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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OsakaThe 221st Subscription Concert

Mendelssohn, Bruch, Delius, Elgar
Japan Century Symphony Orchestra; David Atherton; Sunao Goko

TokyoIvan the Terrible

Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible, Op.116
NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo; Tugan Sokhiev; Svetlana Shilova; Andrei Kimach; Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus; The Little Singers of Tokyo

NagoyaThe 451st Subscription Concert

Herrmann, Williams, Sakai, Gershwin
Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra; Edwin Outwater; Thomas Hooten

ManchesterThe Hallé - Never Mind The Weather

Freed, Porter, Bacharach, Arlen, John, Withers, Garner
The Hallé; Unknown; Lance Ellington

WokingThe Jazz Age

Gershwin, Bernstein, Ravel
Woking Symphony Orchestra; Roy Stratford

CharlottesvilleThe Americans

Barber, Bernstein, Thompson
Charlottesville Symphony; Benjamin Rous
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Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall

Tonal finesse, graceful articulation and magical simplicity mattered more than anything else in Yefim Bronfman's version of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto.
****1
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Argerich and Babayan join forces in Cleveland

Martha Argerich made her highly-anticipated Cleveland debut in a stunning recital with Sergei Babayan, notably featuring the latter’s ingenious Prokofiev transcriptions for two pianos.
*****
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Utter despair and heavenly bliss: Ken-David Masur leads the Boston Symphony in incidental music

Composers from Purcell to Pierre Boulez have written incidental music. In many cases it proves far from incidental, retaining a place in the concert hall long after the play has faded into oblivion.
****1
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Blazing recital from Leila Josefowicz at Wigmore Hall

Leila Josefowicz ticked all the boxes in this stunning recital: highly imaginative curation; musicality in every note; and a winning ability to communicate to the Wigmore Hall audience.
*****
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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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COMPOSER INTERVIEWS