Talk:Film score

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Don Davis[edit]

Isn't the famous film score of Don Davis for the movie The Matrix orchestral? On his own wikipedia article it says he is a conductor and orchestrator. And I don't know much about music, but it all sounds very orchestral to me. In this article he is on the non-orchestral list. Xilliah (talk) 08:16, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Clean Up[edit]

It could be argued (rather strenuously and with complete success, actually) that Jerry Goldsmith is not as obscure as the author of the article believes. There are other problems here and there but, in general, the whole thing can be re-written by someone with the time and inclination to. Gingermint (talk) 05:47, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Move to "List of"[edit]

I suggest the "Notable film score composers include" section be moved to its own page, something like List of notable film score composers. --Jūzerisfeedback appreciated 15:40, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Or, more appropriately, be merged into List of soundtrack composers. --Jūzerisfeedback appreciated 07:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

List of imaginary soundtracks[edit]

I've put together a List of imaginary soundtracks. feedback and additions welcome. The external link cited was used for a lot of the titles, as well as my personal collection.

I'm not sure if this is a legitimate 'musical genre' or not, hence created it in my userspace. It needs a more comprehensive intro/discussion before i'm comfortable entering it into wikipedia-proper. --Quiddity 21:56, 30 October 2005 (UTC) (updated Quiddity 22:35, 20 June 2006 (UTC))

typographical suggestion[edit]

I suggest listing the composers alphabetically by last name first with the last name in boldface. It makes things easier to find. Jeffmatt

Bolding[edit]

Why are some of the composers bolded? Nationalparks 14:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Theoretically, they're the most notable/famous composers of film scores. -Quiddity 19:41, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
That's what I guessed. I removed all of that bolding, as per WP:NPOV. Nationalparks 20:03, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Notable film score composers[edit]

We really need to pick some kind of criteria for "Notability", and severely reduce the size of this list section, whilst moving all non-included names to the "List of" article. We also need to avoid this turning into a popularity contest, and a western-centric one too. (Ideally, the resulting list will eventually get rewritten into good prose.) --Quiddity 23:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

suggested criteria[edit]

  • won at least 1 major industry award

--> but which major industry award? There are many major cinema industry awards for film scoring in many countries (perhaps one or two notable composers from distinct regions of the world could be selected)? AppleJuggler 07:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

  • perhaps limit the number of entries to 15-20 (?)

--> the number interval indicated above is arbitrary; why not a nice round 10 (say if we have 4 major continents (the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa), two renown composers from each would suffice perhaps)? AppleJuggler 07:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


  • I could look through my course notes of Music in the Movies (University class)(The movies have a mix of important historical meaning and terms such as dystopia, utopia, thematic ideas such as Lord of The Rings, (Idea of motives associated link Wagner's Cycle does with character developement of music motifs) mouvements of rythm, etc... So, an important element is the "music term" references. Ex.: 2001 space Odysey, valsique tempo and how the running around in the circle was film with a a diferent tempo, giving an off rythm which eventually met up... or take this same example when the scientists touch the large rock (forget the proper term)... music there uses a dissonant chromatic asscention and descention. Or take "Jesus Christ Super Star"... one piece in that movie is ideal to explain the rythm of 5/4 (which give light heartness to the spirit)... This aspect can also be linked to the movie Ghost with the triolet idea of 3 vs. 2. "... I hunger for your... love" For this article to have a comprehensible direction we must decide what musical terms we want to discuss. Example of minimalistic music, Baroque Music (such as that movie called something "... in Love") We must chose this musical connotation wiselly so we are not performing original research... What is original research... well I think the dissonant chromatic ascention and descention in the Space Odysey 2001 could be consider, however, since my collegue Brian, present this research in class perhaps it isn't... but then again... it's not peer reviewed. Oh! And don't forget instrumentation... like the "Sexy Saxophone" or the "Death Trombone", and the base... the high tone... musical accoustics... (effect of music on the human body). Old black and white Silent film, Film noire, etc, Mickey Mouse, What's the name of that movie where they say "Stella!"? Obviously star trek and star wars (the major 6th interval)... etc... we must talk about intervals, music scale, minor and major, maybe even mixolidian. Again, we must have a musical reference. This will be VERRY DIFFICULT TO DO WITHOUT VIOLATING WP:OR... I can take a musical score and pinpoint 5/4, and a thematic idea... I can say it repeats for the developement of for example "Dark Vader"? ... Oh we also need to talk about Chinese movies (old and new) (we had a chinese exchange student do that one in class), Spanish movies "Hombres vs. that other term I forget"... That term for when 3 guitarist or 5 guitarist play a song under the window for a lady. etc... etc... --CyclePat 03:47, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Other movies we saw where: Tomas Crown affair (the old one and new one)(study: music songs), the good old Hanibal Lector, (horror films)... So in summary... we need to think about the type of film and the musical aspect. Vertigo was an interesting movie. "The truck from..." (forget the name)... etc. --CyclePat 04:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposeded Inclusions[edit]

Dimitri Shostakovitch, The Gadfly, Five Days, Five Nights (his Jazz Suite 2 included the well-known Waltz II)

Actually, Shostakovitch did several soundtracks, but they were not for terribly good films. We know the music but not the movies. Because he was a great composer one is tempted to list him, but one could argue that as he film composer he's fairly obscure. Gingermint (talk) 05:36, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Suggested Solution[edit]

I believe the current state of this page is not up to Wikipedia's standards. I believe that cleaning it up, even if it is not with a perfect solution, is better than the actual Statu Quo. Thus, my suggestions are:

1/ Adding soundtracks to each name forces to make a subjective choice as which one is the most important, and clutters the page. I would simply remove them (the reader can always click on the name to get more information about this or that composer). 2/ Since I believe "notable" means current or past *masters of the craft*, who have or have had a long and succesful carreer in the field, and have, or have had, a clear recognition by their peers, the list needs to be considerably streamlined. 3/ The list also need to give a good overview of different periods, styles, and country of origin.

Following those three points, I suggest the following list:

John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, Maurice Jarre, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Michel Legrand, Henry Mancini, Giorgio Moroder, Ennio Morricone, James Horner, Alfred Newman, Thomas Newman, Basil Poledouris, Sergei Prokofiev, David Raksin, Nino Rota, Miklós Rozsa, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lalo Schiffrin, Howard Shore, Alan Silvestri, Vangelis, Franz Waxman, John Williams, Hans Zimmer.

I would appreciate input of any sort. In the meantime, I believe we should remove the current list, which is unappropriate in many ways (clear presentation, pov, etc).

Hellgi 20:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The problem I see here is that you include mostly composers that are already dead or past their productive peak. I think it is important to include more notable composers of the present (especially since avant-garde classical music is becoming more and more prominent in film scores), e. g. Elliot Goldenthal, Philip Glass, Don Davis, Mark Mancina, Tōru Takemitsu, Michael Nyman, Tan Dun... but this is also a subjective selection.
And why include Sergei Prokofiev and not Dmitri Shostakovitch? And what about Max Steiner or Dimitri Tiomkin? This is really getting complicated...
I would also go for a chronological listing (birth date?). An alphabetical listing does not provide any structure - it has no reason but itself...-- megA 20:59, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Danny Elfman, James Horner, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, and Hans Zimmer are far from being "past their productive peak". Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, this list is supposed to be of "notable" composers, so "current or past *masters of the craft*, who have or have had a long and succesful carreer in the field, AND have, or have had, a clear recognition by their peers."
My list wasn't supposed to be final, and I do agree Shostakovitch, Steiner and Tiomkin would be good inclusions to the list. I do also agree that the inclusion of Philip Glass and Toru Takemitsu is appropriate.
It seems to me that Elliot Goldenthal, Don Davis, Mark Mancina, Michael Nyman and Tan Dun have too few landmarks achievements or too short of a career in the film score realm to figure in that list. (This is not a personal statement; I do own more than one of these composers' scores myself). I believe one hit or a few good scores do not necessarily make you a "notable composer".
Regarding sorting, it could maybe be done first by country of origin and then by birth year?

Hellgi 21:06, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Just to revive this debate. I do think it's a little arbitrary as far as inclusion/exclusion. Maybe the following:

1) Has won either an Oscar or Golden Globe OR

2) the combined total of their film grosses tops a certain amount (say a billion or so, researchable on Box Office Mojo) OR

3) Was a respected classical composer. We can probably agree on people like Shostakovich and Stravinsky)

Thoughts?

--FilmFan69 (talk) 07:31, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Being new to this discussion, it appears this effort has been abandoned, shelved, or something other. Some names have been added from these discussions (Steiner, Tiomkin), but not others. And I note no mention of Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Malcolm Arnold, William Walton, Georges Auric, Cecil Parker, Arthur Bliss, Richard Rodney Bennett, Francis Chagrin, William Alwyn . . . all very respected in the field. Two of whom won Oscars, I might add. What is the current situation on this?--ADWNSW (talk) 08:44, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I removed a bunch of names of people who were so magnificently obscure that they could not be listed seriously. I did not add Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Malcolm Arnold, William Walton, Arthur Bliss or Richard Rodney Bennett. Good idea to add them, though. Gingermint (talk) 05:41, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I hve gone ahead and cleaned this section up... again. It seems that some people enjoy adding THEMSELVES to the list or add their friends or teachers. This is the sort of crap that continually gives Wikipedia a bad name. Gingermint (talk) 02:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Classical music[edit]

Shouldn't there be a section on the use of classical music in movies on this page? Or does this already exist elsewhere?Lbark 20:35, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Something more than Film score#Orchestral soundtracks? --Quiddity 18:14, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I removed the list of Classical music often used in movies, and added the customary link to the list of Film Soundtrack. We are talking here about music specifically written for movies, not written prior to that for another medium. I also moved the removed list to the Film Soundtracks page. Hellgi 20:29, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Regarding classical music. At some points it mentions that film scores are usually based on Western classical music. This is wrong. It clearly has leitmotifs and the first sentence already mentions that it is incidental music. Thus it should say that film scores are based on Romantic music. The difference is significant enough and it should be changed for the better. Trickymaster, (2:24) May 14, 2011 (PT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.212.176.89 (talk) 09:27, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Dystopia[edit]

Dystopia has important element with film music.

Boom[edit]

Would you agree that film scores really began to grow and first became "epic" with the release of A New Hope, and the subsequent films in the Star Wars saga? 68.55.183.136 20:22, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Isn't this an assumption? Have you got any proof for this? hippi ippi++++ 13:38, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
"Epic" film scores have existed as long as films have - their popularity was unquestionable in the early 20th century. However, this popularity sharply declined between the 60s-70s with the introduction of synthesizers and electronic music. Williams' score to Star Wars did make a huge impact on the film industry's perception of film scores and the music became popular in its own right, but this was more a rekindling of an "old" art than than a revolution in itself. I do, however, believe it's important to note the influence computers and technology had on film music, particularly in relation to composers Vangelis and Hans Zimmer.
To which I would add - this lamentable attempt at an encyclopedia article skews like far too much of Wikipedia to the living memories of some people too young to have developed much perspective on the range and depth of nearly any subject from popular culture.
While I would agree with hippi ippi that there was some decline in popularity toward the end of the 60s - and I think that you have to look to the pop-rock score of The Graduate and the bluegrass-roots oriented score of Bonnie and Clyde for part of the reason - record albums of music theme music were huge sellers in every era up until then - the album for Lawrence of Arabia was one of the top sellers of 1963, and the theme music from a film as late as Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet saturated the airwaves in fifty different versions or as 1972's The Godfather could still be said to have attained a popularity and familiarity distinct from the films themselves. All Star Wars did was continue a well-developed trend with one of Williams' weakest and most derivative efforts - or hasn't anyone heard Korngold's landmark scores for The Adventures of Robin Hood or King's Row? Williams was doing musically the same completely unoriginal pastiche that Lucas himself was openly and admittedly doing in the films as tributes to the sci-fi episodic series like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers that he grew up watching.
The article overall just spends far too much time with 1960s and later scores and does an unacceptably superficial job with the roots of the genre, emanating from the era of American film making in the 30s and 40s when the studios were releasing about three times as many films per year as they do today - each with a score, and many of them damn good. Sensei48 (talk) 07:10, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Just as an example of how wrongheaded the Stars Wars comment above is - consider the top selling albums of 1961 according to Cash Box Magazine: [1]. #s 1,2, 6, and 17 are film scores/movie music, as well as selections within many of the others in the top 50. In 1965 - [2] - at the height of Beatlemania, the astounding fact is that four of the top five albums of the year are film scores, albeit 3 of those four from musical films. The list could go on, but QED.Sensei48 (talk) 08:27, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

second sentence[edit]

as an entirely ignorant and casual observer the second sentence (starting 'the term film score is frequently synonymous...') doesn't really pin down the difference between a score and a soundtrack. does the involvement of 'songs' render it a soundtrack not a film score? or is the distinction ambiguous? sorry my first contribution: not at all constructive! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.145.76.86 (talk) 23:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

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PAGE NAME: Film and television score[edit]

Should this article be merged with Television score and then moved/changed to Film and television score? Best O Fortuna (talk) 04:20, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. --FilmFan69 (talk) 14:47, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Chariots of fire[edit]

Someone should add play button for Chariots of fire to this article, I don't know how to do it. But it's such a great song. Kri (talk) 14:05, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Movie Music UK[edit]

I added a link to my website, Movie Music UK ([3]) in the links page at the bottom of the article. While I acknowledge that me doing so is, technically, a violation of WP:COI, I think the addition is fairly uncontroversial. Nevertheless, I would be grateful if another experienced editor would mind taking a quick look at the site and approving its addition. Many thanks. --JonBroxton (talk) 23:42, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Production music - libraries[edit]

To my knowledge, the statement " virtually all music created for music libraries is done on a work for hire basis" may be incorrect. I only have some experience with seeing the terms of a few libraries, but the ones I have seen so far have terms more amenable to the composer (but no upfront payment). It may be that the majority of libraries, or the most used ones, are "work for hire," but this should be researched. At the very least, it seems like an overly broad statement.--Newbis (talk) 06:30, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Item tagged.--Kudpung (talk) 01:52, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Cleaning up[edit]

This article has been tagged for a long time as needing a major clean up, with little improvement. I've had a go, according to MOS, but as I lack the subject knowledge I've placed inline tags to flag some of the many specific areas that require improving by a film score expert. I know this makes the article look untidy, but attention now needs to be drawn to these items.--Kudpung (talk) 01:46, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate the attention... but think you were, perhaps, too conservative. There is a great deal that should be fixed on this page. Again, though, your work is appreciated. Gingermint (talk) 02:34, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Edits 1/23/11 - No POV[edit]

The article needs as noted a complete rewrite that is informed and historically accurate, not recentist as much of this is. To the point here - the composer list is entirely out of hand. I earlier removed the word "notable" from the section heading because no rationale was - or could be - provided for the names on the list that was not POV. Prior to this edit, it was a random list of composers that some editor or other liked - no objectivity, no absolute comprehensiveness, no NPOV. I have substituted for that list the Wikipedia list of Academy Award winners year by year for film score. That at least IS NPOV, regardless of what one thinks of the award. I deleted the section on soundtracks because there was no rationale at all for including any of those scores in any kind of list. Any re-introduction of any list to this article must adhere to the NPOV policy and offer substantiation and rationale. No time at the moment - but the ax falls on the non-orchestral soundtrack next. Sensei48 (talk) 20:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

So you just basically arbitrarily decided to remove links to dozens and dozens of some of film music's greatest practictioners, just because they never won a Best Score Oscar? Ennio Morricone, David Raksin, Jerry Fielding, Alex North, Jerry Fielding, Michael Kamen, Basil Poledouris, modern guys like Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Thomas Newman... but yet marginal guys like Santaolalla, Tan Dun, Herbie Hancock, Cong Su, whose contribution to film music was marginal at best, get a mention because they were lucky enough to be hot for a year? Talk about a wrong-headed move... --JonBroxton (talk) 19:56, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
No. I removed an excessively long, unvetted, unjustified, unsourced, indiscriminately expanded POV list. I replaced it with an NPOV list grounded in fact. I have no especially high regard for the AA winners, but until an editor or editors can come up with an NPOV rationale for including any composer's name on any kind of list, it's as close to "notable" as you're going to get. And you talk about marginal? Did you even bother to look at the list I replaced? Half the names there re-defined the concepts of "marginal" and "obscure." Sensei48 (talk) 23:32, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Yep. I wrote it, based on my almost 20 years of experience as a film music journalist. I'll have a go at something more inclusive and grounded in NPOV later tonight. --JonBroxton (talk) 23:34, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
You may have written the original list, the much shorter one that existed a couple of years ago - and the names on that list would have been virtually impossible to argue with from any point of view or rationale. But you must then have seen how wildly out of control the list had veered - it had become a matter of editors adding virtually any composer whom they liked, regardless of distinction or notability. The issue was clearly the lack of rationale. If you can come up with an inclusive one, I'd be delighted to see it implemented and replace the AA list. Sensei48 (talk) 23:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I've trimmed these a bit... Most, if not all, of the the sites linked are notable, but don't have Wikipedia articles. It'd be nice to see Wikipedia articles started for these, starting with the most notable, if anyone cares to do the work. Yworo (talk) 22:15, 4 March 2011 (UTC)


found this brief explanation from a newspaper dated 1926: ("The Miracle" was the first motion picture to have a musical score specifically written for it) http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%208/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette%201929%20May-Jul%20Grayscale/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette%201929%20May-Jul%20Grayscale%20-%200901.pdf#xml=http://fultonhistory.com/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getpdfhits&u=fffffffff9900ca5&DocId=2168906&Index=Z%3a\Index%20O-G-T&HitCount=2&hits=7da+82e+&SearchForm=C%3a\inetpub\wwwroot\Fulton_New_form.html&.pdf — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shokorus (talkcontribs) 21:28, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

"background music"[edit]

O'k. But what about pieces that are part of the scene itself? Is it a different type than score? Or does score mean not only background but also those integral sound parts of the action sequence? If I'm not clear yet: there is music which is used in or composed for a film - which music is not a background heard only by watchers of the film but that one which is performed within the story itself - regardless of the watchers. It is obviously not background but inseparable and integral withing the story sequence itself.
Examples? 1) When two characters talk to each other in a silent meadow and there's performed some "character theme" or piece of music representing the mood of the scene, it is background. 2) Otherwise, when it is a ball or some concert taking place during the sequence of the film, there's played some music (which may be purposely written or adopted) which is inseparable from the scene of the plot itself - and it is not background...
So, does this article (or should it) encompass this other type which is not background or is there any other article on this other type of film music on Wikipedia? (In the first case we should elide what is now written in the first line of the lede here.) Josh, linguist (talk) 09:01, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

  • NB: There's no "Film music" (general) article on Wikipedia now: the search for Film music redirects for this very article now! Josh, linguist (talk) 09:07, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I must add here that such non-background music may play full integrity with the other score, creating the mood and suspect, being organically interwoven withing the entire soundtrack etc. The Hunger Games delivers us such brilliant integrity: 1) "film from the capital", 2) Caesar show. So on. Josh, linguist (talk) 10:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)