Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Who are/were they?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Mephariel   (Member)

If we are talking about genres, honestly some of the all time greats or titans in the industry is probably the answer.

Guys like Williams, Goldsmith, Morricone, Horner, Zimmer.etc. Those composers have great scores in nearly every genre.

If we are talking about medium, then the answer gets a bit more complicated. I think guys like Vangelis, Zimmer, Elfman, Mansell gets high points for being able to incorporate electronic music with traditional orchestra. You can also say Barry did a great job incorporating Jazz in his days as well.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Well this is easy. I just posted a tribute to Elmer Bernstein that kind of established him as a trailblazer, in that he pushed so many envelopes that benefitted every composer to this day. I won't repeat that humongous article but here is one paragraph:

"More stereotypes followed but he used every one to explore different styles of music. For instance, extending jazz to the classic SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS and STACCATO TV series. And further To Cajun jazz in WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, to the African-calypso fusion of RAMPAGE, 70s funk of LIBERATION OF L.B.JONES. And then he went Ye Old English in WHERE’S JACK, the gospel folk music of GOD’S LITTLE ACRE, the Polynesian HAWAII, the Vegas SILENCERS, the psychedelia of I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS, Rock-a-billy BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL and on and on. And speaking of BABY, THE RAIN MUST FALL Glenn Yarbrough’s chart topping rendition of that song wasn’t the only popular song Elmer wrote. Brook Benton’s WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, Johnny Cash doing THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER, Jack Jone’s LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER and even Vikki Carr on THE SILENCERS all got some airplay. Elmer did lots of theater including the 2 musicals MERLIN and HOW NOW DOW JONES, both received Tony nominations. He wrote dance music for OKLAHOMA, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and PETER PAN. And let us not forget his ultimate challenge. Ivan Reitman getting him to score the animated epic HEAVY METAL. Rock reviewers were assigned to review this film across the country and an amazing amount of them referred to Elmer’s score as the glue that melded the disparate heavy metal songs together into a coherent whole. I’ll go further and say this was Elmer’s STAR WARS and would have been recognized as so if the subject matter wasn’t so marginal for the time."

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   connorb93   (Member)

Lack of versatility has to go to Rosenman. I like a lot of his style...but it's the same style in every film. For me, versatility is determined through a change over time, not just genre. Goldsmith, Horner, etc. all sound a bit different from decade to decade. Whether it's instrumentation, experimenting with electronics or rhythm...Rosenman just doesn't have that.



 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

About Elmer . . .

A lot of composers are versatile, but Bernstein was so good that he was typecast . . again . . . again . . . again . . . and again.

That's 4 agains:

1) Epics
2) Jazz
3) Southern dramas
4) Westerns
5) SNL spin-off comedies

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:52 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I did a topic like this in 2009, but I will avoid mentioning a search engine. It is nice to have new perspectives on this topic.

I wrote the following in an old topic.

“Superb composers marry their music to the narrative and visuals of movies. Movies
encompass a myriad of genres, and composers must adapt their music to dovetail with those
various genres. Regardless of composers' and directors' "signature styles," directors and
composers rarely make movies or compose music that strictly adhere to a single genre.

Let's look at Steven Spielberg and John Williams. Spielberg needed a composer
who could:

1. Compose delightful, melodic music about a kindly extra-terrestrial. The he composed
music for aliens who captured but returned humans; and finally, Williams had to compose
dissonant, atonal music for aliens who came to destroy the world. All have very different
soundscapes and music.
2. Compose horror music about a blood thirsty shark.
3. Compose stunning music about the horrors and tragedies of concentration camps.
4. Compose music about dinosaurs.
5. Compose romantic music for a ghost and firefighting.
And so on.

And this same composer would compose almost baroque sounding, lovely music for
JANE EYRE and heroic, iconic music for a super hero called SUPERMAN. He did a
western called THE COWBOYS. We are talking versatility in the genres he scored that
was always reflected in his musical compositions.

In The Golden Age, many composers shifted their styles for genres and the passing of time.
Note the sublime beauty of Alfred Newman's WUTHERING HEIGHTS and compare it
to later scores like NEVADA SMITH and the modern rousing sounds of AIRPORT.
Steiner started with KING KONG, DARK VICTORY and other dramatic and
romantic films, but in the 60's, he scored A SUMMER PLACE with a track that
was popular with teenagers and played on the radio”

Morricone, you are so correct about Elmer Bernstein.

Elmer Bernstein did jazz scores, composed The Magnificent Seven and the lyrical To Kill A Mockingbird. He also scored comedies. I’d call him very versatile.

Do Goldsmith’s Powder, Rudy and Star Trek sound a like? No. He composed various scores for different genres.

I thought I could pigeon-hold Howard Shore because of Silence of the Lambs and Se7ven, but his thematic score for the Lord of the Rings proved his versatility.

I do think that a few composers lack versatility, but I’d just tick people off if I mentioned names, so I’ll avoid that part.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I did a topic about this even earlier than Joan's -- called 'Consistent Versatility' or something like that, way back in the early 2000s. Alas, I can't find it anymore. What I DID find, however, was another, similar thread I did in 2013: https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=98169&forumID=1&archive=0

In that, I singled out Vladimir Cosma and Michel Colombier as two composers who have an amazing versatility.

 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 2:37 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

So all of them, then? But some more than others!

 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 3:06 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Despite his limited time as a film composer, I rate Previn as one of the most versatile... westerns, dramas, historical, war, scores with jazz/blues, musicals, thriller/horror, comedies, TV as well as big screen, and stage works, conductor of other composers' scores as well as his own. Add sci-fi if conducting the Rollerball score counts.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 3:58 PM   
 By:   William R.   (Member)

Lack of versatility has to go to Rosenman. I like a lot of his style...but it's the same style in every film. For me, versatility is determined through a change over time, not just genre. Goldsmith, Horner, etc. all sound a bit different from decade to decade. Whether it's instrumentation, experimenting with electronics or rhythm...Rosenman just doesn't have that.

Rosenman definitely seemed to have a fixed style, but he did stray from it on occasion; he won Oscars for adapting American folk music and European Baroque music, and he was capable with jazz (see The Chapman Report). There's also his collaboration with The Yellowjackets on Trek IV, which felt like a step way out of his comfort zone. Obviously the results in that case were less-than-stellar, but I give him credit for trying something way out of left field.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Who are/were they?

Doug Fake? big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 4:48 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

About Elmer . . .

A lot of composers are versatile, but Bernstein was so good that he was typecast . . again . . . again . . . again . . . and again.

That's 4 agains:

1) Epics
2) Jazz
3) Southern dramas
4) Westerns
5) SNL spin-off comedies



Nice breakdown. Indeed Elmer had such a massive career there were a number of subset categories you can add to this. For instance one sub-category has been forgotten because what was racy then doesn’t seem so now. In the 50s and 60s they began adapting controversially novels to the screen, still substantially watered down, but hotsy-totsy at the time. Elmer may not have been stereo typed for them but he seemed like the go-to guy for novels like FROM THE TERRACE, BY LOVE POSSESSED, A GIRL NAMED TAMIKO, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, GOD’S LITTLE ACRE, HORSE MAN PASS BY (HUD] and THE CARPETBAGGERS.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 5:12 PM   
 By:   sr-miller   (Member)

Though he is among my favorites on both screen and in concert hall, E. W. Korngold was not known for a wide stylistic range (as a film composer), though I think he could have done a good job on pretty much anything that didn't require jazz or "pop" tunes.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 7:25 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

Certainly no one was less versatile than the "synth-specialists" who were en vogue in the 1980s -- Tangerine Dream, Faltermeyer, Moroder, etc. Of course many of those people fell out of favor once filmmakers realized that established composers like Goldsmith, Jarre, Barry, Shore, etc. could create electronic music too (and often better, because they were more experienced in film writing).

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2019 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.