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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.
Nope, that's not how it is. They may have bottom drawer music rejected from other projects that they can re-purpose and that might even include a suitable theme. Actually all media composers have big bottom drawers full to bursting of rejected music however generally speaking, each score has its own unique set of issues and needs to be written bespoke and in collaboration the director, producer etc.

Writing music to film is also instinctual, responding to the emotional and practical needs of any particular moment in the film with the appropriate mood, so clairvoyance is out too. The bottom drawer is useful if a composer is lucky, but not the answer to the puzzle a composer is beset with in writing a score. As part of solving that puzzle, composers will also strive to find a 'soundworld' for a score and that can only be done with the film and brief in front of them and after much thought and experimentation.

The only scenario where music is pre-written to a certain emotion or mood is in Library Tracks and there is a huge industry supplying such tracks to media. These can be used by editors as temps and some might even make it to the final cut but very, very rarely does this happen.

Nice try though HZ.... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #602 ·
Nope, that's not how it is. They may have bottom drawer music rejected from other projects that they can re-purpose and that might even include a suitable theme. Actually all media composers have big bottom drawers full to bursting of rejected music however generally speaking, each score has its own unique set of issues and needs to be written bespoke and in collaboration the director, producer etc.

Writing music to film is also instinctual, responding to the emotional and practical needs of any particular moment in the film with the appropriate mood, so clairvoyance is out too. The bottom drawer is useful if a composer is lucky, but not the answer to the puzzle a composer is beset with in writing a score. As part of solving that puzzle, composers will also strive to find a 'soundworld' for a score and that can only be done with the film and brief in front of them and after much thought and experimentation.

The only scenario where music is pre-written to a certain emotion or mood is in Library Tracks and there is a huge industry supplying such tracks to media. These can be used by editors as temps and some might even make it to the final cut but very, very rarely does this happen.

Nice try though HZ.... ;)
I was not saying that the melodies are not composed to fit the film. What I wanted to say is that the best score composers write melodies that are good enough to be extracted from the images, because they know that if the quality is high they can make money with concerts too.
 

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I was not saying that the melodies are not composed to fit the film. What I wanted to say is that the best score composers write melodies that are good enough to be extracted from the images, because they know that if the quality is high they can make money with concerts too.
So? There is more involved in writing a Classical work than "good melodies" even of "high quality."

What's in a label? Does the label "Classical music" represent for you some caché you wish to see attached to film music?

Otherwise, what is your point with this thread?
 

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I often don't notice soundtracks but when I do, it's because the music is either exceptionally good or bad.

My problem with so many ... especially sci-fi, when we're on other planets in the far-off future, why am I hearing music that sounds too much like the sound of 20th century America? Whenever I notice JW, it's because of the latter, usually during a battle scene. A good battle scene needs loud music like a good comedy needs a laugh track.
 

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So? There is more involved in writing a Classical work than "good melodies" even of "high quality."
What's in a label? Does the label "Classical music" represent for you some caché you wish to see attached to film music?
Otherwise, what is your point with this thread?
There’s been more discussed in this thread than just ‘good melodies’ of ‘high quality’ in some film music. As well, there is the cross-over of the output of some film composers into actual classical music territory. Why are you asking these questions this far into this thread? Several interesting points have been made in this thread; did you miss them?
 

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I was not saying that the melodies are not composed to fit the film. What I wanted to say is that the best score composers write melodies that are good enough to be extracted from the images, because they know that if the quality is high they can make money with concerts too.
I certainly don't think this is the case. Of course any good professional will try to make work of "high quality" but I doubt concert performance is particularly high on the criteria that film composers write music for.

Composers may do this, and they may do stuff like repurpose music they had written previously, film-or-not, as film music, but the number of film composers big enough to move tickets by their name alone in concert performance is low - and even then, a lot of things like video game/film concerts are selling off the name of the franchise, not the name of the composer. John Williams is the exception, not a rule, because John Williams practically is a brand name to himself.
 

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So? There is more involved in writing a Classical work than "good melodies" even of "high quality." What's in a label? Does the label "Classical music" represent for you some caché you wish to see attached to film music? Otherwise, what is your point with this thread?
film music would be more like classical incidental music
 

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I often don't notice soundtracks but when I do, it's because the music is either exceptionally good or bad.

My problem with so many ... especially sci-fi, when we're on other planets in the far-off future, why am I hearing music that sounds too much like the sound of 20th century America? Whenever I notice JW, it's because of the latter, usually during a battle scene. A good battle scene needs loud music like a good comedy needs a laugh track.
That's actually a good question.

The answer is that we can imagine far-off future items like space ships, or jet-packs, computer arrays, cyber-beings, trans-warp conduits, etc., for some reason imagining "Music of the Future" remains a far more nebulous endeavor.

Of course, we all laugh at the futuristic things we saw in sci-fi films of the 1950s, or even in Star Trek in the 1960s. Surprisingly, many things in Star Trek became reality. Ironically, one item, the flip-phone, designed much like the crew's communicators, is already obsolete.

I think, though, that you'd appreciate a battle scene score far more if you could watch the scene both with and without that score. In fact, that goes for major portions of major films.

How big an effect does music really have on film?

This particular video scene from The Lion King gives us the clip without any music, then with five different types of music, and ultimately at the end we watch the clip with its original intended film score.


.

I think that any battle scene WITHOUT the music might seem lesser without accompanying music to heighten the drama, the tension, the confusion, and the brutality.

Here's another with comparative music. There's actually a whole series of these (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuxv7A6ndv6DTpPyXHPMBDshoMIy9goBV).

 

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Discussion Starter · #609 ·
So? There is more involved in writing a Classical work than "good melodies" even of "high quality."

What's in a label? Does the label "Classical music" represent for you some caché you wish to see attached to film music?

Otherwise, what is your point with this thread?
The point of this thread is to discuss if, for example, this score for the end credits of Ghost has a romantic style or not.


Then some users, including me, posted some film scores that they like, although the point of this thread is not to discuss about the quality (the quality is for example discussed in my competition in the Movie Corner).

In the Classic FM Hall of Fame are also accepted soundtracks of videogames or films that the administrator perceive as "classical", but it's the public that decide about the quality. Some of them are promoted by the public, some others are not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #610 · (Edited)
I certainly don't think this is the case. Of course any good professional will try to make work of "high quality" but I doubt concert performance is particularly high on the criteria that film composers write music for.

Composers may do this, and they may do stuff like repurpose music they had written previously, film-or-not, as film music, but the number of film composers big enough to move tickets by their name alone in concert performance is low - and even then, a lot of things like video game/film concerts are selling off the name of the franchise, not the name of the composer. John Williams is the exception, not a rule, because John Williams practically is a brand name to himself.
Not only John Williams.

The concert "The World of Hans Zimmer" shows that Hans Zimmer is also a brand name. It's not "The Lion King Concert" or the "Gladiator concert", but "The World of Hans Zimmer". The same can be said for some soundtracks album that contain many works of Hans Zimmer, which are highly rated in some websites.

I don't know if Alan Menken tried to promote himself outside of the "Disney" brand, but I think he could, as well as some others film score composers. There are concerts for their music and someone is making money thanks to their music. John Williams and Hans Zimmer are only two examples of composers that do concerts with their names.
 

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The point of this thread is to discuss if, for example, this score for the end credits of Ghost has a romantic style or not.

Then some users, including me, posted some film scores that they like, although the point of this thread is not to discuss about the quality (the quality is for example discussed in my competition in the Movie Corner).

In the Classic FM Hall of Fame are also accepted soundtracks of videogames or films that the administrator perceive as "classical", but it's the public that decide about the quality. Some of them are promoted by the public, some others are not.
My question was why is it important to you whether film scores are considered "Classical music" or not? What is it about the label "Classical music" that you feel is a better label than "Film music"?

The way you phrased the title of the thread: "Why do many people think that classical music composed for film scores is not classical music?" seems to indicate that you think that Classical music is simply a sound or style, e.g. "romantic". But Classical music is more than a "sound."

When composers intend to write Classical music they have a host of priorities and goals and intentions which a film composer does not share. A film composer can draw on Classical styles to write his film score - but his intention is to write music for a film which entails a different host of priorities and goals and intentions.

The music is the music no matter what label is attached. Some film music is indeed very well written and of high quality. However, the original reason the music was written was motivated by a completely different set of criteria. And this is ignoring all those film scores for silly movies which are nothing like Classical music, which I think may be the majority.
 

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My problem with so many ... especially sci-fi, when we're on other planets in the far-off future, why am I hearing music that sounds too much like the sound of 20th century America? Whenever I notice JW, it's because of the latter, usually during a battle scene.
It's dramatic music that aimed to communicate the drama to a (primarily American) 20th century audience.
 

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If I had to put the distinction on something concrete it would be the form. Film music takes the form of the film, program classical music has it's own self-fulfilled form based on the thematic material regardless of also being descriptive. If you write film music in the same thorough manner as classical then it is both. When a supposedly classical score lacks in form it is called "amateur".
 

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Thank you for this bouquet of pejoratives, but I'm afraid not everything is clear to me. What exactly are "artificial colours / flavours", and how do they differ from normal orchestral colour? How is the melodic material nondescript if most kindergardeners with no musical training could tell you what it communicates?

The subtraction of which instruments would have, in your view, made this track better?
I was interested in going through this old thread again and had planned on answering an old post, but decided to start from the top. I'll answer this, as I do not believe any current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats. Zimmer writes musical doggerel and this is no exception.

This is the same ol' same ol' phoned in, cookie cutter, Hollywood fashion plate scoring preteens have come to know and love.

You can start by subtracting those annoying, cliche, overused, swishing suspended cymbals. My goodness. Enough already. It's melodramatic and is like fingernails down a chalkboard. Every two seconds. Swish, swish, swish. Then a BIGGER one. Now REALLY big!

There is the over-saturation of bass scoring and octave doubling in the bass instruments. There is nowhere to go for the bass and for climaxes since the bass is scored so consistently throughout. In fact, there is over-saturation and overuse of the orchestral tutti in general as always with Hollywood scoring. Nowhere to go other than everyone to just play louder until they're blowing the seams off their instruments. And they are always scored the same way each time the tutti appears. Padding in the middle with the same voicing (always stacked in score order and excessively doubled, never interlocked or enveloped, and always the same instrumentation, low octaves, same instruments doubled with the melody each and every time. Countermelodies always scored with horns. Melodies never appearing in the bass. No interesting use of solo writing, just the same instruments every score after score and score. Saccharine solo violin and "ethnic" pennywhistle/tin flutes or something close to it. I'm so sick of it. It's extremely boring and unimaginative.

The melodies are boring and unimaginative and easy to write. Almost completely diatonic. Same with the harmonies. And with just one hearing, he does at a minimum 2 idiotic cliches: going from I to vi (like C to a minor) while the melody goes from like a b c. Good grief. And then, of course, using the IV chord for a "climax" and resolving the phrase to V at a cadence where parallel fifths are created with the bass (if in C, the melody would be C E D (c on the strong beat enveloping to the D on the next strong beat, and the bass for the major chords are F and G so it creates parallel fifths). That is a cliche pop progression at cadences. Want more?
 

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I was interested in going through this old thread again and had planned on answering an old post, but decided to start from the top. I'll answer this, as I do not believe any current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats. Zimmer writes musical doggerel and this is no exception.

This is the same ol' same ol' phoned in, cookie cutter, Hollywood fashion plate scoring preteens have come to know and love.

You can start by subtracting those annoying, cliche, overused, swishing suspended cymbals. My goodness. Enough already. It's melodramatic and is like fingernails down a chalkboard. Every two seconds. Swish, swish, swish. Then a BIGGER one. Now REALLY big!

There is the over-saturation of bass scoring and octave doubling in the bass instruments. There is nowhere to go for the bass and for climaxes since the bass is scored so consistently throughout. In fact, there is over-saturation and overuse of the orchestral tutti in general as always with Hollywood scoring. Nowhere to go other than everyone to just play louder until they're blowing the seams off their instruments. And they are always scored the same way each time the tutti appears. Padding in the middle with the same voicing (always stacked in score order and excessively doubled, never interlocked or enveloped, and always the same instrumentation, low octaves, same instruments doubled with the melody each and every time. Countermelodies always scored with horns. Melodies never appearing in the bass. No interesting use of solo writing, just the same instruments every score after score and score. Saccharine solo violin and "ethnic" pennywhistle/tin flutes or something close to it. I'm so sick of it. It's extremely boring and unimaginative.

The melodies are boring and unimaginative and easy to write. Almost completely diatonic. Same with the harmonies. And with just one hearing, he does at a minimum 2 idiotic cliches: going from I to vi (like C to a minor) while the melody goes from like a b c. Good grief. And then, of course, using the IV chord for a "climax" and resolving the phrase to V at a cadence where parallel fifths are created with the bass (if in C, the melody would be C E D (c on the strong beat enveloping to the D on the next strong beat, and the bass for the major chords are F and G so it creates parallel fifths). That is a cliche pop progression at cadences. Want more?
Thank you for your detailed reply, it is exactly of the kind I wanted to read. I sympathize with your reaction to the homogenity / repetition of certain elements, and I do agree that the piece could be made much more nuanced and diverse than it is. I find it interesting, however, that you seem to be reacting to your own knowledge of what could be as much as (or more than) to what is. :unsure:
 

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I was interested in going through this old thread again and had planned on answering an old post, but decided to start from the top. I'll answer this, as I do not believe any current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats. Zimmer writes musical doggerel and this is no exception…
Although Zimmer’s more recent output could be said to be formulaic, it should be noted that earlier in his career, he composed some excellent film music that was, at least, comparable to anything being composed at the time. As I’ve said before, since 2005-2010 or so, relatively little in the way of fully fleshed out soundtracks of note are being composed.
 

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I was interested in going through this old thread again and had planned on answering an old post, but decided to start from the top. I'll answer this, as I do not believe any current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats. Zimmer writes musical doggerel and this is no exception.

This is the same ol' same ol' phoned in, cookie cutter, Hollywood fashion plate scoring preteens have come to know and love.

You can start by subtracting those annoying, cliche, overused, swishing suspended cymbals. My goodness. Enough already. It's melodramatic and is like fingernails down a chalkboard. Every two seconds. Swish, swish, swish. Then a BIGGER one. Now REALLY big!

There is the over-saturation of bass scoring and octave doubling in the bass instruments. There is nowhere to go for the bass and for climaxes since the bass is scored so consistently throughout. In fact, there is over-saturation and overuse of the orchestral tutti in general as always with Hollywood scoring. Nowhere to go other than everyone to just play louder until they're blowing the seams off their instruments. And they are always scored the same way each time the tutti appears. Padding in the middle with the same voicing (always stacked in score order and excessively doubled, never interlocked or enveloped, and always the same instrumentation, low octaves, same instruments doubled with the melody each and every time. Countermelodies always scored with horns. Melodies never appearing in the bass. No interesting use of solo writing, just the same instruments every score after score and score. Saccharine solo violin and "ethnic" pennywhistle/tin flutes or something close to it. I'm so sick of it. It's extremely boring and unimaginative.

The melodies are boring and unimaginative and easy to write. Almost completely diatonic. Same with the harmonies. And with just one hearing, he does at a minimum 2 idiotic cliches: going from I to vi (like C to a minor) while the melody goes from like a b c. Good grief. And then, of course, using the IV chord for a "climax" and resolving the phrase to V at a cadence where parallel fifths are created with the bass (if in C, the melody would be C E D (c on the strong beat enveloping to the D on the next strong beat, and the bass for the major chords are F and G so it creates parallel fifths). That is a cliche pop progression at cadences. Want more?
Zimmer does what Zimmer does because that's what his directors want him to do. If they wanted something else, presumably they'd have gone to any number of other film composers.

The question I would ask is, "Is the score a successful accompaniment to the movie?" This is a more difficult question to answer, since it would probably require surveying the audience and asking their opinion on the contribution it made to their enjoyment. Failing that, we'll just have to go on the fact that the film was hugely successful, at the box office and with critics. I would suggest the soundtrack played its part. It's one of the few that my family bought (now a broken cassette tape).

I'd be interested to know what evidence you would offer to support your assertion that no "current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats". What is it that those two did for their movies that current film composers don't do - and with some examples of their failures please.
 

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Modern scoring has a different aesthetic and technical paradigm to the JW/Goldsmith/Hermann tradition which was much more traditionally based when it comes to composing. There is also directorial and commercial pressure involved that has been totally influenced by the digital means of creation and musical tropes that have developed in a more sustained fashion since the early 90's (ish) to accompany moods on screen. These ubiquitous tropes allied to the ease of creating music have all but democratised the job of film scoring to the point where in theory (but certainly not in practice), composers who are technically ignorant of the older school of composing can potentially break into the industry and do very well.

I personally don't mind this so much because imv, the film experience can and does benefit from a vastly expanded pallette of sound and approach even if that sometimes means a blander, stereotypical kind of music (Marvel,DC et al in particular) which I'm not much of a fan of. Occassionally there are real gems of approach and effect in scoring from quirky and unique individuals that contribute greatly to a film as a result of a different musical upbringing.
 

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I was interested in going through this old thread again and had planned on answering an old post, but decided to start from the top. I'll answer this, as I do not believe any current film composer is worthy of being named alongside JW or Goldsmith or any of the previous greats. Zimmer writes musical doggerel and this is no exception.

This is the same ol' same ol' phoned in, cookie cutter, Hollywood fashion plate scoring preteens have come to know and love.

You can start by subtracting those annoying, cliche, overused, swishing suspended cymbals. My goodness. Enough already. It's melodramatic and is like fingernails down a chalkboard. Every two seconds. Swish, swish, swish. Then a BIGGER one. Now REALLY big!

There is the over-saturation of bass scoring and octave doubling in the bass instruments. There is nowhere to go for the bass and for climaxes since the bass is scored so consistently throughout. In fact, there is over-saturation and overuse of the orchestral tutti in general as always with Hollywood scoring. Nowhere to go other than everyone to just play louder until they're blowing the seams off their instruments. And they are always scored the same way each time the tutti appears. Padding in the middle with the same voicing (always stacked in score order and excessively doubled, never interlocked or enveloped, and always the same instrumentation, low octaves, same instruments doubled with the melody each and every time. Countermelodies always scored with horns. Melodies never appearing in the bass. No interesting use of solo writing, just the same instruments every score after score and score. Saccharine solo violin and "ethnic" pennywhistle/tin flutes or something close to it. I'm so sick of it. It's extremely boring and unimaginative.

The melodies are boring and unimaginative and easy to write. Almost completely diatonic. Same with the harmonies. And with just one hearing, he does at a minimum 2 idiotic cliches: going from I to vi (like C to a minor) while the melody goes from like a b c. Good grief. And then, of course, using the IV chord for a "climax" and resolving the phrase to V at a cadence where parallel fifths are created with the bass (if in C, the melody would be C E D (c on the strong beat enveloping to the D on the next strong beat, and the bass for the major chords are F and G so it creates parallel fifths). That is a cliche pop progression at cadences. Want more?
Adam, you might be amused or perhaps even more annoyed by this....
zimmer strings
344 players!!!!! and struth, imagine the potential musical damage that many violas could do.... :)

Here's 2 screenshots of his string section recorded in London..

What was it you where saying about the bass again.....;)
 

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