Guide to Film, TV and Game Music

Welcome to Film, TV and Game Music on Bachtrack

During May 2017, we focused on this topic and published a series of interviews and articles on the craft of writing and performing music for the screen.

Animated film music

A Flight Through the Music of Joe Hisaishi

As part of our film and game music month, we go deep into the work of Joe Hisaishi, the composer behind Studio Ghibli's best-loved scores.
Film music interview

Still winning awards: Ennio Morricone at 88

A brief chat with Ennio Morricone – one of the most ground-breaking and prolific film composers alive – and an introduction to his music.
Film music in history

Art as propaganda: Eisenstein and Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev composed scores for six films, as well as for two that were never made. We look at his collaboration with Sergei Eisenstein in the lead-up to the start of World War II.
TV music interview

Writing Music to Picture: Debbie Wiseman

Prolific TV and film composer Debbie Wiseman tells us about the craft of writing music for the screen and about how attitudes to film composition have changed.
The Hollywood era

Franz Waxman's film and classical music

Franz Waxman is known for his film scores, yet he also composed classical music. In the year of the 50th anniversary of his death, we look back on his work.
Game music interview

Creative haggling with Christopher Tin

Christopher Tin has worked in a whole range of fields, producing works that span film, video games and epic song cycles. Just don't call him a “video game composer”.
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StockholmFinal Fantasy VI: Symphonic Poem

Uematsu: Final Fantasy VI: Symphonic Poem
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Andreas Hanson

StockholmUematsu: Final Fantasy VIII – Mono no aware

Uematsu: Final Fantasy VIII: Mono no aware
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Giedré Slekyté
in depth

John Williams and his early aesthetic

A brief examination of the partly forgotten musical seeds that led to Williams’ distinctive cinematic soundworld
Film music concerts

RSNO's Film Season Reaches New Audiences

In Edinburgh and Glasgow, the RSNO is bringing swathes of new audience into the concert hall to hear a live orchestra for the first time. 

Korngold: Music for Hollywood

Korngold was one of the great, if not the greatest, composers for film and his style became synonymous with what came to be expected from a Hollywood film score.

Scoring for Spain: The film music of Alberto Iglesias

The cinematic world consists of two types: those who believe that continually recasting from a favoured coterie of actors can endanger suspension of disbelief, and those who do not. 
From the stage

Making orchestral musicians rockstars

Producer Orvar Säfström is bringing new audiences into the concert hall all around Scandinavia with his new style film music concert. How can that be a bad thing?
Film music concerts

Film concerts go mainstream

The lights in the concert hall dim. On a large screen behind the orchestra, the titles of the movie that started the summer blockbuster era of 1975 appear. Then the onstage orchestra enters with a suddenly-familiar sound of menace.

Scoring psychological portraits: Herrmann and Hitchcock

Herrmann’s core philosophy of scoring film music was not to provide music to accompany the action of the film, but rather to paint a psychological portrait or arouse a compelling atmosphere.

Italian Cinema and the age of Nino Rota

Rota's film scores repeatedly found the right colour against which his directors' images could dazzle.
Game music feature

Assassin's Creed II - Magic in a video game

Assassin's Creed takes us to the Borgias' Florence and we stroll along streets and palaces, churches and galleries, with such detail that it seems we are, in fact, in the city. Accompanied by the music that Jesper Kyd brilliantly composed to the saga, we take part in a plot of revenge and disloyalty.
Game music interview

Thomas Böcker on Symphonic Game Music

As part of out video game music season, we catch up with the man behind the Symphonic Game Music Concerts. 

Writing music for silent films

The 1925 silent version of The Phantom of the Opera was on the menu. Except this time it featured music from beginning to end.

British classical composers writing for film

When ‘talkies’ first started to spread their wings in the mid 1930s, a need for orchestral scores to accompany the increasing visual ambitions of the films was identified. So, who was to write this music?
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OxfordSpellbound

Vasks, Glazunov, Ravel, Rózsa
Natacha Kudritskaya; Hugo Ticciati; Annette Walther; Nathan Braude

Hong KongE.T. in Concert

Williams: Film music from E.T.
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Benjamin Northey

LiverpoolThe Birds

Korngold, Delius, Respighi, Stravinsky
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko

LondonThe Last Laugh: Silent Film and Orchestra

Wilden: Film music from Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh)
Filmorchester Babelsberg; Matt Dunkley

ManchesterThe Hallé - The Best of British Cinema

Walton, Bennett, Arnold, Sherman, Papathanassiou (Vangelis), Nott, Barry, Goodwin, Armstrong, Williams
The Hallé; Stephen Bell

TwickenhamVoces8

Byrd, Britten, Cole, Simon and Garfunkel, Van Morrison, Victoria, Dove, Bach, Mundy, Marson, Hunt, Berlin, Ellington
Voces8
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Prom 44: Michael Gordon's genre-defying Big Space

Well known for their genre-busting and boundary-defying music, Bang on the Can delivered a splendid Late Night Prom.
*****
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Prom 18: Pirates, sirens and Sinbad's ship

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by James Gaffigan, with two stellar soprano soloists, deliver a maritime-themed programme of pieces by Korngold, Anders Hillborg and Rimsky-Korsakov.
***11
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Playing the Game: Symphonic Odysseys

The latent complexities of Nobuo Uematsu's video game music come to the fore with this orchestral makeover by the LSO. 
***11
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The Times They Are a-Changin': Nixon Tapes in Sydney

The fascinating politics of this opera are diminished by the presentation of just four scenes. The music and three strong performances almost make up as Sydney gets its first taste of this work.
****1
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Jan Lisiecki tames Toyota’s troublesome acoustics at the Elphi in Hamburg

Jan Lisiecki displays total control in Chopin, troublesome acoustics mar Bernstein and Rachmaninov.
***11
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L'Arpeggiata jazzes up Purcell in Auckland

While maybe not for the musical puritans, this was the perfect showcase for an exceptional group of musicians to demonstrate their formidable technical and interpretative talents and to respectfully give some new vitality to the magical works of Purcell.
****1
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COMPOSER INTERVIEWS