Film music

under film music (English. [film] score) one understands that music, which is composed for a specific film and with this is together specified. It serves for to the tendency and feeling level in a film and is to support the action.

Film music foundtheir beginning around 1895 by the invention of the Kinetoskops of Thomas's A. Edison and the Cinématographen of the brothers Lumière and as the medium film is nearly as old. It developed from the improvisation, the jazz and that E-music up to the today's contemporary film music.

Table of contents


film music is used with features in the television or in the cinema, in addition, in thatL'und de Fernseh-Werbung d'und de Kino- animierten dedans Computerspielen. Also for documentary films occasionally film music is composed.

Film music becomes i. D. R. composed by a composer for a film particularly and is in principle not diegetisch. However the term becomes film music i. w. S.also applied to music, which existed already before, z. B. about Wagners „whale cure ride “in Francis Ford CoppolasApocalypse Now “. Also the term is applied variously to diegetische music (SOURCE music), thus music, their origin in the filmto see is (for instance a concert or a radio). Both types by music are not to be assigned however during a close term interpretation to the film music, even if they are used in a film.

Film music is often composed for a Sinfonieorchester, this kindof music occasionally also sinfonische film music one calls. Sinfoni film music is to be distinguished from its execution with difficulty by classical music, one could it from its origin however quite as program music designate.

Film music accompanies the film and can toContribute defining the basic tendency, produce tendencies and feelings wake, courses of action and - jumps connect. A film scene can be weighted by different film music differently, i.e., alone by the music a certain interpretation is given to the spectator.


usuallya film music is only provided after the production of a raw cut. Director and film composer go through this first cut version of a film and to decide, which places of the film and which kind this music is to be supposed to be under-painted musical be. Dependent on the directoron average a provisional music trace is already put on out music already existing, temp so mentioned a TRACK. Pretty often it happens with this function however that instead of an original composition the actually provisional music is then maintained (in such a way z happen.B. at „2001: Odyssey in space “, to which originally Alex North should write the film music).

The places, in which in the film music is to appear, are held into cue sheet with at the beginning of and end times. On the basis of these informationcomposes the film composer then his music, which can quite have a length of over one and a half hours with a feature. The concrete function varied thereby from composer to composer and depends also on the time, those the composer for the orderstands. The composer a Particell with the melodies mostly provides and more or less detailed instructions for the instrumenting. This Particells is then implemented from Orchestratoren to a score. Some composers such as John Williams or James of horns orchestrieren their scoresoften, others like Hans's rooms do not take over this task in principle. Kopisten extract then from the score the individual voices for individual instruments. This time-consuming procedure had to be implemented in earlier time by hand, become today the scores oftenплашка Stimmen und erstellt компьютера einem mit können extrahiert einfacher werden.

Finally the music is taken up by an orchestra synchronously to the film. The conductor leads the orchestra, while he on a canvas or a monitor see the film paralleland so the desired Synchronität to the film to manufacture can. Frequently the composer directs the orchestra thereby. The orchestra exists either of only for this photograph meeting engaged musicians (a in such a way specified session orchestra), either firmly in an orchestraemployed or freelance active are. In addition, often a firm orchestra for this purpose is engaged. An example for this is London Symphony Orchestra, which already numerous Filmmusiken brought in.

Finally the music is mixed, cut and in thatlast Tonmischung with the remaining clay-pure to the film put on.


silent movie time (1895 to approx. 1925)

Filters important stations from the beginnings of the history of the film and the film music

  • 1895: First public demonstration of mute Kurzfilmen with predominantly documentary contents by the brothers Lumière in Paris
  • 1905: In America the first cinema with ca.100 seats is opened. The demonstrated silent movies are accompanied and under-painted mainly by pianists musical.
  • 1908:Camille saint-Saëns (1835-1921)“the murder of the duke de Guise “writes the first original film music for the film.
  • 1910: In the meantime it gives in the USA approx. 10,000 cinemas.
  • 1920: The number of cinemas has itself in the USA doubled on 20.000. The film exportto Europe flowers up. Inspeziellen cinema orchestras play ca.50-60 musicians. So-called “cue rings out sheets” as film music under painting (literally: Reference sheets): arranged Volkslieder, opera excerpts and European Sinfonik from the 19.Jahrhundert, which fits the appropriate film scenes.
  • 1926: Premiere of the first Tonfilms thatWorld: “Don Juan “(Warner Bros.)
  • 1928: The silent movie is generally replaced by the Tonfilm. The film companies develop own music departments. For each new film a new film music develops. Picture and clay/tone photographs (language, noises, music) take place separately.

Already 1895 issued the brothers Lumière into of Paris for the first time short films, which were under-painted by a pianist live. These early films were silent movies: since one knew still no possibility of making clay/tone photographs. The reasons, why one began at all,Films with music to support, are various:

  • The Rattern of the projector should be over-sounded.
  • The missing clay/tone and the film cuts were irritating felt by the public as.
  • The public was accustomed at play music, which was more common as today at that time. (Therefore agitatesalso the employment of sinfonischer music in lateromantic tradition, those the Operette, as medium that bouffes parisiennes of that time, obligated was.)
  • the music should the dark tendency in the darkened projection areas illuminate.

As music first already well-known music pieces were usedfrom operas and Operetten. Later also music was written directly for a film. The notes for the Begleitmusiker were then attached to the film copy with the distribution.

At the beginning accompanied only pianists, violonists or seamists the silent movies, but the possibility inlarge Säälen to play, made possible more place for musicians. As consequence the music became ever more aufwändiger. There were own cinema organs, those beside numerous tone qualities also over noise effects (Pferdegetrappel, wind,…) ordered.

In large cinema halls of the metropolises own cinema orchestras accompaniedwith up to 80 players a film (z. B. with „Napoléon “(1927) of Abel Gance). These ensembles had to fulfill own requirements, i.e. good sheet play abilities and fast reactivity, there on the indication of the conductor immediately to the next clock oreven to the next piece one changed.

the early Tonfilm (approx. 1930 to approx. 1950)

With the introduction of the Tonfilms the execution of the music of the cinema halls shifted in Studios. The Tonfilm had the advantage thatStudios the film music more purposefully and more uniformly for a certain film to begin knew. The style of this film music oriented itself at the orchestra music outgoing 19. Century and determines thereby the typical Hollywoodsound:

  • Sangliche melody in the upper voice
  • Harmonik in the style thatmore serious music 19. Century (romance, late romance)
  • rich in tone orchestra („little place between the notes “was an often hearing expression for particularly scores) large one, emotional
  • composed for film feeling intensity
  • Motivisch thematische relations by guidance motive technology

production ran usually under large time pressure.Usually there was a division of labor between composers and Arrangeuren. The scores were destroyed frequently after the clay/tone admission and to have today in case of a reperformance to be aufwändig restored.

The characteristic Hollywoodsound particularly coined/shaped through from Europe, above allGermany, Austria and Russia, emigrated composers, like Erich Wolfgang grain gold, oriented at the European music , Dimitri Tiomkin or max of Steiner.

the film in the age of the television (off approx. 1950)

Around 1950 won skirt -, Pop- and jazz - music more at meaning. In the film industry one recognized the popularity of these new music styles. Modern composers used it often in their compositions and displaced thereby the sinfonische film music. „The Hollywood sound “was used only rarely, primarily in Monumental films. Starting from the 70's in Hollywood again strengthened with large Sinfonieorchestern and guidance motive technology one works. As trip for this John Williams' composition is considered to star Wars to the film „“(1977).


guidance motive technology

This from the opera and in particular the music dramas smelling pool of broadcasting corporations of Wagners well-known procedures has to the task that persons or telling ranks, who take a central role in the film are underlined also in music. In addition own become for each important role or larger telling ranksMotives, guidance motives so mentioned composes, which are then built, repeated and varied depending upon the requirements of history into the total composition. A typical representative of this technology was the late romantic Erich Wolfgang grain gold. Examples from film history are also thoseCompositions for „star Wars “(1977, John Williams), which over a dozen different motives exhibit, and which master of the rings - music (Howard shore).

Mood technology

this technology supports scenes with suitable musical paintings conveying a special atmosphere, those according to the total tendency(English.mood on German: “Tendency”) to be composed. The Mood technology orients itself thus less at individual persons or telling ranks like the guidance motive technology, but tried rather to arrange for the spectator a spreading tendency for the film. Contrary to the Mood technology the Counterpoint stands.It is to create a distance between film scene and spectator.

Mickey Mousing

with the Mickey Mousing accents the film composer individual movements of the participants in the film, about individually set steps, by a musical doubling. The name agitates from the intensive use of theseTechnology in Cartoons. The amusing impression, which this technology causes, is here intended. In other film category this technology however straight is usually avoided because of this effect.


for the 50's becomes film music increasingly on clay/tone carriersmarketed. Frequently sinfonische Filmmusiken for the album publication is again cut and changed in the original order, in order to ensure a better Durchhörbarkeit. The music is arranged in this case suitenartig on the album.

Lately film music becomes also frequentlykonzertant dargeboten by Sinfonieorchester. For this purpose film composers Konzertsuiten of their works, which show the substantial topics, arrange so for instance John Williams' Suiten too „star Wars “or „Harry Potter “. Isolated film composers from their film music compose also a whole symphony such as HowardShores „master of the rings “- symphony.

numerous composers

composed acquaintance composer for the film since the silent movie era. One the first Filmmusiken wrote for example the composer Camille Saint Saëns (Karneval of the animals). Also different composers such as Sergei Prokofiev (Alexander new ski) or Dmitri Schostakowitsch (Hamlet, King Lear) composed for the film.

During the 1930er-Jahre „the Hollywood sound “above all through emigrierte European composers was coined/shaped. Not least German and Austrian composers such as max of Steiner (King Kong), Franz Waxman (Franconia stone bride) or Erich Wolfgang grain gold (the adventures of the Robin Hood) coined/shaped considerably the guidance motive technology. That Hungarian Miklós Rózsa (Ivanhoe, Ben Hur, El Cid) wrote after itsTraining at the conservatoire in Leipzig 1937 its first film music. From 1945 to 1965 he taught technology and theory of the film music to the Univerität of south California. Further representatives of this time were among other things the American Alfred Newman, the ethnic German Hugo Friedhofer, the Russian Dimitri Tiomkin and the New Yorker Berne pool of broadcasting corporations gentleman man.

Nowadays the film music in Hollywood is composed to the majority by Americans and Canadians. Most well-known representatives of contemporary film music are among other things John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith († 2004), Danny Elfman, James of horns or Howard shores. Most successful and perhaps umstrittendster foreign Hollywoodkomponist is German the Hans's rooms. John Williams knows most OSCAR nominating for a living person for itself with a number of 45book. Won it five Oscars.

Characteristically for the quality of film music that also in today's time most film composers have classical music training, during specialists from beyond such as Danny Elfman and James Newton Howard is itself likewise (auto+didactically) around the appropriationextensive theory knowledge endeavor and therefore are meanwhile also quite outstanding. Besides also contemporary composers, who originally compose for the concert hall, compose occasionally film music, so for instance Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, John Corigliano, Elliot Goldenthal or Tan Dun.

see also


  • Rainer Fabich: Music for the silent movie. Publishing house Peter long GmbH, Frankfurt/Main 1993, ISBN 3-631-45391-4
  • Peter Girich: Medium theory: Film music.Bar gene publishing house, Bamberg 1990
  • George Maas: Film music. Klett, ISBN 3121789600
  • Peter Rabenalt: Film music. Vistas, ISBN 3891583923
  • Konrad bird-sang: Film music in the third realm. Centaurus, ISBN 3890858007
  • Marks of Russell and James Young: Film arts: Film music. Rowohlt paperback publishing house GmbH, Reinbekwith Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-499-61143-0
  • briefly rivers: The Ästhetisierung of the film: Film music - art must be beautiful. Rowohlt paperback publishing house GmbH, Darmstadt 2005
  • Claudia Bullerjahn: Bases of the effect of film music. , Augsburg point-nerve-succumbed 2001, ISBN 3896392301
  • Wolfgang Thiel: Film musicin history and present. Henschelverlag art and society, Berlin (GDR) 1981
  • Jürgen Wölfer and Roland Löper: The large encyclopedia of the film composers. The Magier of the cineastischen acoustics. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89602-296-2
  • Tony Thomas et al.: Film music.The large film composers - their art and its technology (film Score). Heyne, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-453-09007-1
  • Theodor W. Adorno, Hanns Eisler: Composition for the film. European publishing house (EH, July 1996, ISBN 3434500901
  • Didier C. German et al.: Sound TRACK - MusicHound. The Essential album Guide ton film, Television and of steam turbine and gas turbine systems music. Visible Inc. press/Gale Group, Detroit, San Francisco, London, bad clay/tone and Woodbridge 2000, ISBN 1-57859-101-5
  • Ulrich Wünschel: Sergej Prokofjews film music to Sergej of iron stone ALEXANDER NEW SKI (Cloud publishing house, 2005)

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