz Lang's movies Die Nibelungen (1924) and Metropolis (1927) were accompanied by original full scale orchestral and leitmotific scores written by Gottfried Huppertz, who also wrote pianoversions of his music, so that it could be played in smaller cinemas, too. Friedrich W. Murnau's movies Nosferatu (1922 - music by Hans Erdmann) and Faust — eine deutsche Volkssage (1926 - music by Werner Richard Heymann) also had original scores written for them. Other films like Murnaus's Der letzte Mann contained a mixing of original compositions (in this case by Giuseppe Becce) and library music / folk tunes, which were artistically included into the score by the composer. Nevertheless fully developed original scores were quite rare in the silent movie era. It should also be noted that as soon as sound had come to movies, director Fritz Lang barely used musical scores in his movies anymore. Apart of Peter Lorre whistling a short piece from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt, Lang's movie M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder was lacking musical accompaniment completely and Das Testament des Dr. 2
Film Score & Music Mabuse only included one original piece written for the movie by Hans Erdmann played at the very beginning and end of the movie. One of the rare occasions on which music occurs in the movie is a song one of the characters sings, that Lang uses to put emphasis on the man's insanity, quite similar to the use of the whistling in M. A full film score widely regarded as the first made by a popular artist came in 1973 with the film Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, by Bob Dylan. However the album received very little critical acclaim. This had not been done before in popular film history: any featured band had films written around the music (notably The Beatles with Yellow Submarine).
Television score A television score is a broad term referring to the music in a television programs which is generally categorically separated from songs used within a television. The term television score is frequently synonymous with television soundtrack, though a soundtrack may also include the songs used in the television program while the score does not. A score is sometimes written specifically to accompany a television program, but may also be compiled from previously written musical compositions. Each individual piece of music within a television's score is called a cue, and is typically a composition for instruments (eg. orchestra) and/or non-individually featured voices. Since the 1950s, a growing number of scores are electronic, or a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments. Since the invention of digital technology and audio sampling, many low-budget television programs have had to rely on digital samples to imitate the sound of live instruments.
Non-orchestral film scores Non-orchestral film music includes any genre of music not associated with classical music or orchestral performance. Composers that use the orchestra for experimental composition are usually noted as experimental composers rather than orchestral ones. Other genres of film scores include, but are not limited to Rock, Pop, Folk, Blues, Experimental, Electronic, Hip hop, Heavy metal, Jazz, musicals and World music. Some of the orchestral composers listed above also compose in these genres although they are usually noted for their orchestral music. Fewer composers are noted for both their orchestral and non-orchestral compositions and most non-orchestral film composers are noted for the specific genre they compose in. Some non-orchestral composers are also noted artists with their own compositions.
Production music Many companies such as Associated Production Music and Extreme Music provide music to various film, TV and commercial projects for a fee. Sometimes called library music, the music is owned by production music libraries and licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media. Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, music production libraries own all of the copyrights of their music, meaning that it can be licensed without seeking the composer's permission, as is necessary in licensing music from normal publishers. This is because virtually all music created for music libraries is done on a work for hire basis. Production music is therefore a very convenient medium for media producers – they can be assured that they will be able to license any piece of music in the library at a reasonable rate. Production music libraries will typically offer a broad range of musical styles and genres, enabling producers and editors to find much of what they need in the same library. Music libraries vary in size from a few hundred tracks up to many thousands. The first production music library was setup by De Wolfe in 1927 with the advent of sound in film, the company originally scored music for use in silent film. Another music library was set up by Ralph Hawkes of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers in the 1930s. APM, the largest US library, has over 250,000 tracks.
Film Score & Music
SOUNDTRACK The term soundtrack refers to three related concepts: recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; and the physical area of a film that contains the synchronized recorded sound.
Origin of the term In movie industry terminology usage, soundtrack is a contraction of "sound track" and is an audio recording created or used in film production or post-production. Initially the dialogue, sound effects, and music in a film each has its own separate track (dialogue track, sound effects track, and music track), and these are mixed together to make what is called the composite track, which is heard in the film. A dubbing track is often later created when films are dubbed into another language. This is also known as a M & E track (music and effects) containing all sound elements minus dialogue which is then supplied by the foreign distributor in the native language of its territory. The contraction soundtrack came into public consciousness with the advent of so-called "soundtrack albums" in the early 1950s. First conceived by movie companies as a promotional gimmick for new films, these commercially available recordings were labelled and advertised as "music from the original motion picture soundtrack." This phrase was soon shortened to just "original motion picture soundtrack." More accurately such recordings are made from a film's music track, because they usually consist of the isolated music from a film, not the composite (sound) track with dialogue and sound effects. The abbreviation OST is often used to describe the musical soundtrack on a recorded medium, such as CD, and it stands for Original Soundtrack; however, it is sometimes also used to differentiate the original music heard and recorded versus a rerecording or cover of the music. Soundtracks are not the same as "cast albums". Original cast recordings are studio made recordings of the songs from a stage musical. The performers sing the score live every night. They do not lip-synch to pre-recorded tracks. Incorrect use of the terminologies creates confusion in the marketplace. For example as of July 2008 there are two albums of the "Mamma Mia" score. The first is the original London cast recording from 1999, while the latest is the film soundtrack. While it is correct to call the soundtrack a cast recording (since it is the cast of the film version) it is incorrect to call the original London cast recording a soundtrack.
Types of Recordings In the soundtrack genre there are three types of recordings: 1. Musical film soundtracks which concentrate primarily on the songs 2. Film scores which showcase the background music from non-musicals 3. Albums of pop songs heard in whole or part in the background of non-musicals The first musical film to have a commercially issued soundtrack album was MGM’s film biography of Jerome Kern, “Till the Clouds Roll By” The album was originally issued as a set of four 10-inch 78rpm records. Only eight selections from the film are included in this album. In order to fit the songs onto the record sides the musical material needed editing and manipulation. This was before tape existed, so the record producer needed to copy segments from the playback discs used on set, the copy and re-copy them from one disc to another adding transitions and cross-fades until the final master was created. Needless to say it was several generations removed from the original and the sound quality suffered for it. Also, the playback recordings were purposely recorded very "dry" (without reverberation) otherwise it would come across too hollow sounding in large movie theatres. This made these albums sound flat and boxy. MGM Records called these "original cast albums" in the style of Decca's Broadway show cast albums. They also coined the phrase "recorded directly from the soundtrack." Over the years the term "soundtrack" began to be commonly applied to any recording from a film, whether taken from the actual film soundtrack or re-recorded in studio. The phrase is also sometimes incorrectly used for Broadway cast recordings. While it is correct to call a "soundtrack" a "cast recording" (since it represents the film cast) it is never correct to call a "cast recording" a "soundtrack." Among their most 4
Film Score & Music notable soundtrack albums were those of the films “Good News”, “Easter Parade ”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, Singin' in the Rain, Show Boat, “The Band Wagon”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, and “Gigi”. Film scores albums did not really become popular until the LP era, although a few were issued in 78rpm albums. Alex North’s score for the 1951 film version of “A Streetcar Named Desire” was released on a 10-inch LP by “Capitol Records” and sold so well that the label later re-released it on one side of a 12-inch LP with Max Steiner film music on the reverse. Steiner’s score for “Gone with the Wind” has been recorded many times but when the film was reissued in 1967, MGM Records released an album of the famous score. One of the biggest-selling film scores of all time was John William’s music from the movie “Star Wars”. Many film score albums go out-of-print after the films finish their theatrical runs and some have become extremely rare collectors’ items. In a few rare instances an entire film dialogue track was issued on records. The 1968 Franco Zefferelli film of “Romeo and Juliet” was issued as a 4-LP set, and also as a single LP with musical and dialogue excerpts. The ground-breaking film “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was put out by Warner Bros Records as a 2-LP set containing the complete film play.
Movie and television soundtracks The term soundtrack now most commonly refers to the music used in a movie (or television show), and/or to an album sold containing that music. Sometimes, the music has been recorded just for the film or album (e.g. Saturday Night Fever). Often, but not always, and depending on the type of movie, the soundtrack album will contain portions of the score, music composed for dramatic effect as the movie's plot occurs. In 1908, Camille Saint-Saëns composed the first music specifically for use in a motion picture (L'assasinat du duc de Guise), and releasing recordings of songs used in films became prevalent in the 1930s. Henry Mancini, who won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for his soundtrack to Peter Gunn, was the first composer to have a widespread hit with a song from a soundtrack. By convention, a soundtrack record can contain all kinds of music including music "inspired by" but not actually appearing in the movie; the score contains only music by the original film's composer(s).
Video game soundtracks Soundtrack may also refer to music used in video games. While sound effects were nearly universally used for action happening in the game, music to accompany the gameplay was a later development. Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway were early composers of music specifically for video games for the 1980s Commodore 64 computer. Koji Kondo was an early and important composer for Nintendo games. As the technology improved, polyphonic and often orchestral soundtracks replaced simple monophonic melodies starting in the late 1980s and the soundtracks to popular games such as the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series began to be released separately. In addition to compositions written specifically for video games, the advent of CD technology allowed developers to incorporate licensed songs into their soundtrack (the Grand Theft Auto series is a good example of this). Furthermore, when Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001, it featured an option allowing users to customize the soundtrack for certain games by ripping a CD to the hard-drive.
Book soundtracks Only a few cases exist of an entire soundtrack being written specifically for a book. A soundtrack for J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and his trilogy The Lord of the Rings was composed by Craig Russell for the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony. Commissioned in 1995, it was finally put on disk in 2000 by the San Luis Obispo Symphony. For the 1996 Star Wars novel Shadows of the Empire (written by author Steve Perry), Lucasfilm chose Joel McNeely to write a score. This was an eccentric, experimental project, in contrast to all other soundtracks, as the composer was allowed to convey general moods and themes, rather than having to write music to flow for specific scenes. A project called "Sine Fiction" has made some soundtracks
Film Score & Music to novels by science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, and has thus far released 19 soundtracks to science-fiction novels or short stories. All of them are available for free download. The 1985 novel Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin, originally came in a box set with an audiocassette entitled Music and Poetry of the Kesh, featuring three performances of poetry, and ten musical compositions by Todd Barton. In comics, Daniel Clowes' graphic novel Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron had an official soundtrack album. The original black-and-white Nexus #3 from Capitol comics included the "Flexi-Nexi" which was a soundtrack flexi-disc for the issue. Trosper by Jim Woodring included a soundtrack album composed and performed by Bill Frisell, and the Absolute Edition of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier is planned to include an original vinyl record. As Internet access became more widespread, a similar practice developed of accompanying a printed work with a downloadable theme song, rather than a complete and physically published album. The Nextwave theme song and the theme songs for the webcomics Achewood, Dinosaur Comics and Killroy and Tina are examples of this. Many audio books have some form of musical accompaniment, but these are generally not complex enough to count as a complete soundtrack.
Ranking of Best Filmscores Ever 1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 1977 John Williams 2. Gone with the Wind 1939 Max Steiner 3. Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Maurice Jarre 4. Psycho 1960 Bernard Herrmann 5. The Godfather 1972 Nino Rota 6. Jaws 1975 John Williams 7. Laura 1944 David Raksin 8. The Magnificent Seven 1960 Elmer Bernstein 9. Chinatown 1974 Jerry Goldsmith 10. High Noon 1952 Dimitri Tiomkin 11. The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Erich Wolfgang Korngold 12. Vertigo 1958 Bernard Herrmann 13. King Kong 1933 Max Steiner 14. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 John Williams 15. Out of Africa 1985 John Barry 16. Sunset Boulevard 1950 Franz Waxman 17. To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Elmer Bernstein 18. Planet of the Apes 1968 Jerry Goldsmith 19. A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 Alex North 20. The Pink Panther 1964 Henry Mancini 21. Ben-Hur 1959 Miklós Rózsa 22. On the Waterfront 1954 Leonard Bernstein 23. The Mission 1986 Ennio Morricone 24. On Golden Pond 1981 Dave Grusin 25. How the West Was Won 1962 Alfred Newman