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Originally posted by hammeredklavier:
"But in moments where avant-garde techniques are crucially indispensable for conveying extreme horror, the techniques must be used."

Nonsense. Ennio Morricone wrote one of the most famous, best horror film scores to one of the greatest (and goriest) horror films of all time, John Carpenter's The Thing and used no avant-garde techniques at all. The whole score was very subtle and nuanced, and should be a lesson to all that came after. As no surprise to anyone, it wasn't.
 

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Whatever music accompanied the earliest horror movies, it wasn't what we would now regard as the 20th C avant-garde. Dracula (1931) used Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Schubert!
No wonder why the general public doesn't find that primitive horror stuff (which came before the conventions established by figures such as Stanley Kubrick) auditorily scary anymore.
 

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No wonder why the general public doesn't find that primitive horror stuff (which came before the conventions established by figures such as Stanley Kubrick) auditorily scary anymore.
Ironic since I don't find any modern horror movies the least bit scary, let alone interesting. I'll take Psycho, The Birds, The Haunting (1963), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and a whole slew of other "primitive stuff" over the predictable, boring, computer-generated "cartoons" today.
 

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Originally posted by hammeredklavier:
"But in moments where avant-garde techniques are crucially indispensable for conveying extreme horror, the techniques must be used."

Nonsense. Ennio Morricone wrote one of the most famous, best horror film scores to one of the greatest (and goriest) horror films of all time, John Carpenter's The Thing and used no avant-garde techniques at all. The whole score was very subtle and nuanced, and should be a lesson to all that came after. As no surprise to anyone, it wasn't.
I won't argue "avant-garde music is aesthetically similar to horror film soundtracks" as an objective fact. I just disagree with some people's view that it's "something ugly, discordant music no one listens to",
I'm saying it's very much an integral part of modern culture, without some of us realizing.
 

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Ok, I understand. Just keep in mind, though, that the term "avant-garde" will apply to certain music only at a certain point in time, maybe longer, maybe not. It depends. For example, Boulez's 2nd Piano Sonata of 1945 was labeled AG back in its day, but it is not considered AG anymore. Same with Lutoslawski. What he was doing in the 1970s and 1980s was pioneering in the AG, but now it is mainstream and everyone does it and accepts it as "normal". I didn't watch The Beatles video you posted there, but I would assume its probably similar. I doubt much of anything from 50 or 60 years ago is going to be considered AG today. People would probably still call John Cage AG, and I might as well, I don't know (I don't call his conceptual pieces "music", I call them just "art"). Like I said, it depends. Just keep all of that in mind when throwing this term around.
 

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Ironic since I don't find any modern horror movies the least bit scary, let alone interesting. I'll take Psycho, The Birds, The Haunting (1963), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and a whole slew of other "primitive stuff" over the predictable, boring, computer-generated "cartoons" today.
Psycho was, IMO, the only foray that Hitchcock took into the Horror genre, although The Birds came close. Hitchcock was considered the master of Suspense.

It's possible that the films you mention resonate better because Suspense is a more nuanced genre than Horror.
 

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I won't argue "avant-garde music is aesthetically similar to horror film soundtracks" as an objective fact. I just disagree with some people's view that it's "something ugly, discordant music no one listens to",
ARE THE BEATLES AVANT-GARDE?
I'm saying it's very much an integral part of modern culture, without some of us realizing.
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.
 

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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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I wonder if you have an example of such a successful film (a lucky find above)?
You'd have to ask the man himself. My guesss is that he means he was able in some films, to exercise and think in longer and more concert/theatre orientated phrasing, development and techniques (multi themes, motifs etc.), because of the vast amount of music required for certain projects (Star Wars, Raiders et al).
He is also given much licence in movies thanks to his genius and with Spielberg in particular, that trust gives him some considerable musical latitude. The famous story about the last 15 mins or so of E.T. show how much respect Spielberg has for JW. No matter how much he tried, JW could not conduct his lengthy and brilliant cue to get it in synch with parts of the action on screen. Spielberg told him to conduct it the way he wanted the music to go and the film was subsequently re-edited to the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #592 ·
I wonder if you have an example of such a successful film (a lucky find above)?
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.
 

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“But some of the greatest music ever written has been narrative. Certainly in opera."

JW is right of course. But that doesn't negate what he suggests the purists might say: that music for the movies is created and developed in a very different way than music written directly and explicitly for the concert hall.

Plainly, there are members here who know a great deal about some film composers, their history, their successes, their techniques and styles, their relationships with directors and producers and their stories.

Then there those who are in the business itself, and know the nuts and bolts from the inside of the industry

For the rest of us, all we have to go on is our familiarity with the movies and the music (some of us having a more expansive knowledge than others). It's quite easy to hear that a soundtrack for the overwhelming majority of mainstream movies is made up of dozens of cues constructed to fit the visuals. You don't need specialist knowledge if you've been watching movies for over 50 years and paying attention to how the music works, whether through seeing the movies multiple times or through listening to soundtrack albums. When I was 18, I paid 6 times to see Star Wars in 1978. Each time, I was blown away by the fanfare, and the immense spacecruiser that just kept growing before my eyes. I'd never seen nor heard anything as exciting before*. Sound and visuals in perfect harmony.

Who cares whether it's "classical music" or "avant garde"?



(*Oh, but then I did see Jaws in 1975...and The Poseidon Adventure in 1972...and Ben Hur on a rerun in 1970...and Bedknobs and Broomsticks in 1971...and...)
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #595 · (Edited)
It's quite easy to hear that a soundtrack for the overwhelming majority of mainstream movies is made up of dozens of cues constructed to fit the visuals.
Of course it is, but the best film music composers write nice melodies that can be apprecitated outside of the context.

I'll add an other input to the discussion.

Can we say that John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alan Menken, Thomas Newman, Ennio Morricone, Alan Silvestri and others COMPOSE music for a general purpose and then they ARRANGE it to fit the scenes of the film?
While they are COMPOSING the music they are already thinking about how it would sound outside of the film (because they want to sell albums and tickets for concerts), although when they arrange it they have to think about the images of the film.
Then, when it comes to concerts, they sometimes create new arrangements (if it's necessary) or they use the arrangements of film scenese if they are already suitable for the concert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #596 ·
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.
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.
 

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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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I have around 18 hours of carefully edited playlists of Movie Themes and Soundtracks all in the form of standalone tracks. Some of the themes are never mentioned in these threads, but are examples of some of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard. Wish I had the skill to compose music like this.

An example is this standalone track, Cora, by Randy Edelman from The Last of the Mohicans. It appears in a short romantic scene where Madeline Stowe visits the jailed Daniel Day Lewis. In a version of the movie that I saw on TV, this scene was cut for some reason:

 

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Some of the themes are never mentioned in these threads, but are examples of some of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard. Wish I had the skill to compose music like this.
An example is this standalone track, Cora, by Randy Edelman from The Last of the Mohicans.
I like some of Randy Edelman's 1990s soundtracks such as Diabolique or Anaconda, but Edelman doesn't stand out to me as a lyrical tunesmith creating long-lined melodies.
That "Cora" cue sounds more reverential or funereal than a love theme.

Below are a few of the love or main themes that impress with their unpredictable serpentine contours and intricately detailed notes & arrangements.

Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's Il delitto del diavolo (1970)

Lisa and the Devil by Carlo Savina

The Abominable Snowman by Humphrey Searle

Hugo Friedhofer's No Man of Her Own (1950)

All of these were created prior to Spielberg movies & Dolby Stereo; so many melodies outside of DaveM's focus upon the 1985 through 2010 timeline.
I would rather wish to write music like that by Alex North or Piero Piccioni sooner than by the likes of Trevor Jones.
 

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Of course it is, but the best film music composers write nice melodies that can be apprecitated outside of the context.

I'll add an other input to the discussion.

Can we say that John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alan Menken, Thomas Newman, Ennio Morricone, Alan Silvestri and others COMPOSE music for a general purpose and then they ARRANGE it to fit the scenes of the film?
While they are COMPOSING the music they are already thinking about how it would sound outside of the film (because they want to sell albums and tickets for concerts), although when they arrange it they have to think about the images of the film.
Then, when it comes to concerts, they sometimes create new arrangements (if it's necessary) or they use the arrangements of film scenese if they are already suitable for the concert.
Well you can say it if you wish. To what end?
 
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