When you think of film music, what melody comes to mind first? Ennio Morricone’s “Man with a Harmonica” from Once Upon a Time in the West, perhaps? Or the Star Wars theme, or even a film musica classic by Erich Wolfgang Korngold? From purpose-composed orchestral works to reduced sound samples and a 1980s Kate Bush hit’s reappearance atop the charts in 2022 thanks to a Netflix series, film music is multifaceted indeed. Just what a film composer should bring to the table, the extent to which music’s use has changed over time, and how émigrés figured into the creation of film music in Hollywood are all things you can read about on the following pages—perhaps also coming across the odd bit that you just won’t be able to get out of your head.
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