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 Posted:   Jul 10, 2004 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

I’m referring here to the interesting article in FSM Vol. 9, Nr. 4. The author writes: “The theatrical trailer is dominated by two of Rose’s majestic orchestral cues, which I have called Forbidden Planet Fanfare-Parts 1 and 2 at the beginning and at the end of the trailer. This Fanfare music, set in a march tempo, is rousing and exciting, with a grandiose scope typical of Hollywood trailers of the ‘50s. Research suggest that it is most likely composed by Rose exclusively for the trailer, and not intended for the feature film.”

I have compared the music used in the Forbidden Planet trailer with the Andre Previn CD “Bad Day at Black Rock” from Rhino. I found this:
- the music at the beginning of the trailer:
Track 1 (Main Title Bad Day) 0:00-0:06
Track 22 (Main Title from the movie Scene of the Crime) 0:27-0:47

- the music for the conclusion:
Track 13 (End Titles & Cast) 0:20-0:43
Track 13 (End Titles & Cast) 0:51-0:57

The barely audible music used for the swimming pool scene is probably partially from Previns cue "Love at the Beach" from Tension.
I don’t think that David Rose composed this music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2004 - 10:31 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....I’m referring here to the interesting article in FSM Vol. 9, Nr. 4. The author writes: “The theatrical trailer is dominated by two of Rose’s majestic orchestral cues, which I have called Forbidden Planet Fanfare-Parts 1 and 2 at the beginning and at the end of the trailer. This Fanfare music, set in a march tempo, is rousing and exciting, with a grandiose scope typical of Hollywood trailers of the ‘50s. Research suggest that it is most likely composed by Rose exclusively for the trailer, and not intended for the feature film.”

I have compared the music used in the Forbidden Planet trailer with the Andre Previn CD “Bad Day at Black Rock” from Rhino. I found this:
- the music at the beginning of the trailer:
Track 1 (Main Title Bad Day) 0:00-0:06
Track 22 (Main Title from the movie Tension) 0:27-0:47

- the music for the conclusion:
Track 13 (End Titles & Cast) 0:20-0:43
Track 13 (End Titles & Cast) 0:51-0:57

The barely audible music used for the swimming pool scene is probably partially from Previns cue "Love at the Beach" from Tension.
I don’t think that David Rose composed this music......



Thanks VERY MUCH for this, Chriss!!!!

This FORBIDDEN PLANET article has been bothering me for several weeks now. I couldn't imagine how Rose would have RECORDED a score for a film that didn't yet have a final cut when the Barron duo started working on it (from the author's own comments). (I also found it questionable that the Barrons would have known precisely WHOSE music was in the trailer, as is claimed, inasmuch as they were, situated in New York, as far out of the Hollywood loop as anyone could be.)

Although WB regularly had composers write and record scores directly for the trailers they released, MGM rarely, if ever, did so, preferring to take elements from the film's score (if it had already been recorded when the trailer was cut together) or "stocking" it from previously recorded scores.

David Raksin once commented to me that "Rudy Kopp".....Rudolph G. Kopp, a composer of '30s Paramount scores, and later of selected MGM scores, ended his days in a little back room of the MGM Music Department in the '50s, selecting and laying in stock scores to trailers, documentaries, union-struck features, promo films, etc. I suspect old Rudy did his "magic" on the FORBIDDEN PLANET trailer as well.

When I played this trailer several days ago out of curiosity, I felt certain that this music was familiar to me previous to FORBIDDEN PLANET's release. It certainly didn't sound like David Rose. I'm happy that you've "re-discovered" it.

The author of this article needs to go back over his research. It appeared to me that he didn't fully understand the systems and post-production processes in place at the studios of the period.

Somebody at FSM magazine needs to vet these kinds of articles better before publishing them.

 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2004 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

The author didn't even realize that there are cuts in the orchestral cues used in the trailer, they can be clearly heard. He describes the cues as whole new compositions which they're obviously not.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2004 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

chriss.....this evening I listened to the tracks on the Previn/Rhino disc and I think you're dead on with your conclusions.

You made one little notation error, though. Track 22 on the Rhino disc is actually the main title from "Scene of the Crime", not "Tension". (In other words, the piece of music used in the second section of the first FORBIDDEN PLANET trailer cue is from "Scene of the Crime".)

Otherwise, good sleuthing!

I think it can be safely said that the bulk of the orchestral FORBIDDEN PLANET trailer music is by Andre Previn, not David Rose.

 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2004 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

manderley,
thanks for the little correction!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2004 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   LRobHubbard   (Member)

This has been discussed on the "Talking Herrmann" forum on the Bernard Herrmann Appreciation Society site - with some commentary from the author of the article.

http://zarniwoop.intermedia.uib.no/talking/view.cgi?forum=thGeneral&topic=1723

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2004 - 9:14 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

No way around it--anyone of this writer's particular age (as mentioned in the Herrmann site thread) must have a limited range of knowledge of film music if he didn't catch the Previn stuff in the trailer right off the bat.

Oh well, they can't all be gems, I guess.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2004 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

And now the author writes this:

"One thing I want to confirm with Previn is the story I've been told that Previn was Rose's young protege and Rose was his mentor at MGM. Previn was 25 in 1954 when he scored BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, and may have had some help from Rose on this assignment.
Just what sort of help, if any, that Rose was to Previn on BDABR is what I wish to determine. Did they work together on this film, did they co-compose with Previn taking full credits, did Rose help Previn with the arrangements and orchestrations, or were others involved?"

This sounds like a satire for me. I dont't think that Previn was Rose's protege. I don't remember that Previn mentions Rose in his book about his days in Hollywood.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2004 - 1:34 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)


This exemplifies the old saying, "if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit."


Previn DIDN'T mention this in his book because such was not the case. This statement can only be attributed to a massive amount of egg on the face of one not all that conversant on the subject at hand, who should really being doing articles for airline magazines

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2004 - 3:17 PM   
 By:   James Phillips   (Member)

Here's some info and bibliography of interviews with Bebe Barron concerning the score. Maybe she can shed some light on this. Happy hunting!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:
Bebe Barron (b. 1927), electronic composer

[Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner has graciously allowed WOW'EM to reprint the following excerpt from her forthcoming book, as well as an email message that she posted on the the International Alliance for Women in Music listserv.]


"Hollywood, however, had already been utilizing instruments such as the theremin in movie scores for many years, and the first widespread American public exposure to the possibilities of the electronic medium occurred with the 1956 release of MGM's feature film Forbidden Planet. In addition to its elaborate space sets and advanced visual effects, Forbidden Planet featured an exclusively electronic musical score composed by Bebe Barron (b. 1927) and her husband Louis (1920-1989). The Manhattan-based couple had already completed several short experimental film scores utilizing electronics but had never employed their apartment electronic music studio for a full-length soundtrack. The Barrons described their compositions in an early article as not functioning in a traditionally musical way but instead as non-linear constructions designed to describe a cast of characters engaged in a dramatic plot. Once they decided on the characters' moods and situations, the couple completed a series of electrical circuits which functioned electronically in ways analogous to the human nervous system. Decisions about the circuitry were strongly influenced by their studies of the science of cybernetics which proposes that certain natural laws of behavior are applicable to both animals and more complex modern machinary. The composers employed their noise-producing circuits to emulate such needed characterizations as serenity, anger, and love. The story of Forbidden Planet is a re-telling of Shakespeare's Tempest with the modern additions of spaceships, mysterious killer creatures, and the lovable "Robbie the Robot." The crashing beats of the deadly "ID monster" theme coupled with the bubbly mood music designed for Robbie and other electronic sound effects added a creative integrity and believability to the film clearly separating it from much of the more lurid post World War II Nuclear Age horror and sci-fi Hollywood fare. Bebe and Louis' success signaled the beginning of the effective use of electroacoustic music by the modern movie industry."

Bibliography

Barron, Bebe and Louis. "Forbidden Planet". Film Music. 1956 , p. 18

Brockman, Jane. Interview with Bebe Barron. The Score. Fall/Winter 1992

Rubin, Steve. "Retrospect: Forbidden Planet, " Cinefantastique, Spring 1975, pp. 5-13.

*There is also a fine biographical entry on Barron in the New Grove Dictionary of Women by Barry Schrader


List of Works
Bebe Barron (all composed with Louis Barron)

Bells of Atlantis. Film score. 1952.
Cannabis. Film score. 1975.
The Circe Circuit. Tape. 1982.
The Computer Age. Film score. 1968.
Crystal Growing. Film score. 1959.
Elegy for a Dying Planet. Tape. 1982.
For an Electronic Nervous System. Tape. 1954.
Forbidden Planet. Videotape or Laserdisc. MGM/UA Home Video, 1991.
Heavenly Menagerie. Tape. 1951-52.
Jazz of Lights. Film score. 1956.
Miramagic. Film score. 1954.
More Than Human. Film score. 1974.
Music of Tomorrow. Tape. 1960.
New Age Synthesis II on Totally Wired. Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates Cassette Series, 1986.
Space Boy. Tape. 1971. Revised and used for film of same name, 1973.
Time Machine on Music from the Soundtrack of Destination Moon and Other Themes. Cinema Records LP-8005, 1970.



[letter from the IAWM listserv...]
It is with great pleasure that I announce that the Society for Electro- Acoustic Music in the United States annual award for lifetime achievement in electro-acoustic music will this year be presented to film music composer Bebe Barron (and posthumously to Louis Barron) at the SEAMUS national conference taking place next week in Kansas City.

SEAMUS has been presenting this award for over a decade and other recipients have included Max Mathews, Charles Dodge, and Mario Davidovsky. As one of the female members of the national board of SEAMUS (Bebe - by the way - was a charter member of the society), I am happy to be part of the first conference in which a woman will be honored for her work with music technology. It is my sincere hope as a board member in SEAMUS and IAWM, that we continue to honor the considerable achievements of pioneering women in the field. Names like Oliveros, Spiegel, Smiley, Ivey, and Shields immediately come to mind and I encourage all of you to explore the achievements of women in music technology in your own studies and with your students.

...I have included a brief excerpt from my [forthcoming] book detailing Bebe's most famous contribution, the score to "Forbidden Planet." A bibliography and list of works follows.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner
Treasurer, SEAMUS
Board member for Women and Technology, IAWM





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Copyright September 1996,
updated February 2004.
Kristine H. Burns,
Florida International University
Questions? Contact me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2004 - 6:54 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....This sounds like a satire for me. I dont't think that Previn was Rose's protege. I don't remember that Previn mentions Rose in his book about his days in Hollywood.....


I'd pretty much have to agree with you on this chriss.

While David Rose has some full-score credits on about 8 secondary drama/comedy MGM films, running from 1951-1953, and a few scattered musical credits over the early years, particularly RICH, YOUNG, AND PRETTY and JUPITER'S DARLING, he was not a regular long-term studio contractee, it would appear.

The idea that Rose was Previn's tutor on musical things, considering that Previn was an acknowledged musical prodigy at a very early age (....I think he started at MGM at the age of 16), seems like a real stretch of imagination or wishful thinking.

By the time of Rose's first 1951 MGM scores, Previn had full scores on a number of drama films, including TENSION, SCENE OF THE CRIME, CHALLENGE OF LASSIE, THE SUN COMES UP, THE OUTRIDERS, and, particularly, the big-budget, KIM, of 1950, in addition to his uncredited contributions to many musicals of the period.
I doubt if Previn had to be "trained" or "tutored" by anyone in this period, least of all David Rose.

However, I don't want any of my comments to take away from the creative work of David Rose, who I think did some fine things, particularly in TV, some years later. It's just that Previn and Rose are not standing on a level playing field in terms of creativity.

 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2004 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

The writer of the Forbidden Planet article now has published an extract from his upcoming article in a future edition of FSM:

"Re: my article FORBIDDEN FILM SCORE

Yes, it’s true that my cue sheet for the original theatrical trailer of FORBIDDEN PLANET (MGM, 1956) needs to be revised, I am working on a followup article to my article “FORBIDDEN FILM SCORE” published in Film Score Monthly in the July 2004 (Volume 9, Number 4) issue.

Here’s a snippet of my upcoming article:

The first five seconds of the opening Main Title theme of Andre Previn’s BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (MGM, 1955) which appear in the film underscoring the MGM lion’s roar, are part of the track I have called “Forbidden Planet Fanfare – Part One”; tightly edited together and almost seamlessly followed by an as-yet unidentified score which seems to have been written specifically for the Forbidden Planet trailer, since it is synchronized in very tight timing with the visuals. The track I named “Forbidden Planet Fanfare – Part Two” is actually the edited End Titles from BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK by Andre Previn, composed and conducted by Previn in November 1954. So there is no doubt Previn contributed, although probably anonymously, via a music editor, to the score of the Forbidden Planet original theatrical preview trailer, released in March 1956. Previn’s music from BLACK ROCK seems to have been created for this trailer rather than for the movie it appears in, since it describes so well the visual look of the trailer.
I am inclined to maintain that the unidentified score music from Part One is most likely composed by David Rose, as well as the ‘Swimming Scene’ music since we have yet to locate source material for these.
I wish to thank Steve Vertlieb, Bill Wrobel and others from the Bernard Herrmann Talking List Forum from the Bernard Herrmann website for bringing this to my attention as I was in the process of investigating this myself.
Copyright 2004 by Dejael – Donald John Long."

This sounds like a bad joke. The music after the 5 opening seconds can be heard on Rhino's Bad Day CD and was composed by Andre Previn and "most likely" NOT by David Rose.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 12, 2004 - 9:51 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

chriss.....

Sometimes a writer will blind himself to accurate information handed to him on a silver platter, simply because it wasn't his own research or didn't follow his own theories.

In other, more familiar, words, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!"

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2004 - 12:12 PM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

manderley,

with all your knowledge, you should write an article in FSM...

 
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