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Celluloid Symphonies

Celluloid Symphonies: Texts and Contexts in Film Music History

Edited by Julie Hubbert
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 528
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  • Book Info
    Celluloid Symphonies
    Book Description:

    Celluloid Symphoniesis a unique sourcebook of writings on music for film, bringing together fifty-three critical documents, many previously inaccessible. It includes essays by those who created the music-Max Steiner, Erich Korngold, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein and Howard Shore-and outlines the major trends, aesthetic choices, technological innovations, and commercial pressures that have shaped the relationship between music and film from 1896 to the present. Julie Hubbert's introductory essays offer a stimulating overview of film history as well as critical context for the close study of these primary documents. In identifying documents that form a written and aesthetic history for film music,Celluloid Symphoniesprovides an astonishing resource for both film and music scholars and for students.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94743-6
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)

    • [PART ONE. Introduction]
      (pp. 1-34)

      That film historians have only recently begun to recognize film not as a uniquely visual art but as a highly integrated one, one that unites the previously separate mediums of image, sound, and music, stems no doubt from a peculiarity rooted in the beginnings of film history itself. For nearly the first three decades, film was not a fully mechanized art; instead it relied on a strange simultaneity of technically disparate parts, merging mechanically reproduced moving images with live performances of music and sound. Unfortunately, this mix of real and reproduced media led instantly to a critical inequity. Because it...

    • 1 Plain Talk to Theater Managers and Operators (1909) Seating/Music
      (pp. 35-38)
      F. H. Richardson

      So far as price goes a theater may be seated with opera chairs costing from as low as $1.25 each to as high as one wishes to go, a very comfortable, substantial seat being available at about $1.40 each. Upholstered seats are not desirable in moving picture theaters from any point of view. They would be a distinct disadvantage any way one might look at it. The audience remains seated such a comparatively short time that the non-upholstered seat, provided it be properly made, is perfectly comfortable and in Summer it is much cooler also. Second-hand chairs are often available...

    • 2 Incidental Music for Edison Pictures (1909)
      (pp. 39-41)

      How the Landlord Collected His Rents

      Scene 1—March, brisk

      2—Irish jig

      3—Begin with andante, finish with allegro

      4—Popular air

      5—“ ”

      6—Andante with lively at finish

      7—March (same as No.1)


      9—Andante (use March No.1)

      The Ordeal

      Scene 1—An andante

      2—An allegro changing to plaintive at end


      4—Adagio or march changing at end to allegro strongly marked

      5—Andante to plaintive, changing to march movement at end

      6—Lively, change to plaintive at Fantine’s arrest

      7—March with accents to accompany scene fi nishing with andante...

    • 3 Jackass Music (1911)
      (pp. 42-44)
      Louis Reeves Harrison

      Civilization is not a crab, but theatrical managers walk sideways if not backwards when they allow their musicians to play the wrong accompaniment to the right composition whether of sound or picture. O, what a noise when the lights are turned low and Lily Limpwrist takes her place at the usual instrument of torture. With a self-conscious smirk she gives a poke to her back switch, dabs her side teasers with both patties, rolls up her sleeves and tears off “That Yiddisher Rag.” She bestows a clam smile on the box-of-candy young man in the first row, but the presentation...

    • 4 Selections from What and How to Play for Pictures (1913)
      (pp. 45-52)
      Eugene A. Ahern

      These are the things I take into consideration first in playing pictures:

      FIRST: If convenient to the management of the house, have the operator run the pictures through in advance of the regular show, so you will be more able to play the pictures with appropriate music.

      SECOND: In selecting your music, try and remember the scenes that necessitate the change of music.

      THIRD: Appropriate music of course is the first requisite in playing pictures properly.

      By appropriate I mean not only music that is in keeping with the atmosphere of the picture, but music that has two or more...

    • 5 Music for the Picture (1911)
      (pp. 53-55)
      Clarence E. Sinn

      Last week included a letter from P. C. H. Hummel, setting forth his methods of working up dramatic pictures in accordance with the thematic principles as laid down by Wagner. I made no comments on this letter, as I received it just before sending in my own, and the subject appeared to deserve more than passing mention. The letters of Richard Wagner, and his biographers, are voluminous on his methods, but I can find nothing sufficiently condensed to quote in this page, or in several pages, for the matter of that. Those who are interested, may find information in Wagner’s...

    • 6 The Art of Exhibition: Rothapfel on Motion Picture Music—Its Object and Its Possibilities (1914)
      (pp. 56-61)
      W. Stephen Bush

      One great lesson is being brought home to me by my weekly talks with Rothapfel on the art of exhibition. Exhibiting motion pictures is essentially a new profession and no previous training in any other branch in the business of amusing and entertaining the public will count for very much in the make-up of the successful exhibitor. The man who will hereafter win fame and distinction through his ability to present motion pictures must be something of a musician, something of a specialist in projection, something of an expert in the selection of programs, something of a leader and pioneer,...

    • 7 Selections from Musical Accompaniment of Moving Pictures (1920)
      (pp. 62-73)
      Edith Lang and George West

      Perhaps the best way of indicating a safe procedure in the musical interpretation of a feature film is to single out one photo-play, and to suggest a musical garb that will fittingly clothe it with strains such will bring out in bolder relief the plastic curves of the story. All of the motion picture concerns issue for each of the pictures which they release a synopsis that enumerates the various characters of the cast and gives an outline of the story. This synopsis should be carefully studied and should enable the player to select music descriptive of the various situations...

    • 8 Selections from Musical Presentation of Motion Pictures (1921)
      (pp. 74-83)
      George Beynon

      It may be that you too have suffered. It may have happened that you entered a theatre to see Mary Pickford or Douglas Fairbanks earn a paltry stipend. It is possible that after you had enjoyed the comedy and the Review, you settled back in your seat anticipating an hour and a quarter of unadulterated joy. As the heroine was introduced, the orchestra opened the picture with “Land of Dreams,” that simple and melodic number by Driffil. You were greatly impressed, and mentally registered the musical selection as abeautifulone. The music changed as the picture proceeded on its...

    • 9 Selections from Encyclopaedia of Music for Pictures (1925)
      (pp. 84-96)
      Erno Rapee

      The Overture and its selection depends largely upon the general lay-out of the program. If you have a Spanish picture and you are building a Spanish prologue and you happen to have a Spanish scenic it is obviously desirable to choose a Spanish Overture to keep the program in the same vein throughout. Establish your atmosphere with your Overture and keep the same atmosphere leading up to your feature picture, which is assumed to be the strongest number on your program. Should the picture have no particular local color and no bearing upon the make-up of your show as a...

    • 10 Two Thematic Music Cue Sheets: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Dame Chance (1926)
      (pp. 97-99)
    • 11 Music and Motion Pictures (1926)
      (pp. 100-105)
      Hugo Riesenfeld

      If it were possible to see at a glance every city of 50,000 inhabitants and over in France, Italy and Central Europe, one would be struck by a certain similarity. However widely these cities may differ in architecture, in language, in the appearance of their people, they have one element in common. Each has its own municipal theatre where the entire population goes regularly to hear opera and light opera. And each has its promenade concerts where the symphonic works of the great masters are played.

      Here in the United States we have no such institution for developing an appreciation...

    • 12 Publishers Win Movie Music Suit (1924)
      (pp. 106-108)

      Proprietors of motion picture theatres are required to pay publishers a license fee for using copyrighted music according to a decision of Judge J. Whittaker Thompson in Federal Court here [Philadelphia] today.

      The movie men were taken into court two years ago when they refused to pay a “performing right fee” of 10 cents a seat a year to the music publishers, members of the Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

      The songs alleged to have been played for profit, thus infringing the copyright, have long since passed from current fancy, but the issue survived. Judge Thompson decided in favor...


    • [PART TWO. Introduction]
      (pp. 109-132)

      In the history of the cinema, the period between 1926 and 1932, the transition from silent to sound film, has been written and revised by cinema scholars many times over and for good reason. In the space of a brief half-decade, profound technical and aesthetic changes were introduced to both film production and film exhibition practices. Because the changes were global and dramatic, demanding that studios and exhibitors alike invest in entirely new production and projection equipment, some of the first histories that were written about this transition period presented the coming of sound film as instant, decisive, and as...

    • 13 New Musical Marvels in the Movies (1926)
      (pp. 133-135)

      The first exhibition of the Vitaphone in New York City exhausted the superlatives of many metropolitan critics. Here, at last, was a perfectly synchronized screen representation with the spoken word and with music. More than this, the music was not a little, frail stream of sound but the full volume of the original in a measure hardly believed credible.

      The first presentation was given in the magnificent Warner Theatre in New York early in August.

      We had the pleasure of being present at the pre-view on the night before the opening. The invited audience was composed of some fifteen hundred...

    • 14 Musicians to Fight Sound-Film Devices (1928)
      (pp. 136-137)

      Musicians all over the country are preparing to oppose the installation in motion picture theatres of machines to synchronize words and music with action on the screen. The American Federation of Musicians, comprising the 158,000 members of the national labor union, announced yesterday that such devices threaten to debase the art of music, and that it has voted a “defense fund” of $1,500,000 annually to prevent the introduction of the devices into more than the 1,000 theatres now preparing to install them.

      In a statement issued yesterday by the Federation President, Joseph N. Weber, it was denied that a collision...

    • 15 The Truth about Voice Doubling (1929)
      (pp. 138-144)
      Mark Larkin

      Light travels 186,000 miles per second, but nobody cares. Sound pokes along at approximately a thousand feet per second, and still nobody cares. But when Richard Barthelmess, who is famed as a film star and not as a singer, bursts into song inWeary River,playing his own accompaniment, folks begin to prick up their ears.

      And when Corinne Griffith plays a harp inThe Divine Ladyand acquits herself vocally, with the grace of an opera singer, people commence asking pointed questions.

      And when Barry Norton does a popular number to his own accompaniment inMother Knows Best,a...

    • 16 Westward the Course of Tin-Pan Alley (1929)
      (pp. 145-151)
      Jerry Hoffman

      That little gray home in the West is no longer for rent. The bird who first glorified it from a piano on West 46th Street has moved in—with his Mammy.

      The home-cooked bacon, the sugared yams which his Mammy was scheduled to turn out, are also in the picture. Mammy, however, isn’t doing the cooking, but daily you can find those who write the nation’s songs gathered around tables in Wilson Mizner’s Brown Derby, Henry’s, and Eddie Brandstatter’s Montmartre.

      For ten years they’ve been singing the warning: “California—Here I Come!”

      They’ve come—and how! That yearned-for Golden Gate...

    • 17 What’s Wrong with Musical Pictures? (1930)
      (pp. 152-155)
      Sigmund Romberg

      Music accompanies us from the cradle to the grave—from “Rock-a-bye, Baby,” to Chopin’s “Funeral March.” We sing, march and dance to music. There is music in our schools, churches and play places. White men, brown men, yellow men, and black men—all are attuned to music. Music is the universal language. Music is part and parcel of life. Yes, and after death, the heavenly choir!

      What, then, is wrong with our musical pictures? Why is it that music and dancing are failing on the screen? It can’t be music per se; it must be the way it is being...

    • 18 Present Day Musical Films and How They Are Made Possible (1931)
      (pp. 156-163)
      Verna Arvey

      “I am conscious less of present performance than of the future vision of a nation of music lovers trained by the leaders of our film industry. The level of musical appreciation is rising all over the country,” declares Harold B. Franklin in his book,Sound Motion Pictures.

      In this opinion he is substantiated by Ramon Novarro, screen star, himself a splendid musician. Novarro has watched the development of music in pictures for years—ever since the old silents were in vogue. And now, as he sees the music in them becoming more melodic instead of depending mainly on dance rhythms,...

    • 19 Alfred Hitchcock on Music in Films (1934)
      (pp. 164-168)
      Stephen Watts

      When the British student of intelligent cinema turns to survey the creative side of film-making in his own country the names available for reference are pathetically few. Even ranging over the whole of the talkie’s short history he can probably produce a bare half-dozen, say (alphabetically for safety!) Asquith, Dupont, Grierson, Hitchcock, Korda, and Saville, and only the two last-named of these can be regarded, at the moment, as contributors to the ordinary cinema.

      But the arrival ofWaltzes from Viennaand the news that he has joined the Gaumont-British organization bring back to prominence the name of Alfred Hitchcock....


    • [PART THREE. Introduction]
      (pp. 169-208)

      By the early 1930s, the cinema was more than just a popular form of entertainment in the U.S. It had become an important social institution and a powerful cultural force in the everyday life of many Americans. Each week roughly 80 million viewers flocked to some 17,000 theaters nationwide. A large percentage of these were repeat customers who went to the movies more than once a week. While white, middle-class females seemed to be the film industry’s largest and most loyal constituency, it was the cinema’s mass appeal, its ability to engage multiple demographics and age groups, that helped it...

    • 20 Composers in Movieland (1935)
      (pp. 209-212)
      George Antheil

      The technic of writing motion picture music is complicated by many elements unknown to the musician of yesteryear. First of all the average theatre, ballet or opera composer of the past had to contend only with a few changes of scene, whereas the motion picture flies out of space and time, from cut to cut and second to second. How is one to illustrate a background flashing from galloping horsemen to pastoral scenes and on to three or four other varied shots? Writing two measures gallop music, one second pastoral music, and so on to the end of the film...

    • 21 The Aesthetics of the Sound Film (1935)
      (pp. 213-220)
      Leonid Sabaneev

      From the aesthetic point of view a sound film is a combination of visual and aural impressions, that is to say, of pictures, music, noises, and speech. It is a species of synthetic art, approximately of the same type as opera and drama. Nevertheless, in spite of the external resemblance, there is a profound distinction between the aesthetic basis of the sound film and that of these antiquated forms of art. In order to grasp this enormously important difference, to understand the sphere to which the cinema is restricted, we must turn to the sources of cinematography in general.


    • 22 Scoring the Film (1937)
      (pp. 221-230)
      Max Steiner

      Music has probably had the most hectic career, not excepting sound, of all mediums which combine to make a motion picture.

      The present use of music in heightening the emotion of a film was borrowed directly from the elaborate orchestral accompaniment in motion-picture theaters during the silent days. No theater was too small to hire a regular orchestra. But with the advent of talking pictures, recorded music, both vocal and instrumental, was used sparingly at first, as was the dialogue. In some instances an entire picture would be silent, and suddenly in the fourth or fifth reel someone would burst...

    • 23 Some Experiences in Film Music (1940)
      (pp. 231-233)
      Erich Wolfgang Korngold

      When I came to Hollywood about six years ago, I knew no more about films and their making than any other mortal who buys his ticket at the box office. It was not even known to me that music—which happens to be my particular field—is only in rare cases recorded together with the picture, that is to say at the same time the camera photographs a scene. But my very first assignment, Reinhardt’s production ofMidsummer Night’s Dream,was to make me familiar with all three music techniques. For this production, I had to make preliminary recordings, the...

    • 24 What Is a Filmusical? (1937)
      (pp. 234-237)
      Denis Morrison

      The picture industry this season moves definitely out of the woods on musicals.

      A number of majors think that they have evolved foolproof formulas for tune features. Formulas are not all the same, far from it, but the probability is that they are all correct. Anyway, as producers have a way of doing, they put their faith in grosses more than in their own judgment.

      As in every phase of this biz, the public has told Hollywood what to do and Hollywood is doing it. Trial and error all over again. The time for experimenting is over. Nowadays, when a...

    • 25 Music in the Films (1941)
      (pp. 238-244)
      Aaron Copland

      With the radio and the phonograph, the music track of the sound film must be set down as a revolutionizing force in today’s music. The medium is so new, and the possibilities so vast, that this brief chapter can hardly do more than introduce the subject. Even so, it treats of little more than the Hollywood aspect of film music. Though artistically of a low order, historically the music of the West Coast is certain to loom large in any stocktaking of filmdom’s musical achievements.

      Everyone is so prepared to hear the worst about Hollywood that it is a pleasure...

    • 26 Music or Sound Effects? (1947)
      (pp. 245-248)
      Harold C. Schonberg

      Music in the movies is nothing new; good music is. Back in the nickelodeon and early silent film era the town’s piano teacher had steady employment in the local theatre. So didHearts and Flowers,left-hand tremolos, theHall of the Mountain Kingand other tried and true classics. Later on, as culture and the movies advanced side by side, the town’s instrumentalists plus the pianist—anywhere from ten players to an orchestra of some fifty in the larger cities—had steady employment. So didHearts and Flowers,orchestral tremolos and theHall of the Mountain King.

      Less music is...

    • 27 The New Musical Resources (1947)
      (pp. 249-257)
      Theodor Adorno and Hanns Eisler

      As we pointed out earlier, there is a striking discrepancy between contemporary motion pictures and their musical accompaniment. Most often this accompaniment drifts across the screen like a haze, obscuring the visual sharpness of the picture and counteracting the realism for which in principle the film necessarily strives. It converts a kiss into a magazine cover, an outburst of unmitigated pain into a melodrama, a scene from nature into an oleograph. But all this could be dispensed with today because, in the course of the last few decades, autonomous music has developed new resources and techniques that really correspond to...

    • 28 Movie Music Goes on Record (1952)
      (pp. 258-261)
      Arthur Knight

      The insistent pinging of Anton Karas’s zither inThe Third Manprobably did more to draw attention to movie music than all the massed orchestras of Max Steiner, Erich Korngold and Alfred Newman combined. Blasting out from every record shop for months, inescapable in the jukeboxes, on the air or in the night spots, its syncopated themes quickly made the movie-going millions acutely aware of the picture from which they came. Actually, this kind of sales assistance for the movies it springs from, has long been considered a proper function of movie music. Even before the sound track had been...

    • 29 The Man with the Golden Arm (1956)
      (pp. 262-273)
      Elmer Bernstein

      First, let me clear up an important point. The score forThe Man with the Golden Armis not a jazz score. It is a score in which jazz elements were incorporated toward the end of creating an atmosphere, I should say a highly specialized atmosphere, specific to this particular film. In this respect I was fortunate in that jazz has heretofore been used most sparingly in this manner. Now there are a rash of unpleasant films using jazz more or less skillfully. In the future, therefore, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to create a highly specialized atmosphere...

    • 30 Forbidden Planet (1956)
      (pp. 274-276)
      Louis and Bebe Barron

      Electronic Tonalities came into the MGM filmForbidden Planetwhen Studio Chief Dore Schary and General Musical Director Johnny Green decided that this picture should not have amusicalscore (neither didExecutive Suite), but should in this case express its moods and actions with a new auditory art form.

      The need for a completely new art in scoringForbidden Planetwas intensified by the fact that MGM had never approached this kind of film before, and in their determination to make an adult science-fiction picture, had budgeted the production at two million dollars in order to make full use...

    • 31 Interview with Stanley Donen (1977)
      (pp. 277-285)
      Jim Hillier

      In the 1940s, what developments were most important for you? Was there anyone who you felt was working towards a new musical style?

      Well, it was very obvious . . . This may seem a funny thing to say, but in my opinion, movies likeOn the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Give a Girl a Breakand so on were really a direct continuation from the Astaire-Rogers musicals; they have nothing to do with the Busby Berkeley kind of musical. The tradition they came from was the Fred Astaire world, which in turn came from René Clair and from...

    • 32 One Thing’s for Sure, R ’n’ R Is Boffo B.O. (1958)
      (pp. 286-288)
      Alan Freed

      No matter how you look at it or feel towards it, rock ’n’ roll is just a variation of the 4-by-4 tempo that was used by singers of the Al Jolson–Harry Richman–Eddie Cantor era. If you listen closely to Jolson’s “Mammy” or Richman’s “Vagabond Song,” it’s the same as rock ’n’ roll. As a matter of technical musical fact, all rock ’n’ roll numbers are based on the four chords originated by “Banjo-Eyes” in his famous theme, “We Want Cantor.”

      What we are hearing and playing and writing today is a reprise of the music that stirred the...


    • [PART FOUR. Introduction]
      (pp. 289-314)

      By the early 1960s, the anxieties that Hollywood experienced after the war had blossomed into something much more than temporary insecurity. The industry was now, as some scholars have described it, “at the nadir of a long transformation,” the studios so beleaguered that the industry was in full recession and hovered, in the opinion of many, “near death.”¹ The statistics outline this decline in starkly dramatic terms. In 1946, cinema attendance stood at a high of roughly 90 million, but by 1960 attendance figures had dropped to 40 million, and they continued to fall into the early 1970s, hitting an...

    • 33 Film Themes Link Movie, Disk Trades (1960)
      (pp. 315-317)
      June Bundy

      The record and motion picture industries are working in closer and more effective harmony today than they have since the golden days of movie musicals.

      United Artists Records’ success in building film themes as singles hits (by careful co-ordination between the label and movie firms during a film’s pre-production period) has been a major sparkplug of the new trend. UA now has four best film-themed singles—“Exodus,” “Never on Sunday,” “The Apartment,” “The Magnificent Seven,” all of which were released considerably in advance of the movies.

      In each case, UA producers report the films benefited strongly at...

    • 34 Mancini Debunks Album Values (1961)
      (pp. 318-320)
      Eddie Kalish

      What’s the value of a soundtrack album? “The majority of these mean nothing commercially speaking,” says Henry Mancini, prolific writer of background scores for pix and TV. In fact he feels for the most part, there shouldn’t be soundtrack LPs.

      By this comment he is referring to background soundtracks and not those that feature the score from a musical which do have their obvious merits. Mancini feels that the majority of the background music albums come off only to the point of establishing a main theme on probably the first band. The rest of the disk is usually an assortment...

    • 35 Herrmann Says Hollywood Tone Deaf as to Film Scores (1964)
      (pp. 321-322)

      As far as good musical scores for features are concerned, Hollywood is gradually becoming tone deaf, according to veteran composer Bernard Herrmann, who claims producers aren’t lending an ear to this phase of the business.

      Herrmann, whose first screen score was written in 1940 for the Orson Welles classic,Citizen Kane, recently finished his 50th, Alfred Hitchcock’sMarnie. He has done 10 previous films for the producer-director, includingNorth By North westandPsycho.

      He says that fine musical scores are becoming “as rare as whales in telephone booths”; that many current producers are so anxious to hear the sound...

    • 36 The New Sound on the Soundtracks (1967)
      (pp. 323-329)
      Gene Lees

      If you look at record industry sales charts in any given week, chances are that you’ll find at least one motion picture soundtrack album listed near the top—perhaps several. Poor indeed is the picture that doesn’t have such an album on the market, and perhaps a hit “title” song to go along with it. More and more of our best popular music is coming from films, as witness the songs of Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The biggest popular song in at least two decades—in eighteen months it piled up more than 250 recorded versions—is...

    • 37 Movies: Tuning In to the Sound of New Music (1968)
      (pp. 330-333)
      Renata Adler

      A few weeks short of 25 years aft erOklahoma!opened on Broadway on March 31, 1943, the movieHalf a Sixpence—inflated from an earlier Broadway production—opened last month at the Criterion.Oklahoma!marked a revolution. The American musical had broken free of the European princeling operetta on the one hand, and the vaudeville star revue on the other.Oklahoma!was about just folks. It was theater, with songs growing more or less naturally out of the story line. It had, not a chorus confined in place, but a number of dance routines, freely choreographed by Agnes de...

    • 38 Towards an Interior Music (1997)
      (pp. 334-336)
      Ennio Morricone

      When Sergio [Leone] came to my house to commission the music forA Fistful of Dollars,I recognized him at once: we had been classmates in the third grade and I remembered that we had both been rather lively children.

      Little by little we found a way of understanding each other. Sergio did not express himself in a musically very precise way. Anyway, there are always problems of communication between a director and a composer. Also, on the piano you cannot always make clear what a piece is going to sound like when it has been orchestrated. Sometimes we spent...

    • 39 Keeping Score on Schifrin: Lalo Schifrin and the Art of Film Music (1969)
      (pp. 337-343)
      Harvey Siders

      There are as many ways to approach the subject of Lalo Schifrin as there are facets of his artistry. One could devote an entire article to his legitimate learnings and show how his earliest exposure to serious music was enhanced by hearing string quartets played in his home, and later crystallized by his father’s position as concertmaster the Buenos Aires of Philharmonic Orchestra. We could follow that right through to studies with Juan Carlos Paz, the Schoenberg of South America, and subsequent training in Paris, skipping his abortive pursuit of a law degree in his native Argentina. And we could...

    • 40 BBC Interview with Jerry Goldsmith (1969)
      (pp. 344-348)

      Where were you born?

      It is assumed, even though I tell people I was born in Los Angeles, “Certainly from New York?” There’s a certain snobbism that goes on in America that if you have any sort of success, you must come from New York!

      Your first real musical work was in radio, I think, wasn’t it?

      Yes it was. I started in radio—actually my first work was picking out records for dramatic shows, and then I graduated to writing scores for them.

      And conducting or simply writing?

      Yes—conducting too. I was writing cue music, picking out records,...

    • 41 The Jazz Composers in Hollywood: A Symposium with Benny Carter, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, and Pat Williams (1972)
      (pp. 349-358)
      Harvey Siders

      To begin with, what are the main differences between writing for movies and writing for TV?

      Q.J.: No difference, man.

      OK, then the article’s over. Thank you very much gentlemen.

      Q.J.: You mean the tape’s been running?

      Of course, but I can edit out all the obscenities.

      Q.J.: Well, in that case, the main difference is in the money. Another thing is in the interruptions. You know, writing music so they can hang the audience in mid-air while they stick in a commercial in the middle of somebody getting stabbed.

      L.S.: Perhaps we should touch on the similarities as well...

    • 42 George Lucas: Stinky Kid Hits the Bigtime (1974)
      (pp. 359-364)
      Steven Farber

      George Lucas’sAmerican Graffitiis the surprise blockbuster of the year. Made for $750,000, it has already earned over $21 million; Universal is predicting that it may even out-grossAirport.When he first conceived the film, Lucas could not have guessed that it would be released at the height of the nostalgia boom.

      Although actually set in 1962,American Graffitiis the quintessential fifties nostalgia movie—a comprehensive recreation of the world of sock hops, drag races, cherry cokes, and Eisenhower complacency. The remarkable thing, however, is that the film recaptures the past without sentimentalizing it. A comedy with unexpected...

    • 43 The Annotated Friedkin (1974)
      (pp. 365-371)
      Elmer Bernstein

      The relationship between the composer of a film score and the person or persons to whom he or she is responsible in the course of the work is a difficult one at best. Now you must understand at the outset that this relationship is as complicated as a pentagonal marriage therefore requiring some definition of terms right now. During the period beginning approximately with the beginning of sound and ending approximately 15 to 20 years later, there existed a buffer between the composer and the producer known as the music director of the studio. This was an estimable group of...

    • 44 Whatever Became of Movie Music? (1974)
      (pp. 372-378)
      David Raksin

      The new director turned out to be an amiable roughneck, about my own age, bright and shrewd, talented, and still New Yorkish enough to need to let me know that he was not about to have “any of that Hollywood music” in his picture. What he wanted was “something different, really powerful—likeWozzeck.” A string of three-frame cuts of the aurora borealis flashed in my head. To hear the magic name of Alban Berg’s operatic masterpiece invoked by the man with whom I would be working was to be invited to be free! To hear it correctly pronounced was...


    • [PART FIVE. Introduction]
      (pp. 379-408)

      While opinions vary on how to define the postwar and recession period, especially in terms of assigning solid beginning and end points, there is general critical agreement that a new and distinct practice, one that in many ways remains valid today, began to form in the late 1970s.¹ Several scholars have described this change as a “revolution,” one on par with the coming of sound film in the late 1920s. What event or innovation was most responsible for sparking this revolution, and just what label best describes it, remain matters of debate; however, it is generally agreed that in the...

    • 45 Selling a Hit Soundtrack (1979)
      (pp. 409-413)
      Susan Peterson

      Commercially viable music. Timing. Film company cooperation on advance planning and tie-ins. Music that’s integral to the movie. A hit movie. A hit single. A big-name recording star. A big-name composer. These are a few of our favorite things, sing the marketing people at record companies, when it comes to selling a soundtrack.

      RSO president Al Coury feels timing is of the “utmost importance” and he should know whereof he speaks. Under his guidance in 1977–78, RSO notched up the two biggest selling albums in the history of the music business, both soundtracks, both still on the charts as...

    • 46 Interview with John Williams (1997)
      (pp. 414-422)
      Craig L. Byrd

      How did the Star Wars project first come to your attention? How did you become involved?

      My involvement withStar Warsbegan actually with Steven Spielberg, who was, in the ’70s when these films were made, and still is, a very close friend of George Lucas’s. I had done two or three scores for Steven Spielberg before I met George Lucas,Jawsbeing the principal one among them. I think it was that George Lucas, when he was makingStar Wars,asked his friend Steven Spielberg who should write the music, where will he find a composer? The best knowledge...

    • 47 Scoring with Synthesizers (1982)
      (pp. 423-429)
      Terry Atkinson

      What goeseek, squonk, oing-boing,andwaaah-oooom,and has won two Academy Awards in the last four years? Clue: It’s neither Jamie Lee Curtis nor R2D2—though the second is closer.

      Give up? The answer is synthesizer movie scores, and the Oscar winners for best score were last year’sChariots of Fireby Vangelis and 1978’sMidnight Expressby Giorgio Moroder. In both, the music was provided not by an orchestra, but by an electronic instrument long used by rock bands. Electronic scores are still relatively rare But some critics, weary of classical and jazz-oriented scores, welcome them and predict...

    • 48 Rock Movideo (1985)
      (pp. 430-436)
      Marianne Meyer

      It began as coy flirtation, way back in 1955, when director Richard Brooks inserted “Rock Around the Clock” under the opening credits ofBlackboard Jungle,but the on-again, off-again romance between rock music and the film community wasn’t really consummated until the past year. If money makes strange bedfellows, 1984 saw film producers, feature directors and music video makers between the sheets for a near orgiastic display of financial backrubbing. A total of eight soundtracks were certified platinum, more than in 1981, ’82, and ’83combined.With a few exceptions, music videos helped make both the films and the songs...

    • 49 How Rock Is Changing Hollywood’s Tune (1989)
      (pp. 437-442)
      Stephen Holden

      Jack Nicholson’s fiendish joker and Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader aren’t the only forces that collide in the smash-hit moveBatman.The film’s noisy soundtrack presents a pitched battle between the two strains of music that have accompanied movies since the dawn of the sound era: one derived from high culture, the other from pop. The majority of the film’s score is loud, post-Wagnerian action music composed by Danny Elfman. Sly, subterranean funk songs by Prince make up the rest.

      Until recently, movie directors, in choosing the music for a potential blockbuster, tended to opt either for music like Mr. Elfman’s,...

    • 50 Danny Elfman: From Boingo to Batman (1990)
      (pp. 443-451)
      Randall D. Larson

      Briefly, would you outline your background in music and how you got involved in Oingo Boingo?

      I spent a number of years with Oingo Boingo’s predecessor, The Mystic Nights of the Oingo Boingo (although we were known as The Mystic Nights); it was a musical theatrical troupe, a very strange dark cabaret, I guess you’d call it. I was the musical director and my brother was the director and founder, and he kind of drafted me. Over the course of those eight years it was kind of real wild and strange and I taught myself different musical styles, a little...

    • 51 Selections from The Celluloid Jukebox (1995) Interviews with Allison Anders, Alan Rudolph, Michael Mann, Isaac Julien, Wim Wenders, Bob Last, Penelope Spheeris, Ry Cooder, Quentin Tarantino, Cameron Crowe, and David Byrne
      (pp. 452-464)
      Jonathan Romney and Adrian Wootton

      These days, it’s largely taken for granted that pop music and cinema have a tight-knit relationship, but beyond the fact that they both belong to pop u lar culture, we rarely examine the reasons. What are the affinities that film-makers feel with pop, and why do musicians learn to make themselves at home in the visual field?

      Allison Anders: It’s just the basis for communication in our culture. I think that we can have common reference, a common sort of “Where was I when I heard this song?” It’s so evocative and coded so deeply in our psyche, it’s a...

    • 52 Composing with a Very Wide Palette: Howard Shore in Conversation (1999)
      (pp. 465-471)
      Philip Brophy

      How did you into composing for films?

      It was something I thought about while I had different careers. I had a rock ’n’ roll career when I was young and on the road for years. Then I did television in Canada and eventually the United States, where I didSaturday Night Live.As I was doing that I thought television was really not something I was going to stick with. I had also done some music for theatre and had developed ideas about writing pieces. I wrote them in my head but didn’t have an avenue for them, so I...

    • 53 Hollywood Sound (2005)
      (pp. 472-482)
      Rob Bridgett

      In the film industry, or more specificallyHollywood,convergence within game development has arrived. It’s happened fast, and in a very big way. The next generation landscape promises even more integration and spectacle in this direction.





      For designer, producer or sound director, working with composers, not to mention big name Hollywood composers, can be a challenge. Here we consider the inherent differences between content and structure in both cinema and video game music.

      It is often said that the game industry is perceived by...

  10. INDEX
    (pp. 483-507)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 508-508)