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Comments about the soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer/Various)

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Re: Who is this reviewer?
• Posted by: Hyun21K   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 1:43 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Who is this reviewer? (Flo)

> hey there,

> actually pretty cool, that someone writes a response like this to a review
> like the one above. I expected the review would be along such lines - as a
> lot of other people here too I think - but still, good response.
> I have to say I disagree on some parts of your argument tho, especially
> the intellectual aspects. Film music has many ways it can work and there
> is not one single approach that is more valid than another, except for
> maybe that it has to work in the context of the film. Then again, some
> filmscores work very well, while working in opposite directions to the
> film they are underscoring. Carter Burwell said in an interview that he
> likes to give a scene what's not in it, instead of underscoring what's in
> it, meaning that his approach is more about what the scene is about in
> context - which is a more intellectual approach. Still it is meant to give
> a certain emotion to the scene. Being intellectual IMHO has not only to do
> with the structural approach to music (like serialism or if it's a double
> fugue), but also how the general tone of the music works in context of the
> film.
> In TORA TORA TORA Jerry Goldsmith used a strong japanese tone that
> underscores both the traditionalism, heroism as well as doom of the attack
> on Pearl Harbour. He could have just written martial music or have a
> marching band play, but he chose this more intellectual approach, which
> takes a little time to get accustomed to instead.

> Hope I got my point across, no criticism intended. And btw, I would love
> to hear a good viola solo from Zimmer. Violas are awesome!

> cheers
> Flo

Thank you for giving me your perspective on film scoring! It is very insightful.

I have to confess that I am only an occasional film music listener. I usually listen to modern music so that tells you what music I'm used to.

I definitely do agree that what you described is a more intellectual approach to scoring films. I only went over the techniques of composition, not the context in the film.

On the other hand, I do wish that more film composers would try to learn about music theory because too much film music is sounder more like popular music (i.e. songs). I guess that has a lot to do with the composer's background (i.e. Hans Zimmer), but still writing to match the emotions and action of the screen flexibility requires more skill.

John Williams uses counterpoint and advanced instrumental techniques. Jerry Goldsmith used them too. But most of the other film composers do not.

Once again, thank you for your thoughtful response!

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