Classical Music Forum banner
741 - 760 of 1518 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
That's exactly what I am referring to.
can you link it for me and maybe we'll take it from there....I meant very early on in this thread iirc.
No wait, scrap that @VoiceFromTheEther . Sorry, I'm not being rude, I don't really want to spend time going over points I've already made. If you listen to the 2 JW pieces I mentioned above, that really is what I mean. They come from different parts of the composer and the reason for that is clear. Concert music for me is born out of a free expression of and by the composer, not one dictated by the timings, phrases, harmonic language, orchestration and emotions of a film and maybe a meddling director with temp tracks.
The one thing I do know is that a composer will have to put on different musical and technical hats for each discipline and they are not necessarily mutually inclusive. There is a necessary compromise in film music and imv that goes against film music being good or should I say pure, concert music for the most part (excluding the more traditionally orientated JW and a few others) as I define concert music that is.
 

·
Registered
Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
The structural fixation / comparisons with "concert music" are strange to me. I am beginning to think that a dead horse strawman is being beaten here, even by seasoned forumers, and I do not clearly see to what end. It should be clear to every "ear" that a Zimmer track is not a Schubert sonata. Even the adjective 'symphonic' describes instrumental forces, not form. The purpose of my quoting of Rózsa is to show that he thought film scores were equivalent to live stage music, which in turn to him would obviously be a part of the same larger, overarching tradition.

It is your narrative interpretation that I find lacking, not data. You act as if Dr. Rózsa, had he been alive, would have gladly seen his film scores driven out of this forum.
I read the quote from Rozsa as saying that incidental music for the theatre - not just 'live stage music' - has some similarities with film scores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,790 Posts
You've raised this before (in other threads) and whilst musicians can read a score and hear the music in their head at the same time (and we non-musicians can only see a code to be translated), that doesn't, I think, give them some special advantage in deciding what does and doesn't suit the image on the screen.
As I often say, "What about the children? What about the next generation of CM students (composers, musicologists, critics) coming up?" You're an educator. What are the very natural reactions of young people? They're naturally lazy, they want the easier, more entertaining music to study (there are very good reasons for this from science, so laziness is too harsh a word I guess).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,193 Posts
As I often say, "What about the children? What about the next generation of CM students (composers, musicologists, critics) coming up?" You're an educator. What are the very natural reactions of young people? They're naturally lazy, they want the easier, more entertaining music to study (there are very good reasons for this from science, so laziness is too harsh a word I guess).
You make a mistake to worry about the future of CM and composers, etc. based on anything you read on TC. This forum is a tiny snapshot of oddball opinions about CM and does not represent the reality of what is going on both in the CM community as a whole and in music schools where serious students are being taught.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,790 Posts
You make a mistake to worry about the future of CM and composers, etc. based on anything you read on TC. This forum is a tiny snapshot of oddball opinions about CM and does not represent the reality of what is going on both in the CM community as a whole and in music schools where serious students are being taught.
You're disagreeing that I should worry about the future of CM.

I don’t worry about grownups. If they’re not already a musicologist, composer or educated critic etc., they've made their choices (hopefully they were given the opportunity).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
Indeed you didn't. I was merely cautioning (others) against reading into your post, the negative usually associated with instant gratification.

A further thought. Some of cinema's best movies have used familiar/popular tunes to help provide instant gratification...a rapid connection between the emotions on screen and the emotions of the audience. For example, Casablanca's use of the Marseillaise and As Time Goes By. Steiner's score plays with the latter to maintain the sense of loss, frustration, unrequited love etc. as well as deploying some familiar tropes for humorous or threatening intent. Pull his score to pieces technically and I suspect there's not much there of originality or imagination.. but it works. (He uses other popular tunes too - Knock on Wood springs to mind, prompted by the Wiki entry for the movie!)
Having studied the art of accompaniment of Silent Films, this is a strategy heavily used back pre-1930 for live soundtracks.

The accompanist would choose a song that was well-known for a particular scene, and the instrumental version they played would still resonate with the audience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
Fun thread.

One thing barely mentioned in this thread, if at all, is the turn-around time composers have to create a score for a film. Between the time a film is in pre-production, and the time to film and edit it can be rather lengthy, months, sometimes many, many months.

Oftimes scenes are (or the entire film is) rushed to a composer, and told they've got a very limited time frame in which to get the music composed and recorded. The length of time a composer has to write the score varies from project to project; depending on the post-production schedule, a composer may have as little as two weeks or as much as three months to write the score.

THAT, in and of itself, is a special skill. The guy serving drinks between gigs may be able to create a film score, but can he do it in two weeks?

Major film composers have this component down to an art . . . they've got all the equipment, software, and intimate knowledge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
I thought we had finished with this.
I stand 1000% behind what I said about how relatively easy the PH theme music and similar is to create ( given the parameters and as pure music that is, not in relation to the film) - good composers will tell you the same.
Well, I wasn’t finished with it. Let’s review what you are 1000% standing behind regarding the Pearl Harbor theme/music:
mike375 said:
I, like Adam (@Torkelburger), hear the main theme as one of the most musically and technically weakest of his scores, tired technical moves that result in musical cliche in almost every bar. You might not believe this (yes I noted your CM jibe), but any competent composer can sit down at a piano and improvise these simple moves without even thinking about them and come up with music as good (or bad) or even better…
Later in the same post, you say this:
On the plus side for the consumer, the music has immediate appeal and is memorable, but I'm not going to pretend it is great music even though if fulfills those important requirements for the job. For me, it is more jaded and commercially cynical than great, or am I more jaded and cynical because I too can improvise that stuff all day..
And now this:
In my opinion, it's a good idea to not worship too much the act of composition as you don't understand the process and the relationship between technique and composing. Certainly don't overestimate how difficult it can be to come up with a tune that uses as it's basis a chord progression that has been used many times over with slight variations. If a composer has been trained, or has much experience or feel in the art of melodic construction (even a basic knowledge of things like overall arch, phrasing, climactic points, suspensions etc), then there is no barrier to eventually finding the 'right' notes over such a simple harmonic backdrop, right notes insofar as the composer (and/or director). may 'feel' them to be right.
I am not a professional composer, though as a fairly good pianist, I have done a little composing. So, I don’t have the compositional experience you have, but I do have a decades long experience in finding both classical and popular works that have exceptional melodies since melody is one of my most important requirements in music.

Of all your comments about Zimmer’s Pearl Harbor music, the following is most interesting and important to me: ‘the music has immediate appeal and is memorable, but I'm not going to pretend it is great music even though if fulfills those important requirements for the job.’

You have mentioned, more than once, to the effect that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to this music because I don’t have your compositional experience. My response is that when it comes to an opinion of music that has, from a melodic point of view, immediate appeal and is memorable, my opinion is, at least, as educated as yours.

You imply that any average composer can come up with this kind of melodic theme in an hour or so. The problem is that a composer may think they have come up with a great tune in a few minutes, but the question as to whether, in the end, it is successfully developed to have ‘immediate appeal and be memorable’ is not determined by the composer, it is determined by minions like me who may know nothing about ’the process and relationship between technique and composing’, but go to a theatre and react, positively or not, to the soundtrack of the movie.

Hans Zimmer has composed a lot of (to use your terminology re: the PH music) memorable soundtrack music with immediate appeal which fulfills those important requirements for the job. I can think of no more important parameters whether it is in the context of the movie itself or as a separate suite.
 

·
Registered
Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
As I often say, "What about the children? What about the next generation of CM students (composers, musicologists, critics) coming up?" You're an educator. What are the very natural reactions of young people? They're naturally lazy, they want the easier, more entertaining music to study (there are very good reasons for this from science, so laziness is too harsh a word I guess).
I'm not sure how your question relates to my post. My point was that since a film score's value should be primarily considered in its proper context, the ability to read the score is not relevant for that exercise.

The ability to read a score is of course essential for educating those young people who wish to become musicians. But that's not the subject here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #750 ·
No, Classical music is not suffering from bad promotion.

Pop music is popular because it is designed to appeal to people with catchy and infectious melodies and harmonies, propulsive rhythms meant to get your body moving, and all done to be easily memorable. Most Classical music is nothing like this and requires more work on the part of the listener to appreciate, and even when understood does not offer the same kind of instant gratification that Pop music offers.
I think that my new discussion is a good answer to your post: Why do many people say that supermarket music is more attractive than classical music?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,180 Posts
You are incredibly delusional if you think it's "easy money" making "songs for teens." Do you have any idea how many people are trying to do that and failing? As I've said, if doing such a thing were easy then there would be more Max Martins out there. If you think it's easy, by all means take your music education and go write some hit songs for teens. See how easy it is. If you're actually good at it, trust me, you will be successful.
Your post reminded me of this, from this thread-
That's what the JOB PAYS. As long as someone is able to do it, then that's what they get paid. There is no shortage in Los Angeles within the next thousand years of anyone not being able to do it. If that entire list of composers died tomorrow, there would be literally hundreds of composers ready, willing and ABLE to fill the position. The position that pays 2 million dollars. I know at least a dozen of them personally. I lived and worked in LA for 9 years in the industry. And yes, whoever got the job would get 2 million dollars. Hundreds of people living out there this very moment can do it. Easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #753 · (Edited)
As I often say, "What about the children? What about the next generation of CM students (composers, musicologists, critics) coming up?" You're an educator. What are the very natural reactions of young people? They're naturally lazy, they want the easier, more entertaining music to study (there are very good reasons for this from science, so laziness is too harsh a word I guess).
Some users in this discussion wrote that the film scores wich use the same instrumentation and musical language of classical music are not classical music because it's written to accompany images. I still don't understand the logic and how this would be different from incidental music, but ok.

Unlike other users, your point is about quality: "film scores consist of poor writing and technique and so they are not useful to study music theory".

Could you please explain why exactly would this piece from "Home Alone" ("Setting the Trap) be "poor writing"?



Here below you find the arranged version contained in the film: the score in the video contains technical explanations.



The countersubject in the fugue after 1:47 is the melody of this vocal piece, which according to me is an example of good vocal music.



Then could you please explain why this piece from Star Wars ("March of the Resistance") would be poor writing?


And why this (arranged version) would be poor orchestration?



It seems to me that some persons suffer of the bias "long and boring" ---> good music, "short, pleasant and melodic" ---> bad music.
This is not how things work. A piece can be melodic, plesant, appealing and smart at the same time.
It's certainly true that film scores composers are required to write music with an immediate appealing, but it's not that the music with immediate appealing has a low quality: it's true the contrary. If you write music which is not only smart, but also pleasant, you are a "Serie A composer". After all, why should I listen to music which is not pleasant? I like the composers who write good melodies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #754 · (Edited)
However, do film scores offer anything that standalone classical music doesn't offer?
Yes: musical psychology.
In standalone classical music you write a fugue only because you want to write a fugue, while John Williams wrote a fugue in Home Alone for a psychological reason: he uses fugues to create tension. And the music, infact, fits very well with the scene.


The experts of John Williams say that you often find fugues in his pieces with a similar mood.

On the other hand, he uses more simple melodies for other moods. This melody is more simple, but it's not poor writing. The orchestration is nice.



So, to conclude, film scores are a study about how to communicate with persons through melodies. This is an art which requires a great talent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,790 Posts
Some users in this discussion wrote that the film scores wich use the same instrumentation and musical language of classical music are not classical music because it's written to accompany images. I still don't understand the logic and how this would be different from incidental music, but ok.

Unlike other users, your point is about quality: "film scores consist of poor writing and technique and so they are not useful to study music theory".

Could you please explain why exactly would this piece from "Home Alone" ("Setting the Trap) be "poor writing"?



Here below you find the arranged version contained in the film: the score in the video contains technical explanations.



The countersubject in the fugue after 1:47 is the melody of this vocal piece, which according to me is an example of good vocal music.



Then could you please explain why this piece from Star Wars ("March of the Resistance") would be poor writing?


And why this (arranged version) would be poor orchestration?



It seems to me that some persons suffer of the bias "long and boring" ---> good music, "short, pleasant and melodic" ---> bad music.
This is not how things work. A piece can be melodic, plesant, appealing and smart at the same time.
It's certainly true that film scores composers are required to write music with an immediate appealing, but it's not that the music with immediate appealing has a low quality: it's true the contrary. If you write music which is not only smart, but also pleasant, you are a "Serie A composer". After all, why should I listen to music which is not pleasant? I like the composers who write good melodies.
My point is about intention. The intention of the composer. Composing to advance the art of music, or not? Composing for cinema (cinema as art) comes close, but it's a different intention. A different problem, a different challenge, a different achievement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Some users in this discussion wrote that the film scores wich use the same instrumentation and musical language of classical music are not classical music because it's written to accompany images. I still don't understand the logic and how this would be different from incidental music, but ok.

Unlike other users, your point is about quality: "film scores consist of poor writing and technique and so they are not useful to study music theory".

Could you please explain why exactly would this piece from "Home Alone" ("Setting the Trap) be "poor writing"?



Here below you find the arranged version contained in the film: the score in the video contains technical explanations.



The countersubject in the fugue after 1:47 is the melody of this vocal piece, which according to me is an example of good vocal music.



Then could you please explain why this piece from Star Wars ("March of the Resistance") would be poor writing?


And why this (arranged version) would be poor orchestration?



It seems to me that some persons suffer of the bias "long and boring" ---> good music, "short, pleasant and melodic" ---> bad music.
This is not how things work. A piece can be melodic, plesant, appealing and smart at the same time.
It's certainly true that film scores composers are required to write music with an immediate appealing, but it's not that the music with immediate appealing has a low quality: it's true the contrary. If you write music which is not only smart, but also pleasant, you are a "Serie A composer". After all, why should I listen to music which is not pleasant? I like the composers who write good melodies.
I would describe a lot of pop music as short, pleasant and melodic. But apparently that is not art while film music is. When reading this thread it’s almost like you’re contradicting yourself
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
My point is about intention. The intention of the composer. Composing to advance the art of music, or not? Composing for cinema (cinema as art) comes close, but it's a different intention. A different problem, a different challenge, a different achievement.
I think "the point" is so fine and narrow that it's irrelevant.

Writing for a film, or a videogame, or a ballet, or a musical, or an operetta, or an opera, or just a symphony is all art.

A film can be art, and its music can be as well. It's simply the parameters. The old grand masters wrote concertos easy enough for the patron to play the solo violin or whatever, or for the King's coronation. Film composers write to enhance drama and comedy.

At this point, "intention" doesn't really matter as much as it did a hundred years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,790 Posts
At this point, "intention" doesn't really matter as much as it did a hundred years ago.
[/QUOTE]
I think "the point" is so fine and narrow that it's irrelevant.

Writing for a film, or a videogame, or a ballet, or a musical, or an operetta, or an opera, or just a symphony is all art.

A film can be art, and its music can be as well. It's simply the parameters. The old grand masters wrote concertos easy enough for the patron to play the solo violin or whatever, or for the King's coronation. Film composers write to enhance drama and comedy.

At this point, "intention" doesn't really matter as much as it did a hundred years ago.
You can
 

·
Registered
Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Some users in this discussion wrote that the film scores wich use the same instrumentation and musical language of classical music are not classical music because it's written to accompany images. I still don't understand the logic
Here's the logic: musical cues that are written for the movies have to draw on whatever themes, motifs, musical structures will match the edit of the movie. They are subservient to the timings, the moods, the subject matter, the whims of the director (and sometimes the producer and editor).

Music that is written for its own sake (such as a symphony) is subservient only to the composer's will and is completely free to be constructed as they wish. It is not subservient.

This says nothing whatsoever about the quality of either the "free" symphony, or the "chained" musical score.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
Here's the logic: musical cues that are written for the movies have to draw on whatever themes, motifs, musical structures will match the edit of the movie. They are subservient to the timings, the moods, the subject matter, the whims of the director (and sometimes the producer and editor).

Music that is written for its own sake (such as a symphony) is subservient only to the composer's will and is completely free to be constructed as they wish. It is not subservient.

This says nothing whatsoever about the quality of either the "free" symphony, or the "chained" musical score.
Not all soundtrack music is so subservient that it can’t stand alone. This ‘subservience premise’ as if it is universally true of all soundtracks has been addressed a number of times before, yet it keeps being repeated. I’ve put up a number of examples that can stand alone.
 
741 - 760 of 1518 Posts
Top