Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The purpose of suites

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default The purpose of suites

    Hello.

    Again and again I read that many film composers write a suite before the film was even shot.

    To the basics: What exactly is a suite? Does it have a structure that reflects the drama of the film?
    Or is it about tonality and "story world"?

    It seems to make sense to have a structure that the individual themes are oriented towards.
    For example the sonata form would work perfectly, because it is built like a 3 act story. Thesis - Antithesis - and Synthesis is exactly what makes a story, respectively Exposition - Development - Reprise.

    Looking at the suites of Inception and Interstellar, this structure is less obvious to me. Interstellar - Day One, for example, is getting louder and louder and "bigger" but has no direct connection to the story of the film. If you listen to this suite without knowing the movie you would say it gets more and more epic and bigger, although the movie actually wants to tell an "intimate" father-daughter story.

    The themes have to have a recognizable arc through the movie and develop along the film, otherwise you would have a random selection of sequences without any deeper meaning.

    How is this arc implemented musically?

    Greeting

    Savageee

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1,349
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In Bach's time a suite, similar to the orchestral suites, was a musical collection of French dances. This is even true in the English suites with dances labeled courante, allemande, bouree, etc.

    In modern times a suite has come to mean a collection of similar music usually meant to depict or accompany something -- action in a film or in classical music the activities of a scene in a play. Anyone's incidental music to anything falls into this category.

    Filmmakers used to write the suite to a film while it was being made. Today they are more likely to compose while watching daily outtakes to make the music fit the action. The idea of an arc is from the postromantic period; music accompanying film today is far more eclectic.
    Last edited by larold; Jun-06-2020 at 14:33.

  3. Likes Simplicissimus, Savageee liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    1,979
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sometimes composers and arrangers use the term "suite" because they don't know what else to call it. Just a collection of separate movements, with or without any dramatic order or connection. Not as formal or deep as a symphony. Suites don't have to be put together from soundtracks, ballets, operas or anything else: Grand Canyon Suite for example. Or Dvorak's Czech and American suites. Stokowski put together a suite from Boris Godinov, but called it a "Symphonic Synthesis".

  5. Likes Savageee liked this post
  6. #4
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,736
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just as there are concert overtures that were never really an overture to a fuller stage work. It becomes its own form for the sake of performance.

  7. Likes Savageee liked this post
  8. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sometimes also a suite is extracted from a bigger work to give it a concert presence -- especially excerpts from ballets (i.e. "Nutcracker" suite for instance). Prokofiev actually arranged three suites from "Romeo and Juliet" to get the music out there and establish a demand for a production. A suite from a movie score divorces the themes from slavishly having to follow the scenes (which often leads to disjoint beginnings and endings) and provides a more coherent listening experience.

  9. Likes Savageee liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •