Scoring the Screen

The Secret Language of Film Music

Series: Music Pro Guide Books & DVDs
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Format: Softcover
Author: Andy Hill

Today, musical composition for films is more popular than ever. In professional and academic spheres, media music study and practice are growing; undergraduate and postgraduate programs in media scoring are offered by dozens of major colleges and universities. And increasingly, pop and contemporary classical composers are expanding their reach into cinema and other forms of screen entertainment. Yet a search on Amazon reveals at least 50 titles under the category of film music, and, remarkably, only a meager few actually allow readers to see the music itself, while none of them examine landmark scores like Vertigo, To Kill a Mockingbird, Patton, The Untouchables, or The Matrix in the detail provided by Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music.

This is the first book since Roy M. Prendergast's 1977 benchmark, Film Music: A Neglected Art, to treat music for motion pictures as a compositional style worthy of serious study. Through extensive and unprecedented analyses of the original concert scores, it is the first to offer both aspiring composers and music educators with a view from the inside of the actual process of scoring-to-picture.

The core thesis of Scoring the Screen is that music for motion pictures is indeed a language, developed by the masters of the craft out of a dramatic and commercial necessity to communicate ideas and emotions instantaneously to an audience. Like all languages, it exists primarily to convey meaning. To quote renowned orchestrator Conrad Pope (who has worked with John Williams, Howard Shore, and Alexandre Desplat, among others): “If you have any interest in what music 'means' in film, get this book. Andy Hill is among the handful of penetrating minds and ears engaged in film music today.”

$34.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00194637
ISBN: 9781495073731
UPC: 888680641528
Width: 7.0"
Length: 10.0"
424 pages

Endorsements

“I believe this to be the only book in which large numbers of significant and original film-score manuscripts have been culled and presented for analysis and celebration. It certainly merits the attention of composers, students, and all serious fans of this increasingly popular genre.” – Daniel Carlin, Professor and Chair/Director, Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

“Andy Hill has the ability to deconstruct and explain the process of writing film scores with extraordinary clarity, all the while imbuing the subject with a fervor that should, in my opinion, be reserved only for European football matches and Baptist revival meetings.” – John Powell, Film Composer

“You must read this – in the ever-growing pantheon of books on film music, this one is very special. While most analytical books are written by academics, Andy was right there in the thick of things as a member of the Disney music department, while the majority of the scores in the book were actually being recorded. Not to mention, it is so alive with his mad passion for film music.” – Christopher Young, Film Composer

“I calls 'em like I sees 'em, and this book is a home run.” – David Newman, Composer/Conductor

“Andy Hill's Scoring the Screen is, like its author, thoughtful, incisive and full of solidly interesting insights into the technique, craft and emotional magic of film scores and the composers who create them. If this is your subject, this is your book.” – Bruce Broughton, Composer

“Andy Hill has created a book on film music that gives unparalleled information on how it is created, integrated with film, and then...perceived in the context of the film once it is 'out there'. For composers, orchestrators, musicians, filmmakers, historians and fans of film and film music, every 'piece of the puzzle' is here...he book is indispensable. In addition, Andy has shared all of this in a fresh, innovative and charismatic way...I could NOT put the book down...(!)” – Mike Lang, Hollywood Session Pianist

“In this remarkable new book, Andrew Hill displays the comprehensive knowledge, wisdom, and reverence required to provide informed and practical insight into the art and craft of composing screen music. His background as a practicing musician, Disney studio music-executive, and college-level educator enables him to intelligently – and sometimes amusingly – reveal the magic behind the film-composer's curtain. I believe this to be the only book in which large numbers of significant and original film-score manuscripts have been culled and presented for analysis and celebration. It certainly merits the attention of composers, students, and all serious fans of this increasingly popular genre.” – Daniel Carlin, Professor & Chair/Director, Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

“With his book Scoring the Screen, Andy Hill has made an important and truly invaluable addition to an all-too-barren landscape of great literature about great film music. He presents his case that the finest composers to have worked in film over the last eighty years have contributed genuine masterpieces of music and drama to our culture. A film score must excel at both to be successful, and this is so beautifully illustrated in Hill's elegant prose. From the selection of scores discussed to the cues within them, and the musical phrases and bars highlighted, I read the book from a very personal point of view. Having produced new recordings of To Kill A Mockingbird – with Elmer Bernstein – and Patton – with Jerry Goldsmith – and examined these and other scores in great detail with the composers themselves, I found myself very moved by Hill's like-minded analysis. Part of the film composer's art is in fact to conceal the effort and the intellect that goes in to the creation of their scores. Hill thankfully lifts the veil. I am thrilled to see such a rare spotlight illuminating the artistry behind these masterworks.” – Robert Townson, Film Music Producer (Varèse Sarabande

Reviews

“If you have ANY interest in what music 'means' in film, get this book. Andy Hill is among the handful of penetrating minds and ears engaged in film music today. If you don't know Andy, read this book. I know that after you have closed it, you will seek him out.” – Conrad Pope, Composer/Orchestrator

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