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Thread: What makes a good film score? A discussion of WHY you love your fav. film scores

  1. #16
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    I think the score depends on the meaning of the movie
    if it is unreal out of the life
    who think it will be related
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Jan-23-2010 at 11:22. Reason: promotional URL-link removed

  2. #17
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    The score of a movie depend on it's many parts like story,plot and Camera work. Many time when you watch any movie than you easy guess that what would be the next scene, i don't like such movies. I like such movie in which you find something beyond the imagination.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Antiquarian's Avatar
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    A good film score compliments the film action and subject. Music supports the portrayed emotions on screen, and a good score draws out a reciprocal response from the audience, one that allows us to participate in the action instead of being a mere spectator. For instance, throughout David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago" there is a leitmotif (if that is the correct term) performed by a balalaika that is associated with Yuri. At the end of the film, when he sees the Lara for the last time, and Yevgraf reveals to Tonya her heritage, the use of this and other themes subconciously elicits emotions in the audience. Even now, not having seen the film in a while, hearing Maurice Jarre's score alone produces in me the same emotions.

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  5. #19
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    Another vote for Morricone - Once Upon a Time in the West

    - a great series of leitmotif for the main protagonists
    - music that was composed in parallel with the film so that certain shots and their music are intertwined with meaning (for example the famous panning shot of the town after Caludia Cardinale arrives in town)
    - music that is integral to the story, especially the harmonica theme that presages the shoot-out at the end
    - a soundtrack that isn't just 'music' - for example the famous opening sequence that lasts 10 minutes without dialogue, music (or actually much happening) but which is rivetting
    - music that is emblematic of the themes of the movie, not just the characters
    - music that you remember afterwards
    - most importantly, music that YOU enjoy as much as the film
    Last edited by Headphone Hermit; Jun-04-2014 at 16:13.
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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  7. #20
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    only way i can explain this is through examples.

    First example, Titanic. (great film score. on top of that they have a quintet playing ruthlessly as the boat is sinking.)
    The Score was on top of things. It made the movie captivating. James Horner did a splended job. After seeing this at age 12 or thirteen. I begged my mom for the soundtrack. The Soundtrack ended up keeping the emotions with the film with the imagery included.

    Second Example, Mononoke Hime (beautiful film score.)
    This is the epitome of an emotional response in film. The characters had themes, and their themes fit their character. again, (at this time i had the money to get the soundtrack.) I listened to this non-stop when i came home from school.

    ironic thing i just noticed. both soundtracks have a vocal track. lol

    Third example, Batman (the 1988 one) (horrible score, beautiful movie.)
    well... no almost every Danny Elfman score feels too similar from the last. Also, the most prolithic music is during the opening credits.

    Fourth Example, from an anime. and non-classical. Tokyo Ghoul. (beautiful story, apathic music to what is going on... with the exception of the last episode on the first season... it fit perfectly.)

    Fifth and Final Example. Nadome Cantabile.
    this really isn't a score... but the anime is basically what led me to loving classical music to it's fullest. and inspired me to start writing scores.
    the music they use are abridged versions of Brahms' First, Rachmanicov's Second Piano Concerto, a bunch of Liszt, Chopin, and there is even a Mozart fanatic. Suprizingly I was expecting more Beethoven, but i think they only mention the road he walked on. The Voice actors are all musically inclined and have had practiced the instruments. But they also had a bit of background music at certain points. which fit the emotion. (it is my favourite anime.)

    But, most of my experience with theatrical scores are from anime.

  8. #21
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    My favourite film score is Leonard Rosenman’s Lord of the Rings (not Howard Shore’s). Unlike many film scores, it has a lot of development. It uses consonant music to depict the forces of good, and some bittersweet moments, and dissonant music for forces of evil, and lots of polytonality in between in the struggle of good and evil. It also has a bit of microtonality used to good effect. Personally I think this score is better than a lot of concert Classical Music. Rosenman studied with Schoenberg and Sessions. He also had a promising concert career sharing the bill with Babbitt until he started writing for films. He introduced modernism into movies
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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  10. #22
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I love the score to John Carpenter's Halloween. A simple dark melody in 5/4 that just defines the film. Another score I enjoy a lot is Neil Young's improvised score to the film Dead Man starring Johnny Depp. It is perfect!

  11. #23
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    As someone who composes silent film music, this is an endless topic of conversation, as many early scores for silents consisted of cut-and-paste classical/romantic/library music which sometimes works in a general way but very rarely in the specific, moment-to-moment way that good composers try to do. Similarly, using pop songs for soundtracks gives a great feeling for the time and mood—GOODFELLAS is one of the best examples of this sort of score—but I always try to get into the particulars of the emotional flow of scenes in my work, and I know people appreciate that.

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  13. #24
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Spiderman 3. I think Sam Raimi, who wrote (with others) and directed, is a genius. It’s a movie about forgiveness, the hardest being to forgive oneself. I was surprisingly touched by the story.
    "That's all Folks!"

  14. #25
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    A good film score fills the gaps between events on screen with universally understandable set-ups of fitting moods.
    Last edited by Fabulin; Aug-09-2019 at 08:04.

  15. #26
    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    There are outstanding film scores, that both independently survive and also add an indispensable part to the film. To me an outstanding film score does more than just filling the gaps, it adds a main character to the cast. Of course, a lot of film scores are an assembly of existing tracks. I usually sit through the closing title to see which music was used. It often seems that with classical music, some third rate recordings are used, likely because the major labels charge too much. Only if a director exactly knows which specific interpretation he wants (Kubrick), you will find interesting interpretations. But only a fully dedicated score would make it to my list of favourites. So, Kubrick, however well chosen, does not make it to my list of favourites

    My favourites are:
    Bernard Herrmann
    - The Hitchcock scores:
    Psycho: probably the most important film score I know, music is the main character in the film. Every scene, the music is spot
    on and to think of a classic murder scene (shower), only accompanied by 'romantic' strings, quite a revolution! Incredible he
    didn't win the Oscar, not even a nomination
    Vertigo and North by Northwest are also outstanding scores.
    - Taxi Driver, where the music also contributes to the film, the saxophone theme alone is worth it
    Carl Stalling
    - For his revolutionary Cartoon scores for Warner Bros. There are a few CD's, dedicated to his music for Warner Bros. It is quite
    wild ride, but the music adds a lot to the cartoons. Incredible musicianship by the composer and the Warner Bros orchestra.
    Dave Grusin
    - The Firm. A wonderful jazzy score, which I just like as much apart from the film itself
    Ennio
    - Of course Morricone belongs here too, where I would like to mention The Mission, 1900 and Cinema Paradiso as the most
    outstanding scores, apart from the Westerns
    Nino Rota
    - Italians and film music are a good combination, Rota of course composed the wonderful Godfather themes, many Fellini scores
    and War and Peace

    There is of course much more, but so much for my contribution

  16. #27
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Apart from some obvious answers, good orchestration/midistration and excellent production values are an essential ingredient. There's a long line of brilliance going back to Korngold for orchestration, whilst the likes of Zimmer epitomise the modern aesthetic of hybrid scoring. Both are equally effective imv and both need highly developed multiple skills and artistry. Orchestration, be it for live players or via a DAW, directly impinges on the dialogue and fx and is a often a good indicator as to whether or not one is listening to a great scorer. An engineer who worked with Goldsmith told me that in the film dubbing suite, if a score by Goldsmith was being used, the dubbing engineer would just set the music level once on the mixing desk, knowing that Goldsmith's - and equally Arthur Morton's more often than not - orchestration will have been perfectly judged to accommodate the dialogue and fx.

    Stand-out scores for me are the likes of Gladiator, The Arrival and Amelie. For purely orchestral scoring, Williams is deservedly an (the even) acknowledged master, but I also have a soft spot for Silvestri who wrote a beautiful score for Contact and a terrifying one for Predator, also Barry's haunting music for Out of Africa. These are just a few of my favourites though, there are many, many more.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Aug-10-2019 at 13:50.

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