Banner: The Hope for brass band, organ, choir, and percussion

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Will Film Music last?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    99
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Will Film Music last?

    Film scores can be seen as inconsequential by some people. Film music can be seen as, by nature, populist and commercial, and therefore lacking in long-term artistic merit. Many people would hesitate before mentioning film composers in the same sentence as proper contemporary classical composers.

    However, there is another argument. Film music is not alone in being written to accompany another medium. Think of Ballet, Opera, or incidental music for the theatre, for example. Much of the music for these genres has stood the test of time. Nobody would challenge the claim of Opera to be a medium which has produced many masterpieces. Mendelssohn's music to 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is marvellous, so is Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, as is Tchaikovsky's ballet music. These are examples of music that have lasted, and can stand as good music even when separated from their original context.

    My argument is that the best film music is also capable of being good just as music for itself, even when not accompanied by the film. There is no doubt that much drivel has been written for cinema, and we can be comforted that it will not last. However, I would not be surprised if the best film music gradually grows in respectability over the next century, so that the music will be played long after the films themselves have been forgotten.

    What do people think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The topic of this thread brings to mind a fairly similar one about 18 months ago: Are Movie Soundtracks the New Classics?

    In this current thread it is suggested that some film scores are so good that they will outlive their initial purpose and continue to be well regarded by future generations. In the previous thread the contention was that the better film composers of today are tantamount to our current classical composers.

    I realise that the issues are rather different but it may still be worth considering what various people said on this topic on the previous occasion. At times the issues were hotly debated. My own humble contribution (or rather the main one) to the previous thread is at post #51.

    Picking up from that post I would suggest that, in response to the question posed in this thread, some film scores will probably continue to be well regarded for many years to come. However, I doubt that they will generally enter the classical music canon per se, but will simply be regarded as good music of its type for an earlier period in film history. There may be the odd exception that proves the rule.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    arkansas/missouri
    Posts
    1,320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    film music is not composed to last long, but some of it will make it.

    dj

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kevin Pearson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,563
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't know if whole scores will be of lasting value but certainly highlights, excerpts and medleys of scores will. There are many scores that are considered masterpieces and will be studied by composers for years to come. As well as certain outstanding composers like Max Steiner, Wolfgang Korngold, Mikolas Rosza, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, Henri Mancini, Ennio Morricone, Alfred Newman and many others. Of all these I especially think Korngold, Steiner and Williams will continue to be played many years from now.

    BTW....Here is a link to 101 of the greatest film scores. I know these kind of lists are very subjective but I find very little fault with this list:

    http://www.filmsite.org/101filmscores.html

    Kevin

  5. #5
    Senior Member chillowack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Squire Trelawny
    Posts
    293
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The greatest film score composers are, in my opinion, on a par with the greatest composers of other eras: the only difference is the medium for which they compose.

    What first brought this concept home to me was when I was listening to John Williams' soundtrack to Star Wars, and I realized the thing was profoundly brilliant: far more than just a "cool soundtrack," this work is spectacular.

    He's done the same thing with movie score after movie score: created these complex, perfect, magnificent scores that have established him as a truly great composer, worthy of the highest praise.

    I have no doubt that some of the more memorable movie scores will live on for centuries (if humanity lasts that long). The greatest music of all eras has always stood the test of time, and memorable film scores will be no exception.

  6. Likes QuietGuy liked this post
  7. #6
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,939
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    We already have some examples of suites from movie score (Alexander Nevsky, for instance). I think some film scores will translate well into suites. I used to have a Bernard Hermann suite for the score to The Day the Earth Stood Still which is fantastic. I'm not sure I need to hear every little bit of background music for this, so the suite was perfect.

    John Williams may be the exception where the whole score works well, because as I recall he uses a lot of leitmotifs like Wagner.

    I look forward to the day when we can get a movie score without the obligatory pop song at the end. Even Shore's Lord of the Rings soundtracks almost finish with a pop song.

  8. Likes QuietGuy liked this post
  9. #7
    Senior Member dmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    536
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    The topic of this thread brings to mind a fairly similar one about 18 months ago: Are Movie Soundtracks the New Classics?
    Wow, some of the condescending attitudes in that thread!

    Anyway, I think some of the music will stand the test of time, even if the films themselves do not (at least not the original tapings - we may see recreations if the screenplays survive, and as has already happened with some films). They are already performed by the greatest orchestras and in the most renowned concert halls and under direction of some of the best conductors in the world.

    Anyone know how many operas were written TOTAL in the 1800s? How about symphonies? And how many of them can you name? I think it will be the same way with film scores - tens, if not hundreds of thousands will be composed, but only a select few will grace concert halls in the coming centuries.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    La Mesa, CA
    Posts
    2,730
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Of course film music will last.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

  11. #9
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Anyone know how many operas were written TOTAL in the 1800s? How about symphonies? And how many of them can you name? I think it will be the same way with film scores - tens, if not hundreds of thousands will be composed, but only a select few will grace concert halls in the coming centuries.

    My thoughts exactly... and I also agree with Weston's comment that what might truly stand the test of time are suites culled from the larger whole. On one level I don't see that composing music for film should be imagined as a guarantor of aesthetic inferiority any less than composing for any other "performance"... be it a cantata, mass, play, ballet, opera, etc... certainly the vast majority of film music is commercialized crap... but then the vast majority of all art is mediocre at best. The vast majority of contemporary "art music" or "serious music" is pretentious crap. I think where film compositions do fall short is with the demand that the music be written in such a way to exactly coincide with the mood or drama of the film. Where a composer for the ballet may need to compose this or that movement with a certain mood in mind and follow the given narrative it is not as strictly dominated as film where the composer may need to composer exactly 33 seconds of lush romantic music followed by 5 seconds of a dramatic explosion of sound followed by 5 seconds of calm, etc... etc... Considering the demands of the form it is surprising that film composers are not more admired... if only for the difficulty of their work. Again... this is why I agree that suites of such composers work may be the route through which they are best remembered... not unlike the manner in which Tchaikovsky's ballets (among others) are perhaps best served by being culled or edited.

  12. Likes Pysmythe liked this post
  13. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    99
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    StLukesguildOhio makes some great points here, particularly his point that the film medium often makes more demands on the music that say Ballet. I often wonder whether the really good film composers feel artistically restricted at times. On the other hand, the film itself may give them inspiration. I am frequently amazed at the knack John Williams has for finding exactly the right themes to capture the essence of a film, and improve the film in the process. The comments on suites are also interesting - as an example I thought of Nigel Westlake's AntarcticaSuite, which I think may prove to be an example of what people have been saying.

    Incidentally, how many film composers find the time to write outside of their normal medium? I can think of John Williams and Michael Nyman, and I'm sure there are others. Could this be another way for their film music to stand the test of time - to have written a body of music in other forms?

  14. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles area
    Posts
    224
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Will film music stand the test of time? Yes.

  15. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    As long as film remains successful, so will film scores (for the most part). Some may disagree here, but there may come a time when [music originally written for a film] may overcome other forms of classical music in overall preference among listeners (of classical music). In fact, we may be there already.

    A decade from now, concert halls may be performing quite a bit more Williams or Zimmer scores (a venue in my neck of the woods recently performed one of Shore's works), while new performances of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies go the way of the 8-track. In some respects, a grim outlook, but we may be headed that way.
    Op. 109

  16. #13
    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,642
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    Anyone know how many operas were written TOTAL in the 1800s? How about symphonies? And how many of them can you name? I think it will be the same way with film scores - tens, if not hundreds of thousands will be composed, but only a select few will grace concert halls in the coming centuries.

    My thoughts exactly... and I also agree with Weston's comment that what might truly stand the test of time are suites culled from the larger whole. On one level I don't see that composing music for film should be imagined as a guarantor of aesthetic inferiority any less than composing for any other "performance"... be it a cantata, mass, play, ballet, opera, etc... certainly the vast majority of film music is commercialized crap... but then the vast majority of all art is mediocre at best. The vast majority of contemporary "art music" or "serious music" is pretentious crap. I think where film compositions do fall short is with the demand that the music be written in such a way to exactly coincide with the mood or drama of the film. Where a composer for the ballet may need to compose this or that movement with a certain mood in mind and follow the given narrative it is not as strictly dominated as film where the composer may need to composer exactly 33 seconds of lush romantic music followed by 5 seconds of a dramatic explosion of sound followed by 5 seconds of calm, etc... etc... Considering the demands of the form it is surprising that film composers are not more admired... if only for the difficulty of their work. Again... this is why I agree that suites of such composers work may be the route through which they are best remembered... not unlike the manner in which Tchaikovsky's ballets (among others) are perhaps best served by being culled or edited.
    One question: where is this good film music you speak of? Not so sound as if I'm not game for the idea, but most everything I've heard is watered down with cliche progressions. There is no individualism that I can really detect, and it all seems to be in poor taste. It doesn't communicate anything to me, interest me, or surprise me in any way with how well orchestrated it is. Can you please refer to me where the gravy is, if I've been missing out on some great compositions?
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  17. #14
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    One question: where is this good film music you speak of?

    Toru Takemitsu's score for Akira Kurosawa's Ran... among other films.
    Prokofiev's music for Ivan the Terrible
    Bernard Hermann
    Franz Waxmann
    Erich Korngold
    Ennio Morricone
    Elmer Bernstein
    Philip Glass- Kundun
    Wojciech Kilar

    Undoubtedly others can come up with many more.

  18. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    One question: where is this good film music you speak of? Not so sound as if I'm not game for the idea, but most everything I've heard is watered down with cliche progressions. There is no individualism that I can really detect, and it all seems to be in poor taste. It doesn't communicate anything to me, interest me, or surprise me in any way with how well orchestrated it is. Can you please refer to me where the gravy is, if I've been missing out on some great compositions?
    Well, there's Hamlet, King Lear and Alexander Nevsky (to name only a few). Does that help?
    Op. 109

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Music Books - A Quick Reference
    By Chi_townPhilly in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 270
    Last Post: Dec-02-2019, 15:47
  2. Tonal music and cliche
    By JANK in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: Dec-29-2017, 15:27
  3. 20th Century: Music in Mexico - A brief look
    By andruini in forum Articles
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Dec-27-2009, 06:17
  4. Stile Antico - Renaissance
    By kg4fxg in forum Musicians
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jun-26-2009, 07:44
  5. Looking For Young Music Enthusiasts For Ch4 Film
    By E LESLIE in forum Classifieds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jul-04-2006, 17:06

Posting Permissions

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