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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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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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Classical music is a style or type of music, not an intent. Some film music is Classical whether it stands alone or not. Its a sub genre of the overall Classical category as are sonatas, quartets, Symphonies etc. Some film scores are jazzy so they arent Classical or they are Pop so they arent Classical. I dont know how to define Classical music but I know it when i hear it. Wasnt there a quote to that effect about something else lol!
We should ask people whether it sounds Classical to them.
 

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My last response on this. Where does lesser come from? Not from anything I have said. In fact, I have repeatedly said I am not discussing value. I'm not sure why you keep trying to pretend that I am discussing value. Trolling, I suspect.
For me, it's about helpful (educational) categories for students of music. 'Not about what it sounds like to a majority of listeners (who probably don't care about possible ramifications).

Give a kid Star Wars music and what happens?
 

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I was actually taught by a music teacher that CM is the classiest (the highest level and sophisticated, highest style) music there is.
 

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Why do we now teach that Pluto is not planet. For clarity and educational categories.

CM vs film music. Same thing. Is it a good analogy?
 

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No, probably not.

Pluto WAS classified as a planet, but as scientific description became less vague, it was decided that Pluto doesn't really fit the more specific description of "planet", for "clarity and educational categories".

Film Music has not been expelled or downgraded from Classical Music. It is its own broad genre that overlaps with the broad genre of Classical Music. Some film music shares characteristics considered to be "Classical". Some Classical Music has been used as film music. Some Film Music has been adapted into Suites that are regularly played by symphony orchestras in Classical Music concerts.

Nothing has "changed".

I do, however, find it amusing that some folks will vehemently argue the topic as though the issue is an "Either/Or" thing.

"You're either WITH us, or you support the enemy!"
Well now, consider that Pluto was never a planet, except to those who were uninformed (or overly sentimental for their own personal reasons).
Even Clyde realized this back in the 1980s. He was a friend of mine (he was so old-school that he couldn’t accept the Big bang, he thought the universe had to be infinite and eternal because he had checked about a million stars (in the 1920s), another very human assumption).

I think it’s the same with helpful music categories.
 

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By TODAY'S definition, yes, "Pluto was never a planet".

But it was the definition that changed, not Pluto. Years ago Pluto was a planet, by definition.

Pluto was discovered on February 18th, 1930

Pluto was reclassified from a planet to a "dwarf planet" in 2006. You can safely refer to it as a "former planet".

[The more I write the word "planet" the stranger the word looks.]

From 1930 when it was discovered up until 2006, Pluto was also considered the ninth planet of the solar system. It used to be considered a planet.
The reason I thought it might be a helpful analogy is that Pluto being called a planet here would obviously not be called a planet in another solar system. And this finding if it's confirmed - who knows what how it will help the progress of science. The point is, we put Pluto in a strict category constrained by such details as, the influence of the Sun in its formation and its size among the its traveling companions. 1400 miles diameter would almost fit into the Amaerican Midwest, much smaller than our Moon.
If we have strict categories in music (if we strive for them) it's all likewise universally applicable.
 

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Refreshing the debate from a different angle, I'm submitting a half-dozen works below that have more than a dozen movements. The core concept of each opus is such that its composer elected not to shoehorn the music into commonly-accepted forms (no 3-movement concerti or 4-movement symphonies here).
Not just composers, either ... album producers have issued recordings of these wherein each musical movement is a recepiant of its own track #.
The resultant albums resemble soundtrack albums, like it or lump it. [most soundtracks have 12 or more cues]
Imagine! Music which has no connection to cinema or TV ... but nonetheless plays like a film score because it is based upon extra-muscial narratives and creates its own mould instead of being pegged into a pre-determined (and pre-approved) pigeonhole.

13 cues: Baldr (by Leifs) A choreographic drama based upon Norse mythology about the creation of 'Man' on Earth. Primordial pre-Christian paganism in 2 Acts, with 13 tracks, across 2 CDs.

15 cues: Office des Oracles (by Ohana) Ancient religious rituals & prophecies vocalized in 12 sections, a couple of suites + a coda. The Alpha & the Omega ... with the Minotaur, a dragon, tarot cards, horoscopes, etc. in between.

16 cues: Les heures persanes (by Koechlin) 16 piano minatures - subsequently orchestrated - based upon traveller Pierre Loti's novel depicting a multi-day journey across Persia. Each movement is rather like a musical snapshot focused upon a specific time of day at a certain location. A musical photo album, if you will.

17 cues:
The Kairn of Koridwen (C.T. Griffes) A Dance-Drama based upon Druid legend, arranged for 8 musicians in 2 Acts.

Zodiac (by Bennett) The 12 zodiac signs, along with 5 Ritornellos, yield a 17-movement work with 17 minutes duration (each track is between 44 seconds & one minute 9 seconds in length). Hhmmm ... seems not unlike those brief cues typically utilized in music for a television series, eh?

18 cues: Le miroir de Jésus (by Caplet) "poèmes d'Henri Ghéon" are set to music (vocal & instrumental) and serve as musical prayers according to the "Mystères du Rosaire".
You've changed your name. Cool.
 

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You did explain that they are accepted CP ways of writing a fugue, but you haven't explained why it's objectively sacrilegious to subjectively view the F minor from WTC II (for example) as "corny"
You reminded me that Glenn Gould asserted that many of the preludes in the WTC are quite silly. I think I know what he meant, but why be that critical, when they have teaching functions..
But then again, he was just giving his opinion when asked (according to a script, for a TV airing). Keep it short and titillating and somewhat surprising/shocking, I guess. Would we watch it 60 years later, 40 years after he died?
 
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Every man or woman in charge of the music of moving picture theater is, consciously or unconsciously, a disciple or follower of Richard Wagner – Stephen Bush, film critic, 1911
Please write music like Wagner, only louder – Sam Goldwyn to a film composer
If my grandfather were alive today, he would undoubtedly be working in Hollywood —Wolfgang Wagner





Aren't those more like "Germanic" or "German-influenced" attributes in common practice music? In my subjective view, there's certain banality, for example, in Viennese Classicism emphasizing "motivic development" too, in the form of sequences and repetitions. In the common practice, there are many miniatures and songs and music for the low class in operatic numbers that have (singspiels, singsmesse, lieder, etc, by composers who wrote developments other genres) no development in themselves, but compensate for it by strength of melodic/harmonic quality. Aren't they classical music too?
The question I have is what would've composers, like film composers, produced during the period of Viennese Classicism?
I don't think it's fair or constructive to compare works centuries apart, except to see how much obvious development there's been. That's not to say I wouldn't do it for fun, if we had good examples.
 

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Just to make things clear, I will never do theoretical analysis to compare two pieces of music, because I think it's absurd (not only wrong, but absurd) to evaluate artworks with "matematical" parameters.
For example, the argument "the melody is repetitive and therefore the piece is bad" is absurd. Infact, in some pieces melodic repetitions disturbs, while in others doesn't. Furthermore, not only a simple and repetitive melody can be better than a more developed melody, but the simple melody can be an excellence while the more developed melody can be total trash.

If you ask me a comparison between two pieces of music, I will simply say which one of the two gives me stronger emotions and why, because this is the real point of music. The mathematical parameters can play a role in emotions, but they are not the intrinsic value of music. For example, if repetion of some melodic phrases is boring, than it's relevant in the emotional aspect. On the other hand, if the repetition of some melodic phrases create postive feelings, it's also relevant for the emotional sphere.


That said, I never wanted to start a competition between composers. Hans Zimmer composed an excellent suite for the Lion King (and when I say that something is excellent I mean a score of 10/10, so it's not possible that the music of Lion King is defeated by other pieces: at most there are pieces that are just as good) and he was fortunately awarded for it (I wouldn't believe in humanity if he wasn't), but if he hasn't won other awards until this year (for Dune) it probably means that he's not a so profilic composer in average.
He's not for sure as profilic as Mozart, who composed his first symphony at the age of 8, his first four piano concertos at the age of 11, more than 600 pieces in his short life, of wich the worst are good (8/10) and the best are excellent (10/10).
It's not a mathematical comparison.
 

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In a broad sense.
Yes, it's comparing the specifics of all the ideas that make works 'artistically' effective.

We could go down the line of them, but it makes people's eyes glaze over from boredom.

Probably, it's the opposite of what people want out of music.
 

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Thanks. This is exactly the point of the Lion King score.

It's famous theme comes from the piece of the suite called "The Kings of the Past".
In the mithology of the animated film, the stars are the "kings of the past": this is why you hear the theme while Simba and Mufasa are contemplating the sky.


The melody of Hans Zimmer is perfect for the scene and communicates exactly what it must communicate: the greatness of the sky.
Furthermore, the secondary meaning of this theme is the love between a father and his son. Hans Zimmer in some interviews explained that this theme is dedicated to his father, who died when he was 6 years old. According to the christian worship, the father of Hans Zimmer is in the sky.

As an atheist, I have no gods. My gods are the stars. So, this piece is like sacred music for my ears. This is why this melody thouches me so deeply: I can feel it's message while hearing to it.

The same theme has been inserted in this scene and it starts in the exact moment that Simba starts crying because he realizes that his father is dead and he is now a "king of the past".


The music of Hans Zimmer reinforces so much the messages that the animated film would be kinda sterile for me without it.
I don't remember the film music, but I admire Elton's melodies (which fit his singing style so well) and the lyrics. Impressive songs, mature Elton John.
The film music surely fulfills its purposes. I couldn't do it, and that's always my barometer..
 

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Allow me to interject, "Well, here we go again."

The Beatles
dabbled in a lot of subgenres, and avant-gardism is one of them.

One of the problems is that I could ask a dozen people what Avant-Garde means, and get a dozen answers. And the meaning(s) of the phrase has probably evolved over the years, just as the Pop/Rock subgenres of Prog and Metal have.
If you're a conservative in art, AG wants to target the opposite of what, stereotypically, you and the old guard has wanted in art. It's a subtle focus, but it's not new (just maybe more accented since the early 1900s).
 

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JW to retire his film writing and concentrate on concert music...
Here's a pertinent quote from the article..
“A purist may say that music represented in film is not absolute music. Well, that may be true,” says Williams. “But some of the greatest music ever written has been narrative. Certainly in opera. Film offers that opportunity — not often but occasionally it does. And in a rewarding way musically. Occasionally we get lucky and we find one.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/nati...b97ac2-f2f2-11ec-ac16-8fbf7194cd78_story.html
I wonder if you have an example of such a successful film (a lucky find above)?
 

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The animated films of the Disney. Watch Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Beatiful and the Beast, for example.

During the so called "Disney Renaissance", the Disney was trying to relaunch his products with some new ideas, including the music as an important part of the products. The music awards at the Accademy Awards in the nineties were dominated by the Disney.
All music holds fascinations for me. I don't want to give the wrong idea. I surely couldn't compose such long, interrelated, and purposeful motifs and arrangements. ..That's how I approach all the arts (I'm glad experts do it, I couldn't do it).

But for me it's easy listening or irrelevant when separated from the cinematic arts. And to teach that music needed in films is comparable to CM is bad for youngsters, IMV.
 

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The film scores of which we are speaking about are not elevator music. We are not speaking about B music for B movies.

I agree that some film scores are nothing more than elevator music, but I was not thinking about the "bad" film scores when I opened the thread.
When we know all the symphonies and quartets so well that we won't go back to them for a long time, then exploring music for films will be another category of music for us.
I'd rather hear more jazz, but it's because I try to participate in the jazz vision, as best I can (learning and practicing).
 

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no, that’s not how it works. Even JW has admitted so. In his preface to Fred karlins book On the Track, Williams said the number one question he is asked is how to break into film scoring. His reply involved several things but mostly he stressed the importance of pure luck, out of your control. other a list composers have admitted the same thing. So you’re wrong.

Further, hz is a brand and a name that people pay for now, which is a ridiculous concept created by this idiotic industry and has helped create this mess.

however, if hz died tomorrow are you saying all of Hollywood would shut down? Would film scores just suddenly cease? Nope. They would just pay one of the other thousands of carbon copies out there 2 million dollars to write something just like him and nobody would know the difference. We have computers to see to that. They are going to pay someone 2 million dollars.

your arguments are nothing but baseless ad hoc. as if it’s ok that the ends justify the means. Or like saying we can conclude hitler had good ideas because he had millions of supporters so he couldn’t have been that wrong.

I don’t need to make a million dollars to prove how easy it is to write better Melodie’s or better music than hz. I just need to show you my music which I have plenty of examples of. More importantly, since my argument was that he does not belong mentioned with Jw and goldsmith, I just need to show their music.

strange that peoples arguments bore you but not trite melodic content.
I agree about trite content. I know what it is (but it's difficult to describe in all its varieties). Maybe this is what the argument is really about.
Can music used as specifically as it is in films, be anything but predictable and trite? And should it be more 'important' as art? I don't think so. It has to fit the type of film, and it's one package, so apart from the film what is it?
 
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