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 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Can't agree[I know you were being sarcastic] if I could put up with the stuff on the radio all those years I surely can put up with film music, but sometimes I fall asleep listening to classical music[don't we all], Which reminds me of that classic CHEERS episode where FRAISER, tries to get everybody to appreciate opera, so one night everybody goes to a opera. It starts with Fraiser smiling hoping everybody will enjoy the opera. Next scene you see the whole gang sound asleep INCLUDING FRAISER HIMSELF] while the opera is still on . one of the funniest scenes in sitcom history to me because it is so TRUE.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Can't agree[I know you were being sarcastic] if I could put up with the stuff on the radio all those years I surely can put up with film music, but sometimes I fall asleep listening to classical music[don't we all], Which reminds me of that classic CHEERS episode where FRAISER, tries to get everybody to appreciate opera, so one night everybody goes to a opera. It starts with Fraiser smiling hoping everybody will enjoy the opera. Next scene you see the whole gang sound asleep INCLUDING FRAISER HIMSELF] while the opera is still on . one of the funniest scenes in sitcom history to me because it is so TRUE.

Depends on the classical music. If you fall asleep to Varese's Arcana or Crumb's Black Angels (parts were used in The Exorcist) you are one scary son of a bitch. Prokofiev's Third Symphony first mvmt is a demonic tour de force along with the third mvmt. And the first mvmt of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony should be all rights knock the listener on their ass.

Now if you are talking about music from the Classical era of western music history I won't argue with you. I find most of it rather boring with a surprisingly limited harmonic vocabulary (which is odd considering Bach preceded composers of that era and wrote some astonishingly beautiful and complex pieces.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2013 - 8:24 PM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)


Nope but I should star eh?my friend Erik Woods doesn't live too far away and has a wonderful beer collection. Erik, can I come over?


Any time my friend! Any time!

-Erik-

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 1:33 AM   
 By:   McMillan & Husband   (Member)

Fortunately for me I quite enjoy things that suck. wink

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 4:17 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

What I find interesting after reading over the responses to my admittedly provocative OP is the dichotomy of their tone. Half of them were defensive verbal counter attacks while others were more concerned and inquisitive about why I would post something like I did. Just goes to show that there's a lot of different types of people that populate this forum.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 4:23 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

And the first mvmt of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony should be all rights knock the listener on their ass.

So what does the 2nd movement do? Blow him out the door and up the street?

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 4:49 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

The vast majority of film scores "suck" to the extent that they don't stand on their own as pure listening experiences, mostly because the actual musical content is often severely limited or of poor quality. Defenders of this kind of stuff (say, John Carpenter's Halloween) usually claim that film music isn't meant to be listened to independently, and thus need not be good music. Or they claim that one's man's crap is another man's pure gold. Interestingly, only the "fans" of music that fails as pure music usually use that line of argument. They won't admit to guilty pleasures either, because no one wants to acknowledge that their favorite music is of low aesthetic and/or technical quality.

Well then, why are we here discussion film music in the first place?

Once film music is separated from the visuals and put on an album, it develops a life of its own.Only mostly, it doesn't, because it's deficient in the way described above. It's either derivative or repetitious (an added problem with today's overlong releases) or merely flat, often a combination of all three. Often it aspires to find the lowest common denominator (à la Hans Zimmer), so that it will appeal to a lot of people who can't tell good music from bad. Or don't want to, because it makes them feel better. Not thinking about things will make you a happier person.

Music that is being listened to independently of whatever context it might have had previously must function purely as music. That only happens when it's done with a certain level of expertise and craftsmanship and sometimes imagination (though the latter is not really necessary if you have enough of the first two - craftsmanship will carry you a long way even if no real inspiration is there). Inspiration without craftsmanship means little or nothing in art. Or else you have to find an expert who develops your humming or your keyboarding into real scores. That's even true today, as long as a group of musicians are involved who have to play from the notes put before them. Of course, the same does not apply necessarily to other music styles like folk or pop (where there is usually little or no thematic/structural development at all) or jazz (where aimlessness and rambling are considered virtues) - still, you'll need an arranger for those.

True also, a lot of film music is derivative. A lot of classical music is derivative, too. But because of the (necessarily) superior sense of form(!) in classical music, the latter will often be more satisfying as a listening experience even when it's derivative. See above. Some film composers (James Horner, Bill Conti) will either derive some of their material from classical models or (John Debney) from other people's film scores, while again others (Hans Zimmer) only "adapt" the little classical music they know and instead pump-up their own simple "ideas" that would never qualify for a classical work and then pump them up with bloated arrangements so they will sound "majestic" to the easily pleased. Personally, I have more respect for a composer like Horner, because he has the expertise and he sure does know a lot of other people's good(!) music. You need craftsmanship for that, too. wink

"Film music can be as good as the composer is gifted."

Which leaves a tiny part of film music that is both original and well-crafted technically. For that tiny part, it's worth exploring film scores. And if the above sounds arrogant, then: Bu-huh! big grin

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 4:51 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

And the first mvmt of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony should be all rights knock the listener on their ass.

So what does the 2nd movement do? Blow him out the door and up the street?


Ha! Good catch. I meant the 2nd mvmt. Kicks ass doesn't it?

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 5:01 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Good post OnlyGoodMusic. Though I vaccilate on Horner. Yes he is a skilled technician but I'm less enthusiastic with his music the more I find their classical sources which in some cases are direct lifts of significant sections of other composers' music. Horner isn't too far off from Zimmer in that his music imparts an emotional wallop to the listener and often each of their respective following doesn't care about the source of their composer's music (Horner) or technical complexity/competence (Zimmer). In some ways I'd take Zimmer at least on a moral level. I think Doug Adams had this argument with the Kaplans on a podcast a few years back and he also took Zimmer's side over Horner. And we all know Doug is an exceptionally articulate, smart fellow.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   smuli of finland   (Member)

Williams and Horner rape Prokofiev's cold dead corpse regularly. Goldsmith screwed Stravinsky's cadaver on several occasions. Korngold with Strauss and Mahler. Herrmann with Bartok and Ives. Don Davis pillaged John Adams' entire 80s catalogue of works for The Matrix. No concert composer was left out. Even the weird ones like Varese, Xenakis (Goldenthal cum Corigliano), Webern, Berg, Debussy, Ravel, and the list goes on.

I can find most of the composers listed in the originally provocative post, but I have a few questions:
Is Prokofiev's "cold dead corpse" an obscure work? I can't find it on youtube. On which scores of Williams and Horner have they copied that composition?
Also, I can't find "cadaver" by Stravinsky. Has it been released anywhere? Is this perhaps the much disgust track which didn't have the mixing bowels?
And how can Don Davis be copying John Adams' catalogue from the 1980's if Joseph Vitarelli and Rob Lane composed the score for John Adams in 2008?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 6:13 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

I like film music because much of it is really lovely and interesting, because it is wordless (except choral portions). So it does not have a moral message, a lecture, a rant, a political statement.

It is an interesting art form because it is not made to sell records, unlike commercial pop. Granted it can be very commercial and non exceptional as a by product, a subordinate co-product of a film and the whims of a film director. However, there can be an artistic liberation of a real composer because aside from the needs of the director, he can do whatever he wants musically without worrying about it succeeding commercially or selling in concerts.


We have seen a lot more media happy film composers in the last few years, Zimmer seems to rather enjoy the attention. There were days when the old guys were somewhat shy and reclusive, and they were probably wise to let the music speak for itself. Goldsmith always seemed very uninterested in doing interviews, while he was doing them. So perhaps all the attention and popularization of 'rock star' film composers is really not that good for the art itself. or conversation.

I think for one Zimmer would have been much better off just dropping the Man of Steel score and not saying a word about it, not a single word.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 7:10 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Some really great posts here guys. I'm glad my initial b.s. post spawned so many thoughtful responses about why film music is valid.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   smuli of finland   (Member)

Some really great posts here guys. I'm glad my initial b.s. post spawned so many thoughtful responses about why film music is valid.

Now, that's sarcasm with a capital B, rite?

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I thought this was simply your parting shot, Mr. C, inasmuch as your profile concludes with the words, "Adieu, FSM. It's been real." But, apparently not?

I see what you were thinking. When I read it, I thought it was simply a farewell to FSM recordings, since the final CD has been issued and sold out (and is rumored to be soon available again).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 8:28 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

Not just today's music. All of it. It's nothing more than second rate late Romantic and 20 century post romantic rip offs. And all of these hacks do it. Williams and Horner rape Prokofiev's cold dead corpse regularly. Goldsmith screwed Stravinsky's cadaver on several occasions. Korngold with Strauss and Mahler. Herrmann with Bartok and Ives. Don Davis pillaged John Adams' entire 80s catalogue of works for The Matrix. No concert composer was left out. Even the weird ones like Varese, Xenakis (Goldenthal cum Corigliano), Webern, Berg, Debussy, Ravel, and the list goes on.

Honestly guys and gals, its all smoke and mirrors and hack work patchwork. Don't pretend you are on a higher plain of listening taste because you listen to film music. It's the equivalent to pop music in the orchestral world.



Many fans of classic music more or less discovered film music by a chance/coincident and from then on started to listen to film music. So when they hear this or that classical influence it is quite natural for them. However I came to listen to film music through my interest in films. I have never been a listener of classical music so whenever someone points out that this or that composer/score sounds just like this or that classical piece of music/composer I could not care less because it is unfamiliar to me.

So if film music sucks because it is heavily influenced by all those classical pieces/composers then stop listening to film music and go back to those classical pieces/composers and let us who does not care and/or have no idea from which or what that film music piece is influenced continue listen to it.

For me film music does NOT sucks at all. Whether it is good or bad, that is a completely other question. I love film music and will continue to do that for the rest of my life.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Some really great posts here guys. I'm glad my initial b.s. post spawned so many thoughtful responses about why film music is valid.

Now, that's sarcasm with a capital B, rite?


Yes and I particularly found your post quite funny.

But to be quite honest and serious, the intention of that inflammatory post was slightly mocking the hypocrisy of this forum at times. It comes off occasionally (but moreso lately) as a group of kids in their proverbial tree house secret club deciding what has merit and what doesn't.

They poo-poo classical snobby elitists who look down on film music as lesser to classical music but turn around and shit all over Hans Zimmer because the guy doesn't employ enough musicality in his score to MOS (like some of these members would even know a minor 7 flat 5 from a half diminished chord wink) And you know what? It's fine to love soundtracks for their emotional effect and to not have a phD in music to either appreciate or lend one's opinion. But sheesh, some of these posts come off as if the author knows their stuff up, down and sideways when they really know very little.

Why is it that one musician's forums, I mean guys who actually make a living at writing music, they all have respect for Hans Zimmer? Ask any Hollywood composer and see which one's diss the guy.

Like I said, it's all good and well to discuss and create dialogues about soundtracks. That's what this forum is all about. But lately, the ratio of informed posts to inflammatory ignorant ones is becoming bottom heavy. The original post in this thread was a means to illustrate this but as I expected, it garnered two very opposite responses. Those who attacked me and those who wished for an explanation or who wanted to provide a thoughtful counter to my barb.

And I use "I" before making any observations not as attention getting but because I want to ensure that it's my opinion or perspective that I'm providing rather than assertion or one of fact since I don't know much more about the whole Hollywood film scoring industry than most on this forum. So you can take my posts with a grain of salt (though I have worked on films- see my pathetically small IMDB profile wink).

They are just my thoughts and nothing more.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Just to be clear- film music doesn't suck.

Wanna know who I think the greatest composer of the 20th Century was? Not Stravinsky. Not Bartok.

Bernard Herrmann. Even though influenced by BArtok and Ives, he created his own singular music style and language. His score encompassed the best of both worlds. Amazing music technique but an unwavering adherence to their respective film narrative.

John Williams will always be my favorite composer. That will not change. But Herrmann I will cite as the greatest film composer of all time. He just "got" how to use the music vocabulary with film vocabulary in a seamless style.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Ha, a post guaranteed to get a response. I like the music/films/books that I like & don't feel any need to defend them. It's funny, I love a lot of the Max Steiner stuff, but don't like its classical roots. I love baroque (esp. Handel operas) & 20th century music (esp. English & Russian), but the romantic period does nothing for me. I think a persons musical taste is locked in quite early, I found most of the stuff I love by my late twenties (late '70s), of course I've discovered composers & authors since then, but my core loves are all pre that time, & all my favorite films are from before then. A classic case of arrested development! I don't like todays film music, but then I don't like todays pop music, & like very few of todays films, which is a bit of a cliche I know.

So...let's have some more 60's releaes & a Blu-ray of The Great Race, please!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Some really great posts here guys. I'm glad my initial b.s. post spawned so many thoughtful responses about why film music is valid.

Now, that's sarcasm with a capital B, rite?


Yes and I particularly found your post quite funny.

But to be quite honest and serious, the intention of that inflammatory post was slightly mocking the hypocrisy of this forum at times. It comes off occasionally (but moreso lately) as a group of kids in their proverbial tree house secret club deciding what has merit and what doesn't.

They poo-poo classical snobby elitists who look down on film music as lesser to classical music but turn around and shit all over Hans Zimmer because the guy doesn't employ enough musicality in his score to MOS (like some of these members would even know a minor 7 flat 5 from a half diminished chord wink) And you know what? It's fine to love soundtracks for their emotional effect and to not have a phD in music to either appreciate or lend one's opinion. But sheesh, some of these posts come off as if the author knows their stuff up, down and sideways when they really know very little.

Why is it that one musician's forums, I mean guys who actually make a living at writing music, they all have respect for Hans Zimmer? Ask any Hollywood composer and see which one's diss the guy.

Like I said, it's all good and well to discuss and create dialogues about soundtracks. That's what this forum is all about. But lately, the ratio of informed posts to inflammatory ignorant ones is becoming bottom heavy. The original post in this thread was a means to illustrate this but as I expected, it garnered two very opposite responses. Those who attacked me and those who wished for an explanation or who wanted to provide a thoughtful counter to my barb.

And I use "I" before making any observations not as attention getting but because I want to ensure that it's my opinion or perspective that I'm providing rather than assertion or one of fact since I don't know much more about the whole Hollywood film scoring industry than most on this forum. So you can take my posts with a grain of salt (though I have worked on films- see my pathetically small IMDB profile wink).

They are just my thoughts and nothing more.


Well said and add to that the amount of members (a ton!) who used to post all the time but have gone elsewhere for relaxed conversations and now just lurk. They don't want to get caustic reactions to their posts. And the heaviest toll are all the foreign members who after getting up the gumption to put together a contribution for the first time (in what is likely a new language for them) and getting some kneejerk sarcastic reaction that is the equivalent of "Whatsamatter? Can't you speak English good?"

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2013 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

Some really great posts here guys. I'm glad my initial b.s. post spawned so many thoughtful responses about why film music is valid.

Now, that's sarcasm with a capital B, rite?


Yes and I particularly found your post quite funny.

But to be quite honest and serious, the intention of that inflammatory post was slightly mocking the hypocrisy of this forum at times. It comes off occasionally (but moreso lately) as a group of kids in their proverbial tree house secret club deciding what has merit and what doesn't.

They poo-poo classical snobby elitists who look down on film music as lesser to classical music but turn around and shit all over Hans Zimmer because the guy doesn't employ enough musicality in his score to MOS (like some of these members would even know a minor 7 flat 5 from a half diminished chord wink) And you know what? It's fine to love soundtracks for their emotional effect and to not have a phD in music to either appreciate or lend one's opinion. But sheesh, some of these posts come off as if the author knows their stuff up, down and sideways when they really know very little.

Why is it that one musician's forums, I mean guys who actually make a living at writing music, they all have respect for Hans Zimmer? Ask any Hollywood composer and see which one's diss the guy.

Like I said, it's all good and well to discuss and create dialogues about soundtracks. That's what this forum is all about. But lately, the ratio of informed posts to inflammatory ignorant ones is becoming bottom heavy. The original post in this thread was a means to illustrate this but as I expected, it garnered two very opposite responses. Those who attacked me and those who wished for an explanation or who wanted to provide a thoughtful counter to my barb.

And I use "I" before making any observations not as attention getting but because I want to ensure that it's my opinion or perspective that I'm providing rather than assertion or one of fact since I don't know much more about the whole Hollywood film scoring industry than most on this forum. So you can take my posts with a grain of salt (though I have worked on films- see my pathetically small IMDB profile wink).

They are just my thoughts and nothing more.



So, that's the moral of the story - it turns out this was another "have a little more respect for Zimmer, you ignorants" thread but in disguise. Clever...

 
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