• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 7 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 61

Topic: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    I very often listen to the older filmscores at
    http://www.screenarchives.com/index.cfm

    For me I found out that in the past they were more musically and I can learn many things about orchestrating and using the right classical instruments for this and that by listening.

    The new generation, taiko drums and taiko drums and taiko drums... are great too, sure, but I am missing somewhat there.....!

    In the past we had only the instrumets to discribe a filmscene. Now we have all the newest stuff, effects, synthesizers, loop-players and so on... .

    Will the musicality by using these new techniques lose wealth more and more?

    Sure, there are many great filmscorecomposers today, but when I look German Television and listen to the "music", the most filmscoretracks sound same and less musically.... .

    The first reason I think is that many filmproducer are wanting the sound from the latest well known film, so the composers are copying all together and sound same... .

    What do you think?

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  2. #2

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    I agree totally. With the advent of synths, samplers and sequencers, many people are getting into the field without knowing the fundaments of harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. While these things may seem antiquated or archaic, they still represent the fundaments of the system of music that has been developed over the past 5 centuries.

    I have noticed that we're getting pounding rock drums (that are not even interesting rhythmically) under un-interesting and very basic triadic chord progressions. Or else, someone is using their SAM brass effects to channel Elliot Goldenthal via Edgard Varese with alternate playing techniques.

    I hear less and less strong melodic scores because filmmakers also do not have the same musical breadth of influences that they once had. Many filmmakers come from videos or else television which explains their lack of cinematic style. The editing in these things is largely incoherent and I'm sure Sergei Eisenstein is rolling in his grave when the newest Michael Bay movie debuts (can someone tell that a-hole to hold a camera shot for more than 24 frames???)

    It's a very unfortunate time for both budding composers who are hungry to learn more about the craft of scoring from professionals adept enough of supplying music that adheres to the film narrative while also existing as strong music on its own. John Williams and Gabriel Yared are the only two working composers who have their music chops together enough to work with fugues much less understand them. we're also getting a lot less melodic and motivic imitative counterpoint which not only sounds good but also helps to cement the relationship of onscreen characters with a recapitulation of a musical idea.

    I could write about this subject endlessly because I have a fair degree of background in film scoring both from the critical standpoint as well as having worked on some scores myself throughout the '90s. It's a rough gig and now that focus groups and micromanaging producers who are tone deaf seem to govern any creative direction most directors take, it's no wonder why many seasoned film composers are not getting work. At one point and time, before the advent of MIDI mock-ups, the composer was given a little more latitude with their perspective on the film. Now the director can futz with every bar before it even gets orchestrated and shoved off to the copyist and orchestra. With this kind of fascist control, any composer with his own musical identity has sought outlets elsewhere, mostly in the video game industry where they can explore creative musical ideas without the burden of all these other bodies getting in their way.

  3. #3

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    There is certainly evidence of a changing aesthetic. Older films not only had more 'substantial' music, but more of it! Sometimes it seems the music is the dominant element.

    Several years back, we recorded an album of Franz Waxman film music. This is heady stuff, really beautifully orchestrated and clever. Wagner largely created the template for Hollywood's golden age.

    A little more recently, we did a CD of Benjamin Frankel's "Battle of the Bulge" score. Having recorded all of his symphonies, it was interesting to 'get inside' some of his 'lighter' music. This is tremendous stuff, imaginative, rational, effective and musically coherent. And really good concert music too, I would say—not that this is a necessary standard for effective film music to adhere to.

    I am certainly sick of watching cable TV documentaries terribly marred by utterly inane soundtracks that could hardly be more divorced in feeling from the subject. TR-808 high-hats have their place I'm sure, but on the African Savannah I prefer John Barry, if you know what I mean.

    There is some very clever borrowing from the classics that our leading lights in this trade are 'guilty' of, for example Williams' Ewok music and Jerry Goldsmith's 'adaptation' of Britten's Four Sea Interludes in Star Trek V. I'm not so inclined, as are some, to get hyper-indignant about such practices. I look on it as a sort of homage to the greats of yesteryear, as his Goldsmith's self-confessed reference to both Vaughan-Williams and Bernard Hermann in his score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. What I don't like so much is blatant borrowing from one's own filmscores (think James Horner) which I find a bit cheap and distracting (probably not for the general public, however).

    I maintain that the consistently high quality of soundtrack recording quality puts many classical labels to shame, and is a great credit to the personnel responsible. Much the same could be said for the generally immaculate work of the orchestral musicians who realise these scores.

  4. #4

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    I think a lot depends on the film director and how much he is willing not to imitate what already exists following the trends, but to experiment with something original. I used to blame the market and its harsh terms for it , but now I tend to believe that it's the mediocrity of the film makers and their lack of self-confidence. People do their business with the utmost wish to be like someone else, who was more successful without a suspicion dawning on them that their idols achieved success only because they didn't copy anyone.
    I wrote film music mostly for the beginning filmmakers and the majority of them would simply show me some other film extracts and tell me to write "something like that". I always ask : "You're not even bound with any serious commercial obligations, where did you get that rigidness of thought from?". They tell me I judge too harsh. Do I?

  5. #5

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    True, maybe a changed industry that is no longer needing, or generating "true masters "

    And also, ironically, musical substance was being more important as long as the technology of reproduction was so lo-fi. Motives, development, themes, symbolic stuff, that’s what is transported through pre-thx sound systems, the „magic of the sound itself“ was lost. Maybe film makers had not necessarily a better taste, but they had no choice but rely on compositional substance.

    And maybe they aimed at an audience that was in average a little more socialized with classical (or „light“-classical, orchestra based) music?
    Uli Reuter
    film composer, Germany

  6. #6

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Uli Reuter View Post
    True, maybe a changed industry that is no longer needing, or generating "true masters "
    I would argue the opposite - I think film music has just started to become a language of its own, with the first masters emerging. Don't get me wrong - Korngold et al wrote very accomplished music, but they often don't seem to be able to get away from developing music according to the logic of music. Often it's too prominent, doesn't make any attempt to follow the action, etc.

    I'm even starting to notice that my hero, JW, is sometimes guilty of the same. He'll write great swathes of music, that make for fantastic listening on the album, but don't delineate changes in emotion or hit any action points at all. Which would be ok for underscore, but his music demands more attention than typical underscore, so the director often ends up just turning it down really low. (Although in some instances I think it's the director's fault for having a film where he was expecting the music to tell the story for large stretches at a time, but then covering the same stretch in constant barrages of foley).

    Whereas there are many composers now on the scene who, perhaps, could not write a fugue to save their lives, but can change emotions almost every beat if necessary. That in itself is a mastery which many very accomplished composers can't understand.

  7. #7

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    the real problem is the money. As a result of the unchecked illegal downloading for the last 10 years all the money has vanished. This has a huge impact on every portion of the media industry. For us composers it means that the film makers arent getting the same kind of budgets and as they are being squeezed so are we. So we are on a trend of finding ways to make it work cheaper, faster and who cares if its art anymore. For those of us who are interested in film music for the art of it, this is truly a sad time to live in. And until the powers that be combine and put a final and real stop to illegal downloading there will no longer be an environment of nurture for young artists to train and grow into masters.
    Christopher Kennedy Alpiar
    Cinematic Composer
    www.alpiar.com

  8. #8

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAlps View Post
    stop to illegal downloading there will no longer be an environment of nurture for young artists to train and grow into masters.
    Not in all countries downloading of media is illegal. Anyway, it's all about free downloading of media that wasn't intented to be free. Before making this kind of downloading globally illegal and fight till every single download has stopped, I would like to take a pause and think about the real reasons of declining profits of the media industry. Nowadays, consumers have so many choices for spending their money... The media industry has more competition than ever before. I really wonder if stopping the free downloading would save the media industry.

    But I agree money (and time) is probably one of the biggest problems.

    The other thing I wonder about... we have different ears than the regular consumer. Is the consumer also aware of degrading quality (of film scores)? If not, why would film makers enhance it? Maybe it's "good enough"?

  9. #9

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    Remember too, that film composers of hollywood caliber have less and less time to complete a filmscore, and have to work under deadlines that are less negociable with every movie. To remain competitive you have to produce fast which is not always akin to good.

  10. #10

    Re: Comparison between the old and new Film Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew S Phillips View Post
    Remember too, that film composers of hollywood caliber have less and less time to complete a filmscore, and have to work under deadlines that are less negociable with every movie. To remain competitive you have to produce fast which is not always akin to good.
    Arn´t that problems more selfmade? Where is the reason for booking a filmcomposer soo late at the process?

    I know many composers who are informend/booked very early and have the time they need... .

    And, a small budget can`t be the reason for less musically... .
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 7 1234 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •