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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

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

Morricone conducting in Amsterdam © Jelmer de Haas
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

Prokofiev and Eisenstein working on the production of Alexander Nevsky
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

© Phil Watkins
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 © John W. Waxman. All rights reserved
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 in action © Wendy Tigerman
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

John Williams © Wikimedia Comons
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

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

Orvar Säfström © Markus Lindgren
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

John Williams © Wikimedia Commons
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

Bernard Herrmann
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

Thomas Böcker © © intuitive fotografie köln / Philippe Ramakers
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

Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin in The Phantom of the Opera
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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GrazHappy Birthday, Dear Lenny

© Kaupo Kikkas
Price, Copland, Bernstein
Recreation-Großes Orchester Graz; Mei-Ann Chen; David Orlowsky

LondonLeonard Bernstein: 100 years of magic

Connesson, Bernstein
Brussels Philharmonic; Stéphane Denève; Liza Ferschtman; Flemish Radio Choir

BergenTine Thing Helseth & Gunnar Flagstad II

Grieg, Bartók, Hindemith, Morricone, Mitchell, Piazzolla
Tine Thing Helseth; Gunnar Flagstad

ParisShakespeare et la musique

Shakespeare et la musique
Shakespeare, Purcell, Locke / Weldon, Dowland, Blow
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; Anna Prohaska; Georg Kallweit

Monte-CarloMare Nostrum

Bernstein, Fauré, Debussy
Stéphane Denève; Nicola Benedetti

BarcelonaTchaikovsky vs. Dr. Zhivago

Tchaikovsky vs. Dr. Zhivago
Jarre, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky
Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès; James Ross; Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
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François Leleux makes SCO debut as conductor

François Leleux © Thomas Kost
François Leleux both conducts and plays the oboe in Edinburgh, initiating a strong partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
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Monsters and heroes in music with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Pete Harrison © Andy Holdsworth
In a passage through filmic history in the search of monstors and heroes, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra explored contemporary film and game music.
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Ghosts and musical magic from the Belgrade Philharmonic

Gabriel Feltz conducts the Belgrade Philharmonic © Marko Djokovic | Belgrade Philharmonic
The Belgrade Philhamonic presented a magical concert of music on supernatural themes.   
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Made in the USA: Gershwin and beyond

James Gaffigan © Daniela Kienzler
There was lots to like in the Philadelphia Orchestra's All-American Celebration for Thanksgiving.
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Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall

Zubin Mehta © Steve J Sherman
Tonal finesse, graceful articulation and magical simplicity mattered more than anything else in Yefim Bronfman's version of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto.
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Argerich and Babayan join forces in Cleveland

Sergei Babayan and Martha Argerich © Roger Mastroianni
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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