Aggie's Music

I usually blab about film scores on this blog, but I don't mind the occasional tangent towards other interests. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ben Hur clip, and a little discussion

What a scene... the way the music runs with the beat of the hammer... catching up to it as it goes faster and faster. This clip is from Ben Hur (1959)... the score was by Miklos Rozsa, another favourite.

Lately, I've been growing more and more of a fan of the classical film composers. Some of the main film score geniuses are Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, and Miklos Rozsa. I have yet to decide on Alfred Newman... I'll need to hear more of his work.

These guys in particular had a lot more knowledge than current composers... strangely enough. I can imagine how much research Rozsa had to go through when he worked on the score for Ben Hur. What's great about them is, simply, their style. They all had something that pretty much no other film composer has today, and a lot of it has to do with their classical approach. I'll need a fresh new post to discuss it in detail.

There's no point in becoming a film composer if you haven't mastered classical music theory... it's oh so important, and I've only finished my first year! With these guys (Waxman, Herrmann, etc.), it's like listening to Beethoven or Dvorak... even greater geniuses! I don't know what happened in the latter half of the 20th century that made this kind of film scoring disappear...

Some exceptions are Randy Newman, David Newman (during the 80s, anyway), and Patrick Doyle... I think they understand the term 'phone-in' better than most film composers, and how to avoid it.

These days, a lot of film melodies are recycled. Take James Horner, for example. I remember, back when I was a kid, I loved his work... had a lot of respect for him. Nowadays, I hear two or three notes of music in a film and I know it's him. It's boring now. I yawn at anything 'new' from him, and that's just... sad. Alan Menken also had that going for a while with Disney in the 90's (eg. Beauty and the Beast – The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

Yay, I left this discussion wide open. Now I can just point at a paragraph and expand on it on a later day. I'm just too lazy right now.


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