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 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 7:34 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)


completely false


Wow. I'm blown away by your argument to claim otherwise roll eyes.

Alex


Good. Clearly you are a subjectivist, so anything discussed here is pretty much a waste of time.
I mean, subjectively, the waste wrappers laying in a McDonald's parking lot are "art".

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   johnonymous86   (Member)

I neither want to talk about the question whether scores are art or not nor want I deal with the whole Horner thing again, I just want to understand why he didn't include scores in his book. They are undoubtedly hugely influential so this couldn't have been the criterion. They also follow trends that are visible in "other" orchestral music, not just mimicking them but sometimes also creating something new that hasn't been heard before. Critics write about scores. They are discussed by the public. There are concerts. They can be technically and artistically very sophisticated.
It just doesn't make sense to me.
Hell, he even mentioned Musica Ricercata by Ligeti without mentioning that it is one of the central pieces used in Eyes Wide Shut! (I know it wasn't composed for the film).


It likely wasn't included because he doesn't think of film music as a valid art form because the definition of art is subjective and critics are subject to bias just like any other person. Either that or he simply had no interest in including the topic--I've never read the book but it seems more like one person's opinion and not a comprehensive, objective survey of music development in the twentieth century...IMHO wink


Hence why I don't care about critics' opinions, regardless of whether they are "qualified" or not.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

Horner had nine days to write a large orchestral score for a three-hour epic.

Alex Ross is either oblivious to this, or ignoring it (in order to look clever by taking a shot at another "Hollywood hack").

Yes, Horner sometimes cribbed from classical works throughout his career -- but I'm willing to cut him a lot of slack where Troy is concerned, simply owing to the horrendous pressure he was under.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   MCurry29   (Member)

Itz all just noise. 'Academics' like these have such a high opinion of themselves they decide for everyone else what's relevant and what goes into the book. So sick of the ragging on James Horner.

Who but the author of a book should decide what goes into it? Isn't that his job?

And you can be as sick as you want about the ragging on James Horner, but the swipes he cites are legitimate. You can decide you don't care, or that the uncredited uses of others' music is artistically valid, or that it works anyway, or whatever you want, but you can't reasonably say that Ross's points are fake news.


OK-so he's not an academic. Who gives a crap what he says. The New Yorker- whoop-de effin-do!
I always go running to them for music articles and insight.

I did say that he decided what went into his book. I never said anything about "fake news" either. I just said I'm sick of the ragging on Horner AD INFINITUM! No, I do not care whatsoever about his legitimate swipes. I don't even know the music Horner swipes from so it's new to me and it sounds good.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   jkholm   (Member)

I neither want to talk about the question whether scores are art or not nor want I deal with the whole Horner thing again, I just want to understand why he didn't include scores in his book. They are undoubtedly hugely influential so this couldn't have been the criterion. They also follow trends that are visible in "other" orchestral music, not just mimicking them but sometimes also creating something new that hasn't been heard before. Critics write about scores. They are discussed by the public. There are concerts. They can be technically and artistically very sophisticated.
It just doesn't make sense to me.
Hell, he even mentioned Musica Ricercata by Ligeti without mentioning that it is one of the central pieces used in Eyes Wide Shut! (I know it wasn't composed for the film).


It likely wasn't included because he doesn't think of film music as a valid art form because the definition of art is subjective and critics are subject to bias just like any other person. Either that or he simply had no interest in including the topic--I've never read the book but it seems more like one person's opinion and not a comprehensive, objective survey of music development in the twentieth century...IMHO wink


Ross mentions film music in the chapter on American music during the FDR era. He specifically writes about Korngold and Herrmann as two of the best Hollywood composers but points out that they were never able to achieve the fame they desired as concert composers (or in Korngold's case to get back the fame he had as a concert composer before he emigrated to Hollywood.) Korngold's Symphony in F-Sharp was dismissed by critics at the time. (In the online audio guide to his book, Ross compares it favorably to the later symphonies of Mahler.)

There's also an anecdote about how Irving Thalberg wanted to hire Arnold Schoenberg to write the score for The Good Earth. He never got the job because he demanded too much money and wanted complete control over the sound of the movie, including how the actors spoke! Schoenberg said, "They would have to speak in the same pitch and key as I compose it in. It would be similar to Pierrot lunaire but, of course, less difficult."

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Avatarded   (Member)

Alex Ross is a brilliant comic book / graphic artist.

That's the Alex Ross I know of when I see that name.

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   sajrocks   (Member)

who defines what's "serious" and why isn't film music eligible for being a part of it?

the definers are scholars, historians, cultural critics, music directors and curators, the groups and venues that perform concert works, to some degree the music industry, and of course composers – it's a very different path/discipline going down the concert hall route vs. getting into commercial music making.

a big caveat/consideration is that while film music might not be considered "serious" music (and i assume by "serious" we mean music created for the sake of music), it can be defined and appreciated on its own singular merits, technicalities, function and general m.o., which is of course to serve a film (quite the opposite of its closest "serious" cousin opera given that in opera the production, staging, performances, in fact entire raison d'être is in service to the music).

also consider how many film music composers have altered the course of music theory/form in the way a bach, mozart, beethoven, wagner, debussy, stravinsky, schoenberg, cage, ligeti, reich/glass have. the only one i can think of is maybe herrmann who predated the minimalists with his use of short, simple repeated figures for psychic effect, though again he did so in the service of movies and i don't think his concert works ever caught on in a game-changing way. in fact most film music composers merely (and for the good ones expertly) incorporate styles and modes from what already exists, be it western, non-western, avant grade, popular, etc. but for me that's the jukebox genius of film music.

i may be only speaking for myself, but i think that we as lovers of film music often have a bit of an inferiority complex because the place where our ears/hearts/minds thrive is outside of the mainstream and/or academic purview.

at the end of the day (and i mean every day (and also most mornings and afternoons)), i listen to film music much more than i listen to "serious" music. and because film music is what got me into (and actually studying) "serious" music, when i listen to "serious" music i'm often elated when i discover something that has obviously influenced one of my favorite film composers. film music has been my gateway to music more generally, and my takeaways from the broader field have only made me appreciate film music that much more.

this is the reason why i get very excited when such esteemed and eloquent music critics/chroniclers as alex ross or anne midgette or anthony tommasini take even a moment to appreciate and herald film music. it gives a proper, separate art form the attention it deserves, and it in a way legitimizes something so deeply tied to my being — not in that it is "serious" but that it is something to be taken seriously.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   barleywagon   (Member)

Horner had nine days to write a large orchestral score for a three-hour epic.

Alex Ross is either oblivious to this, or ignoring it (in order to look clever by taking a shot at another "Hollywood hack").

Yes, Horner sometimes cribbed from classical works throughout his career -- but I'm willing to cut him a lot of slack where Troy is concerned, simply owing to the horrendous pressure he was under.





Listing which scores DIDN'T crib from classical works would be more relevant than naming another one that did.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 2:30 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Hell, he even mentioned Musica Ricercata by Ligeti without mentioning that it is one of the central pieces used in Eyes Wide Shut! (I know it wasn't composed for the film).

Did he need to mention it? In a book about Strauss, the reuse of his music in a 1968 movie is nothing more than a footnote -- even if that recycling gained much wider attention for the music. And EYES WIDE SHUT had no comparable boost for Ligeti.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 2:35 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Ross mentions film music in the chapter on American music during the FDR era. He specifically writes about Korngold and Herrmann as two of the best Hollywood composers but points out that they were never able to achieve the fame they desired as concert composers (or in Korngold's case to get back the fame he had as a concert composer before he emigrated to Hollywood.) Korngold's Symphony in F-Sharp was dismissed by critics at the time. (In the online audio guide to his book, Ross compares it favorably to the later symphonies of Mahler.)

Obviously, then, Ross does not disdain composers who wrote primarily (Herrmann) or incidentally (Korngold) for film. As for the Horner piece, wasn't it just a blog item about something he encountered one weekend? There was no pretense of assessing a career.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

barleywagon's question re Horner has got me thinking, what would you list/quote/highlight as the quintessential original James Horner style theme?
I mean, for all the shit he gets (and yes, some of it is deserved), no one can deny his abilities and chops in his delivery and execution of film music.
Quintessential Horner to me is something like the main theme from DEADLY BLESSING, the opening titles from A FEW DAYS IN WEASEL CREEK, the prologue music from SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, the main and love themes from KRULL, the NATTY GANN main theme, the Virgil theme in PROJECT X, Casper's lullaby...
Obviously, stuff like WILLOW and GLORY and COCOON/LEGENDS OF THE FALL are sullied somewhat by their classical/Randy Newman theme counterparts (despite them still being spot on perfect for their respective films).
So, what are your trademark Horner themes (and yes, this is a total thread hijack) smile

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   TxIrish   (Member)


Folks: there is no objective criteria to measure art. But you can all keep trying.

Good night.

Alex

completely false

Wow. I'm blown away by your argument to claim otherwise.

Alex



Alex, you gave no more argument than 'Ado' did.

Ironically, you establish an objective criteria on the rest of us, that "There is no objective criteria to measure art," but the fact that 'Ado' states that your objective criteria is "completely false" shows that it is anything but objective.

I don't have to like a classic, like Homer or Virgil or Dante or Cervantes or you name it. But I can recognize the quality, the greatness.

This being a film score site, I can note numerous scores (like 'Ben-Hur') or composers (like Rozsa, Williams, or Herrmann) that receive near unanimous acclaim here, and I can recognize their greatness even if I don't like them.

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   sajrocks   (Member)

Folks: there is no objective criteria to measure art.

form, structure, skill, technique, creativity, complexity, context... plenty more.

https://www.uwgb.edu/malloyk/art_criticism_and_formal_analysi.htm

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   sajrocks   (Member)

what would you list/quote/highlight as the quintessential original James Horner style theme?

"too many secrets" from SNEAKERS. very, very effective/affecting music.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)


completely false


Wow. I'm blown away by your argument to claim otherwise roll eyes.

Alex


Good. Clearly you are a subjectivist, so anything discussed here is pretty much a waste of time.
I mean, subjectively, the waste wrappers laying in a McDonald's parking lot are "art".


If someone ropes it off and presents it as art, then art it is. If someone takes a photograph of it and presents the picture as art, then art it is. It can be both art and not art, depending on the viewer.

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 10:30 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


If someone takes a photograph of it and presents the picture as art, then art it is. It can be both art and not art, depending on the viewer.





You contradict yourself. First you say it's the photographer who decides if it's art, and then you say it's the viewer who decides.

If a portrait artist decides there is not much money in what he does, and goes into home decorating instead, are the walls he covers in plain white paint "art"?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)


If someone takes a photograph of it and presents the picture as art, then art it is. It can be both art and not art, depending on the viewer.





You contradict yourself. First you say it's the photographer who decides if it's art, and then you say it's the viewer who decides.

If a portrait artist decides there is not much money in what he does, and goes into home decorating instead, are the walls he covers in plain white paint "art"?



In that example, the photographer is also the viewer. And no, unless they are.

 
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