Thursday, November 11, 2004

Movies? Those soundtracks have movies too? Wow!

In comments to this post, Matt asks how many film scores I own that are to films that I have never seen. The answer is...

...[runs off to count the CDs]...

Forty-two. That's out of around 200 or so film music CDs. This doesn't include compilation discs that also include music from films I haven't seen, however.

I have never believed that one must see the film in order to appreciate a filmscore, although clearly if one wants to judge the composer's dramatic choices, then one must see the film. But my cardinal rule has always been this: Good film music must be good music first, and good music, by definition, can stand alone.

A lot of classical music lovers hold that film music is inferior because of certain formal limitations inherent in composing music that is intended for a medium other than concert performance, but this strikes me as one of those "It's a feature, not a bug" kinds of things. Since I know that I cannot have any reasonable expectation of a sonata-allegro type of movement in a filmscore, I don't bother looking for it. (And besides, I've never held that form was the defining characteristic of great music, in the first place.)

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