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Thread: Anyone know where to find full sheet music of scores?

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    Default Anyone know where to find full sheet music of scores?

    I'm a studying composer, and my first love (as far as music goes...) have always been film scores. Unfortunately, when I search for sheet music of this sort, all I can find are shortened, truncated versions. I understand these places are trying to sell you music so you can play it on your piano, but I want the music to study it and learn from it as the way it was originally written. I don't mind paying at all. Unfortunately, if I look at sites like amazon.com, they sell film score guides, but they give no more information or description besides this... is it the full score, or just bits of it and filled with analysis? Not sure.

    Any help, insight?

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    Hi renaissancemanrt. I study film music professionally, and I must say the availability of scores is a real issue. Most *do* exist somewhere, albeit probably in a some movie studio library available only if you know the right people. There are a few good resources out there though. A few universities and private collections have a good number of scores. Check out the Alexander Courage Collection at Eastman for example. The library of congress may also be of some use though I admit I have not contacted them about film scores. Try looking at the citations in those film music guides if you want to see where the authors got their access to film music.

    There are also some special cases of good chunks of film music being released for wide publication in the form of concert suites, excerpts etc. Normally, these are obviously only partial or very modified pictures of what FM is like. John Williams signature editions are a good example of this.

    Honestly, I do most of my work by ear, involving a lot of transcription and best-guess work. There are some other somewhat less official resources out there, PM me if you'd like to learn about those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renaissancemanrt View Post
    I'm a studying composer, and my first love (as far as music goes...) have always been film scores. Unfortunately, when I search for sheet music of this sort, all I can find are shortened, truncated versions. I understand these places are trying to sell you music so you can play it on your piano, but I want the music to study it and learn from it as the way it was originally written. I don't mind paying at all. Unfortunately, if I look at sites like amazon.com, they sell film score guides, but they give no more information or description besides this... is it the full score, or just bits of it and filled with analysis? Not sure.

    Any help, insight?
    I don't know about film scores, however if they've actually been published, you can get them from www.sheetmusic.com or similar companies like www.musicroom.com.

    They are expensive, particularly for small print runs of highly specialised modern repertoire.

    The last time I looked at a Jinrich Feld music score for solo flute, it would've cost around £52 for less than 10 pages. The CD is much cheaper

    You won't find critique/analyses with the musical scores (unless you're looking for piecemeal parts of the score - Debussy's Syrinx is an example of this in a number of studies.

    If you can specify which instrument you are looking for in particular, then you can home into a specialised publication outlet. If it is film music, that's a fairly broad genre - you might be better trying musical cinematography and film studies outlets, rather than a classical music outlet.

    Good luck.

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    A surprising number of film scores (well, MOST of them) are never published in their entirety - there is simply no point (for you, maybe, but not generally). Much of a film score is very fragmentary and composed especially for a particular scene or sequence in a film. Sometimes this music wouldn't stand up on its own, which is why composers (or, sometimes, other musicians) arrange suites from the best-known themes. many film scores do not even make it past the manuscript (or, nowadays, the Sibelius/Finale print-out) and the original soundtrack recordings.

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    For a short time back in the 1980's or so, Warner Brothers publishing released some of their classic film scores (Korngold/Steiner/Waxman, etc.) in piano versions (which were frankly hardly playable,LOL!) but I have not seen anything in full score. One thing about these now out-of-print transcriptions, is that they DID have a 'general' instrumental notation.

    If you're looking for some of the older 'classic' film scores, you might contact Warner Brothers publishers and see if full scores are available. However, I seriously doubt that they are. As another poster said, these scores were originally composed in bits and pieces to accompany the action on the screen--in fact, composers such as Korngold and Steiner, especially, jotted down their themes as they watched the rushes of a particular scene in the studio, then 'timed' the music for the sequence.

    Tom

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