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Do the movie scores have their own merits as a distinct music genre?

bachader

New Member
Do the movie scores have their own merits as a distinct music genre or just a derivate of earlier works? Apart from the visual context, would it be unfair to call it a watered down classical music?
 

JohnG

Senior Member
would it be unfair to call it a watered down classical music?
Alas, in some cases it would be unfair -- to the classical music.

Film music veers all over. Sometimes it's more song form -- tune with accompaniment, even including song-like bridges and intros. Sometimes it's just floaty sounds, sometimes it's a solo flute or guitar.

I don't think anyone can characterise film music without immediately bumping into exceptions.
 

poetd

Active Member
A lot of classical music was written for Ballet, or Opera or similar (Fireworks displays! etc)
In some ways the movies of their day.
Does that mean "Le Sacre du printemps" can be compared to "Let it go" ?

Sure, why not. We jumped the shark a long time ago, lets keep going.
 
OP
B

bachader

New Member
Alas, in some cases it would be unfair -- to the classical music.

Film music veers all over. Sometimes it's more song form -- tune with accompaniment, even including song-like bridges and intros. Sometimes it's just floaty sounds, sometimes it's a solo flute or guitar.

I don't think anyone can characterise film music without immediately bumping into exceptions.
Sure. Many genres are now used as movie scores. In fact I meant those of John Willams type, Jerry Goldsmith or James Newton Howard style and even yours.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
In fact I meant those of John Willams type, Jerry Goldsmith or James Newton Howard style
Well, I guess if you list things that people associate with "classical," they might include:

1. Discernable rhythm and melody, or extended melodic motifs;
2. Relatively limited percussion -- percussion is important but rarely comprises half/most of the sound;
3. Uses modulation from one recognisable key to another. In the Western tradition, modulation is a major technique and key relationships between movements or sections were carefully considered and executed;
4. Size of orchestra varied pretty widely -- from maybe 30 in the olden days to (sometimes) 100 or more by the end of the 19th century, plus choir;
5. Prominent roles for all sections, including woodwinds; and
6. Relatively limited improvisation in what most would consider the "top 100."

So just to pause the list there, you can immediately see/hear that there are some aspects of the orchestra that movie music retains and others that are very different.
 

gamma-ut

Active Member
Do the movie scores have their own merits as a distinct music genre or just a derivate of earlier works? Apart from the visual context, would it be unfair to call it a watered down classical music?
William Walton wasn't keen on his own movie scores - but Henry V and others stand up well.

Prokofiev and Shostakovich both got involved in film scores. And a segment from one of Prokofiev's just about everybody knows well, and using an approach to form that is now pretty much commonplace in movie scoring. Is their work "watered down" do you think?

Or coming from the other direction, you have the work of Bernard Hermann and standout scores like Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes or the minimal synth-based approach of John Carpenter.

Like any form, there's a lot of filler out there – the medium of writing for picture makes filler inevitable and the selection process tends to reward safety and conservatism. But the idea that's it has to be watered down isn't realistic.
 

Studio E

Eric Watkins
I agree. What about "merit as a distinct genre" ?
Well I do think that it has merit as a distinct genre, as there have been many many scores which, while derivative of other music, are no more than any other genre. At the same time, it has developed and combined elements in a way that other genres really haven't, or at least not to this extent. I just think of the way it moves people emotionally and separately of other genres. That to me, makes it meritorious.

In the end, I think it's another question of whether or not art is art. To me the answer is almost always "as long as it is to someone, yes".
 

BabyGiraffe

New Member
ALL music is just a derivative of earlier works, in some way.

You could call Mozart and Beethoven' music watered down, from whatever their music was derived from.
You really don't know what you are talking about - Mozart basically created the most complex music in a light styles defined by many cliches (90 % of his music is overused patterns and he still makes them interesting and complex). Beethoven was the first great romantic composer and basically everyone in the period was under his influence (imitating or trying not to sound like him)
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I used to go to the opera all the time; less now but anyway, there are reams -- REAMS -- of very forgettable operas, operettas, oratorios, and other works that once upon a time were popular. At least popular enough to generate another commission for the same composer(s) in the same genre.

Very little of those thousands (tens of thousands I guess?) of works are produced today, even some of the allegedly "great works of the past" that were penned by allegedly "great composers." Some that I've seen (many more than once) are dramatically stilted, full of clichés (and misogyny or other unfortunate attributes) and even -- shock! -- just boring. Dramatically and musically.

The stories are ludicrously improbable as well, though you have to give them something; at least they don't ALL feature a leading character who's a "former special forces / Navy Seal / psy-ops" dude.
 

erica-grace

Senior Member
You really don't know what you are talking about - Mozart basically created the most complex music in a light styles defined by many cliches (90 % of his music is overused patterns and he still makes them interesting and complex). Beethoven was the first great romantic composer and basically everyone in the period was under his influence (imitating or trying not to sound like him)


So, Mozart invented the music he wrote from complete and total scratch? The music he wrote wasn't derived from somewhere?

It's not ME who doesn't know what they are talking about.
 

BabyGiraffe

New Member
So, Mozart invented the music he wrote from complete and total scratch? The music he wrote wasn't derived from somewhere?

It's not ME who doesn't know what they are talking about.
Did you missed this: "90 % of his music is overused patterns and he still makes them interesting and complex".
Can you say this about any modern film composer?
I can recommend you some books on Mozart and styles around his time, if you are interested in learning something...
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.


So, Mozart invented the music he wrote from complete and total scratch? The music he wrote wasn't derived from somewhere?

It's not ME who doesn't know what they are talking about.
I agree. Mozart was a total sycophant of Haydn (the latter of whom basically invented the forms Mozart steadfastly adhered to throughout his career). He even dedicated a whole set of quartets to Haydn. Later he borrowed from both Bach and Handel. All music graduates know this btw, we also know Mozart wasn't a "complex" composer like Bach or Beethoven, he was only complex when stood up next to his Classical contemporaries (and even then, Haydn was his main competitition, easily).

I should mention, however, that it's quite possible Mozart was the greatest melodicist who ever lived, and (though I favor Bach, Wagner, and Mahler above his music) was an indubitably great composer, despite not being particularly groundbreaking like Beethoven...or Stravinsky for that matter.

I've studied those composers my whole life and wrote my master's thesis on Beethoven's early influence by Mozart.

BG, you're kind of new here and leaving a bad impression, my friend. No offense, just observing.
 
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Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Alas, in some cases it would be unfair -- to the classical music.

Film music veers all over. Sometimes it's more song form -- tune with accompaniment, even including song-like bridges and intros. Sometimes it's just floaty sounds, sometimes it's a solo flute or guitar.

I don't think anyone can characterise film music without immediately bumping into exceptions.
I wouldn't call Ben Hur, Islands in the Stream, or Ghost and Mrs. Muir watered down Classical music. I took a few months and studied those scores inside and out a couple of years ago. I mean, they don't stand up with the best of the other art music composers here, however they are particularly excellent pieces of music in their own right. I could be wrong.
 

re-peat

Senior Member
It's not ME who doesn't know what they are talking about.

Actually, it is. If you had said "all music builds on the musical achievements of previous generations", you would have excited less remark. But describing, as you do, the process of musical evolution as a constant "watering down" of what came before, is just wrong. Silly. Ignorant. Potty.
What also doesn't help is that, for reasons best known to yourself, you fail to be specific about what it is that the music of Mozart and Beethoven is supposed to be a watered-down version of. By lazily calling it 'whatever', your statement understandably triggers the suspicion that you may indeed be a bit short on knowing what you're talking about.

And don't say "Haydn", like the previous poster does, cause that's ignorant on an idiotic scale.

Which brings me nicely to expressing my complete disagreement with the previous two Parsifal posts too. If perhaps not with every single statement they contain (though with most of them), than certainly with its all too familiar Parsifal trademark: that pretentious, condescending and self-righteous tone.
And to accuse a new fellow member of leaving a bad impression, especially when one oneself reigns supreme in the leaving-a-bad-impression discipline with every blasé pontification one posts, is terribly unkind. As every graduate of friendly human nature knows.

_
 

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Actually, it is. If you had said "all music builds on the musical achievements of previous generations", you would have excited less remark. But describing, as you do, the process of musical evolution as a constant "watering down" of what came before, is just wrong. Silly. Ignorant. Potty.
What also doesn't help is that, for reasons best known to yourself, you fail to be specific about what it is that the music of Mozart and Beethoven is supposed to be a watered-down version of. By lazily calling it 'whatever', your statement understandably triggers the suspicion that you may indeed be a bit short on knowing what you're talking about.

And don't say "Haydn", like the previous poster does, cause that's ignorant on an idiotic scale.

Which brings me nicely to expressing my complete disagreement with the previous two Parsifal posts too. If perhaps not with every single statement they contain (though with most of them), than certainly with its all too familiar Parsifal trademark: that pretentious, condescending and self-righteous tone.
And to accuse a new fellow member of leaving a bad impression, especially when one oneself reigns supreme in the leaving-a-bad-impression discipline with every blasé pontification one posts, is terribly unkind. As every graduate of friendly human nature knows.


_

Congratulations on being a graduate of friendly human nature (which is so perfectly boneheaded I probably don't even need to go on...but this level of willful ignorance cannot go without redaction, otherwise young people here might get the idea this repeat person knows what the hell he's talking about.)
Soooo....are you going to go in detail why what I wrote is idiotic? I don't think anyone here quite got the reason for that bit of unfriendly human nature. Judging by your past record, I won't hold my breath. At least the OP seems to have done some homework, something which is entirely missing in your redaction.

You also didn't give us adequate reasons why you are in complete disagreement with the majority of my post; you end up sounding both dismissive and blindly ad hominem...the signatures of a person whom came too a battle of wits both unarmed and possibly Über-caffeinated. Silly boy. Ignorant. Potty.

Missing also is an explanation of how I leave a bad impression here. According to who, you? (that is, a person obviously incapable of backing his accusations and slander up).

Seems to me also that I generally don't leave a bad impression here. Check my track record, son.

Maybe you should have thought out both what I wrote and what you were going to write before you wrote that.

Or better yet, maybe you should have taken a nap first.
.
 
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Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Thank you @Parsifal666 for sorting those font sizes. :)
I try, I try lol!

A lot of classical music was written for Ballet, or Opera or similar (Fireworks displays! etc)
In some ways the movies of their day.
Does that mean "Le Sacre du printemps" can be compared to "Let it go" ?

Sure, why not. We jumped the shark a long time ago, lets keep going.
Cracking up! You rule, dude.
 
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