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In the "Movie Corner" I opened a poll about the film scores which got the nomination "Best original score" in the Academy Awards (Oscars) of 1990: Talkclassical best film score award - 1990

This is for the first part of the competition Talkclassical best film score award.

Now, the score of the film "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (one of the film nominated in 1990) could be probably classified as Jazz (see for example the first theme) and Intrumental pop (see for example the second theme).


I think that no one would say that this is not jazz music because it was composed for a film. No one would say "this is not jazz but film music". Indeed, film music is not a genre of music: it only means that the music was composed for a film.

However, the other four nominated film scores, I think that can be classified as "romantic music".
Usually, the film scores which get a nomination for the "Best original scores" are more or less classical music.

That's why the radio Classic FM started to insert some film scores in the competition Classic FM Hall of Fame.
Their decision is criticized by many people. Read for example this article of the journal "The Guardian": Can film music ever be classical?

The argument of the writer of this article is that film scores can never be classified as "classical music" because they are composed for images and not for concerts (so, it is not standalone music, but a part of the movie).
If this argument is valid, then we must conclude that the score of "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is not jazz because it was composed for images and not for concerts.

However, I agree that pure "motion music" is not extractable from it's context, but the best film scores (the one who win at The Academy Awards) are not simply "motion music": it's music that can be extracted as standalone music. Indeed, the best score composers sell tickets for concerts.


Maybe the real reason of these people is that they think that John Williams is not as good as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and so on and they see classical music as a "closed enclosure" where you can enter only if you have a special permission.
If it is so, still I don't see the logic: you don't have to be Roger Federer for being a tennis player. So, you could simply say "Peter is a tennis player but not the number one" and "John Williams is a classical music composer but not the number one".

You might say that Bach is the number one and John Williams only an ordinary composer, if you think this, but I don't see the logic of "the closed enclosure".
Someone could for example say that the composer of "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is a poor jazz composer, but it's still jazz.


To conclude, my opinion is that much of the music composed for film scores is good classical music: "good" is my personal judgement, but every one can have his own.
If you ask me "Don't you hear the difference between classical music and film scores?", my anwser is that usually film scores are built around one or more powerful themes, while some pieces in classical music are not so melody focused.
I won't say that film scores don't have their distinticive rules, but that those rules are compatible with classical music, because there are many pieces that are considered "classical" that are built around a main theme.
"Spring" of Vivaldi is a good example.
The idea that classical music must be "chaotic" is only a personal preference of some people and not a rule that every composer must respect.
 

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In the "Movie Corner" I opened a poll about the film scores which got the nomination "Best original score" in the Academy Awards (Oscars) of 1990: Talkclassical best film score award - 1990

This is for the first part of the competition Talkclassical best film score award.

Now, the score of the film "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (one of the film nominated in 1990) could be probably classified as Jazz (see for example the first theme) and Intrumental pop (see for example the second theme).


I think that no one would say that this is not jazz music because it was composed for a film. No one would say "this is not jazz but film music". Indeed, film music is not a genre of music: it only means that the music was composed for a film.

However, the other four nominated film scores, I think that can be classified as "romantic music".
Usually, the film scores which get a nomination for the "Best original scores" are more or less classical music.

That's why the radio Classic FM started to insert some film scores in the competition Classic FM Hall of Fame.
Their decision is criticized by many people. Read for example this article of the journal "The Guardian": Can film music ever be classical?

The argument of the writer of this article is that film scores can never be classified as "classical music" because they are composed for images and not for concerts (so, it is not standalone music, but a part of the movie).
If this argument is valid, then we must conclude that the score of "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is not jazz because it was composed for images and not for concerts.

However, I agree that pure "motion music" is not extractable from it's context, but the best film scores (the one who win at The Academy Awards) are not simply "motion music": it's music that can be extracted as standalone music. Indeed, the best score composers sell tickets for concerts.


Maybe the real reason of these people is that they think that John Williams is not as good as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and so on and they see classical music as a "closed enclosure" where you can enter only if you have a special permission.
If it is so, still I don't see the logic: you don't have to be Roger Federer for being a tennis player. So, you could simply say "Peter is a tennis player but not the number one" and "John Williams is a classical music composer but not the number one".

You might say that Bach is the number one and John Williams only an ordinary composer, if you think this, but I don't see the logic of "the closed enclosure".
Someone could for example say that the composer of "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is a poor jazz composer, but it's still jazz.


To conclude, my opinion is that much of the music composed for film scores is good classical music: "good" is my personal judgement, but every one can have his own.
If you ask me "Don't you hear the difference between classical music and film scores?", my anwser is that usually film scores are built around one or more powerful themes, while some pieces in classical music are not so melody focused.
I won't say that film scores don't have their distinticive rules, but that those rules are compatible with classical music, because there are many pieces that are considered "classical" that are built around a main theme.
"Spring" of Vivaldi is a good example.
The idea that classical music must be "chaotic" is only a personal preference of some people and not a rule that every composer must respect.
I think it's a matter of intent. What are the composer's intentions for his creations? I can relate that playing a Beethoven sonata feels very different than playing a transcription by Bill Evans, or improvising something myself using jazz progressions and all the jazz inventiveness I know. What are the feelings? (without talking about the historical developments in music theory).
 

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Whether a piece is classical or not has nothing to do with the forces involved, but with the way in which it is intended to be listened to. Classical music is designed to be considered, contemplated and - being the most abstract of all the art forms - to provoke a truly subjective response in each of its listeners. Film music, on the other hand, is meant to accompany moving pictures, to provide an objective commentary to the on-screen action. Robbed of that on-screen imagery, it loses much of its meaning. Found this in the guardian
 

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This is a pretty difficult question to answer since there doesn't seem to be a clear definition of "classical music"

Let's say I define classical music as being "music that doesn't need extramusical sources to be fully appreciated" i.e. stand-alone music.

However, I agree that pure "motion music" is not extractable from it's context, but the best film scores (the one who win at The Academy Awards) are not simply "motion music": it's music that can be extracted as standalone music. Indeed, the best score composers sell tickets for concerts.
I think this is it. Some film scores are composed such that they can stand alone, but not all. These scores can stand alone because their composers wanted to make them stand alone, not because a film score is required to have music that can stand alone. So going by that, I would consider the best film scores as classical, but I wouldn't consider every film score as classical.
 

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Hey Hans congratulations on the Oscar... ;)

If you listen to John William's 1st Violin Concerto and then compare it to his film work, you might get a sense of why he himself considers his film work distinct and a different musical aesthetic and technique to his concert work. Comparison of the two disciplines at work (yes, they are different disciplines in crucial areas), from a compositional and sounding point of view should go all the way to answering your question.

I've said this before in conversation with member Fabulin (who will chime in no doubt and make me waver in my opinion on the OP dilemna), that JW is quite unique in that his cue writing (as opposed to his excellent theme writing), is good enough to pass off as a more serious stand alone offering in the concert hall.

But it is rather telling that when he sits down and purposely writes for the concert hall, the language in particular is much more personal and one hears that his mindset and expressive reach is different and more personal. In other words just what you expect from absolute music, that of music from a deeper place within who's genesis is not instigated by what is fundamentally utility.
 

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When I listen to the soundtrack Planet of the Apes, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, composer, I hear an oblique classical tone poem. On the other hand, the soundtracks to many of Quentin Tarantino's movies, such as Pulp Fiction are based in pop music. Therein lies the confusion. The real issue is that "Classical" music has been around for hundreds of years, whereas the the technology of movie making redefined the listening of more modern music for today''s audiences.

I wonder what music called "Classical" consist of 200 years from now? Will it include Paul McCartney? Duke Ellington? Willie Nelson? Ryuichi Sakamoto?
 
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Whether a piece is classical or not has nothing to do with the forces involved, but with the way in which it is intended to be listened to. Classical music is designed to be considered, contemplated and - being the most abstract of all the art forms - to provoke a truly subjective response in each of its listeners. Film music, on the other hand, is meant to accompany moving pictures, to provide an objective commentary to the on-screen action. Robbed of that on-screen imagery, it loses much of its meaning. Found this in the guardian
Although this is generally true, there are compositions done for film that stand alone on their own merits. The real point is that man loves to generalize, but in the case of the arts, it becomes an exercise in selective perception.
 

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Although this is generally true, there are compositions done for film that stand alone on their own merits. The real point is that man loves to generalize, but in the case of the arts, it becomes an exercise in selective perception.
It's not really true that for music to be classical music it has to be intended to be contemplated on its own. Lots of classical composers wrote incidental music. This definition would also exclude all of opera.
 

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From my perspective, the modern American/European "Broadway" musical is the current equivalent of yesterday's operas. In 200 years, those musicals will be considered to be classical.
 
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Film music is classical music when and if it is routinely performed in classical music concerts, joins the standard repertoire classical music students must learn, is published and edited like other classical music, and so on. There is no impediment to film music being classical music other than these simple institutional requirements. There is no conspiracy. There is nothing to feel aggrieved about.
 

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Film music is classical music when and if it is routinely performed in classical music concerts, joins the standard repertoire classical music students must learn, is published and edited like other classical music, and so on. There is no impediment to film music being classical music other than these simple institutional requirements. There is no conspiracy. There is nothing to feel aggrieved about.
You can help me with my definition of a serious composer. I think of a person who is trying to advance the art of music and the effectiveness of such expression (or whatever art it is). For me in music, the fine examples are, the 3Bs, Mozart, Berg, Bartok, Prokofiev, Schoenberg.
Surely film composers have advanced the art of composing for films.
 

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You can help me with my definition of a serious composer. I think of a person who is trying to advance the art of music and the effectiveness of such expression (or whatever art it is). For me in music, the fine examples are, the 3Bs, Mozart, Berg, Bartok, Prokofiev, Schoenberg.
Surely film composers have advanced the art of composing for films.
Yes, some film composers have advanced the art of composing for films and are therefore serious film composers.
 
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Whether film music "is" classical music is a wrong question that doesn't need to be "answered" but "dissolved." If you take "typical" examples of classical music with "typical" examples of film music and compare their various features it's clear that the latter will have some features in common with the former and some features that are unique to it. Film music can feature much of the instrumentation, harmonic language, and even quotes from classical music; the differences will be that it's typically not designed to be played on its own, but to accompany and enhance a non-musical source that is the film. It's not dissimilar to opera in the respect that many creative choices made in both are dependent upon the drama and dramatic context, and probably won't make a lot of sense outside of that. Concert-only classical music tends to have features that attempt to make it a coherent, self-contained work that doesn't require any external context (other than the general context of musical language in general) for it to make sense. These differences mean that each serve different purposes and are (or should be) heard and appreciated differently because of that.

So there are differences and similarities, and with all things with differences and similarities it's pointless to ask whether or not one thing "is" another thing. That's just a question of where we should draw lines through reality in order to form our mental categorizations. That's not a useless exercise--it's quite useful to have clearly defined mental categories--but I suspect it's not what most people mean when they ask "Is X also Y?"
 

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"The Fabulous Baker Boys" was scored by Dave Gruisin, who is a bona fide jazz composer. Of course the soundtrack is jazz. Same deal with "I Want To Live!" by Johnny Mandel or "Bird" about Charlie Parker any number of other jazz soundtracks. You wouldn't hire a non-jazz musician to write the soundtrack for a movie about jazz.

I can't speak for the "many people [who] think that classical music composed for film scores is not classical music" -- whatever "classical music" means -- but I can speak for myself. Film cues are usually short, tied to the visuals on-screen, and intended to support the emotions displayed on-screen. Do you know of any symphonies composed for film? Keyboard sonatas? Violin concertos?

I don't. Music "composed for film scores" is music composed for film scores, nothing more. Just because it's played by an orchestra that doesn't automatically make it "classical music," any more than kittens born in your oven automatically become muffins.
 

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Richard Strauss composed the soundtrack for the 1926 silent movie based on his opera "Der Rosenkavalier".
Didn't Shostakovich compose some music for film? Gershwin did. Copland did. Others whose names escape me right now.

But although that music may be "in a classical language" it'll always be just "music composed for film." It was not intended to stand on its own merits. Even though some does.
 
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