Film Scores

by Junting Meng

I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I have been silently suffering under Modernism for the past couple of weeks. Ok, maybe the word “suffering” is too strong but I just could not bring myself to enjoy the atonality of modernist music. Since we have officially finished our tour of Modernism, I would like to direct attention away from its theme of atonality and take a look at something quite different: film soundtracks.

Film scores, for the most part, tend to be quite melodic and catchy. These characteristics are necessary for its purpose to create atmosphere and fluidity on the big screen. In my opinion they hold strong similarities to music from the enlightenment and romantic eras. For instance, actions/adventure tracks containing strong brass and string sections are similar to what you would find in Beethoven and Wagner. In addition, dramas and horror could possibly contain music along the lines of Debussy and Schoenberg, respectively.

I have listed some of my favorite soundtrack composers below. These individuals include the likes of John Williams and Hans Zimmer. I’m confident that you will have heard some of these pieces. I personally enjoy very melodic pieces and music that has a driving force to it. A lot of film scores perfectly matches these tastes of mine and as such many film themes have become personal favorites.

John Williams: “The Patriot” (Main Theme)

Hans Zimmer: “The Dark Knight Rises” (Risen from Darkness)

James Newton Howard: “Blood Diamond” (London)

James Horner: “Titanic” (My Heart Will Go On)

What are your guys’ general opinions on film scores? Do you have any particular favorites? If so, which ones? If not, why not?