Film Score Monthly
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 3:24 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

Does anyone know of any resources where Goldsmith talks about his linear approach to writing? There's a small blurb in On the Track where he talks about how he approaches it linearly instead harmonically. So instead of thinking in chords, his harmonies resulted from the adding of one line against another. Someone here mentioned once that he said he basically worked by layering one musical idea on top of another and so on and so forth. I'd love to hear more about his approach if he talked about it elsewhere.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 5:10 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Hi, Mike. This isn't really an answer to the question, but I do remember an interview Jerry Goldsmith did some years ago around the time he scored "Under Fire," where he was asked about his compositional influences to which he replied 'Isn't it obvious? Berg, Bartok, Ravel and Stravinsky.' As a teenager Goldsmith studied with pianist Jakob Gimpel, who studied music theory with Berg and who I read (somewhere) took Goldsmith through Mikrorokosmos, a six-volume set of piano pieces by Bartok (ranging in difficulty from fairly simple to virtuoso level) and which have been utilized for the study of both music composition and twentieth-century counterpoint. If I were you, I'd look to obtain copies of both this collection and Earle Hagen's Advanced Techniques for Film Scoring, the latter containing one cue from Goldsmith's score for "The Mephisto Waltz," Hagen including it in the book to illustrate advanced (pre-digital era) recording techniques. After studying the "Mephisto" cue, you'll see a correlation between the line writing in it and parts of Bartok's "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste."

Hope this helps.

P.S. - Check out mid-eighties interviews conducted with Goldsmith in Mix, Keyboard Magazine, etc. Good stuff, there.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Jerry spoke a few times about his emotional approach to scoring.

I always appreciated his down to earth way of speaking about finding his inspiration for a score, he very much eschewed an intellectual approach, even his music can sound pretty complex and thought out. As best I can tell some answer to your point really has to do with themes, which he built on throughout his score to a movie, he was really terrific at defining one or more themes and then expressing them in variations throughout a picture.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 6:16 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Goldsmith, especially in his early years, composed so much music polyphonically. I think it came from his labeling himself a serialist in those days which employs a very polyphonic style of writing, one that relies on the precise counterpoint of the different melodic lines to build harmonic structures when called upon.

Before he simplified/streamlined his writing to accommodate the hyper sound effect mix of more recent films, he often would write multiple lines of seemingly independent melodic material layered one atop the other to deliver a complex musical subtext wherein a number of ideas occur simultaneously yet still combine to create harmony when desired. This is a horizontal approach to harmony as opposed to the more vertical one found in more homophonic writing. It really creates a rich tapestry to underscore the dramatic and emotional content of a film. His mastery of this is one of the reasons he is my favorite film composer because I am truly in awe of this style of writing when done well...which of course he did!

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 8:43 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

What Mark said. smile


 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

One really interesting aspect of JG is that he seems to have had longer stands of music which he sometimes truncated.

Take, for instance, the main title for Tora, Tora, Tora - pure magnificence. The thematic material is demonstrated on piano as part of the bonus material. You can see it started out as a longer piece of music which was shortened for the score event. The layers embedded within the abridged final version contains the melodic mainstay which is 'veritically' supported by the quite complex interplay of sandwiched intsrumentation within. All of that music conveys the overwhelming sense of convergence to the historically tragic denoument which is unstoppable and final. Not only that, but even though we see the japanese pov during the titles, that heavy sense of a driven spiral downwards towards self destruction is orientally gilted. So just hearing the music without even seeing what it refers to supplies information as to what it's all about - a nationalistically headstrong charge towards doom.

You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.