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Art of the Score

English, TV & Video, 1 seasons, 35 episodes, 16 hours 33 minutes
Art of the Score is the podcast that explores, demystifies and celebrates some of the greatest soundtracks of all time from the world of film, TV and video games. In each episode we’ll be joined by Andrew Pogson, Dan Golding and Nicholas Buc as we check out a soundtrack we love and break down its main themes, explore what makes the score tick and hopefully impart our love of the world of soundtracks.
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Episode 35: Studio Fanfares Part 2

It’s Episode 35, and the long-awaited part two to our investigation of a fascinating and often-overlooked area of film music history – studio fanfares. In this episode we travel from the 1980s to today, taking in the sights and sounds of evergreen studio fanfares from the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, the THX Deep Note, and the Buc dynasty of screen composers. And of course, there’s a round of ‘Name That Theme’ with host Andrew Pogson, as well as a look at some of the most contemporary of logo themes – including Marvel, Star Wars, and a curious update of MGM’s Leo the Lion. Show notes: 2:50 – The Art of the Score fanfare – Nancy Buc (1980) 4:34 – The studio revival in the 1980s 5:42 – Amblin Entertainment – John Williams (1981) 9:14 – The Ladd Company – John Williams (1981) 12:29 – United Artists – Joe Harnell (1982) 15:54 – THX Deep Note – James Andy Moorer (1983) 22:13 – Tri-Star Pictures – Dave Grusin (1984) 25:46 – Carolco Pictures – Jerry Goldsmith (1985) 28:42 – And
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Episode 34: Studio Fanfares Part 1

You’re sitting in a darkened movie theatre, and the latest, highly anticipated blockbuster is about to play. The ads are over, the trailers are all done, and the lights dim. What’s this? Why, it’s Art of the Score Episode 34, as we investigate a fascinating and often-overlooked area of film music history – studio fanfares. From 20th Century Fox to MGM’s Leo the Lion roar and many more, over the next two episodes we’ll be revealing the secrets behind the musical moments that open the movies and set the musical agenda, and telling the stories behind the studios and the composers who made them. Show notes: 6:02 – The origins of the fanfare 8:51 – The studio system and the sound of the Big Five 12:15 – MGM: Lions, Stars, and Celebrities, oh my! 15:31 – RKO: Morse code, crime, and Howard Hughes 20:20 – Paramount Pictures on Parade (allegedly) 21:28 – 20th Century Fox – Alfred Newman (1933) 27:22 – Warner Brothers – Max Steiner (1937) 33:05 – The Little Three (that’s Andrew, Nick, and Dan
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Episode 33: Arrival

It’s finally time for Episode 33, and Art of the Score’s analysis of one of the landmark composers of the last decade: Jóhann Jóhannsson. We sit down with special guest, synth (and tape loop) expert Seja Vogel, and Jóhannsson’s soundtrack for Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece sci fi film, Arrival. Join us for heptapods, looping seals (?), and the only true universal language: film music. Episode notes: 4:41 – Arrival arrives, and Jóhannsson thrives 12:47 – Around the Clock News 15:43 – Arriving in Montana 21:49 – Seja breaks down the Arrival sound 30:05 – Looping with Seja 34:45 – First Encounter 39:12 – Sapir-Whorf 43:00 – Hazmat 49:42 – Heptapod B 58:56 – Non-Zero-Sum Game 1:02:21 – Deciphering 1:06:26 – One of Twelve 1:12:22 – Rise, and Max Richter’s On The Nature of Daylight We love to hear from our listeners – get in touch via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and if you like The Art of the Score, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and comment.
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Episode 32: The Mummy

It’s Episode 32, and we come back to you from the city of the lockdown with the crown jewel of 1990s action adventure: Jerry Goldsmith’s wonderful score for The Mummy. Goldsmith has for some time been one of Art of the Score’s most requested composers, so join us as we journey to 1920s Egypt and scheme among the pyramids with Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and that incredible music. Episode notes: 5:05 – That’s Goldsmith, Jerry! Goldsmith! 8:04 – Podcast recommendation: The Goldsmith Odyssey 10:04 – The Universal history of the Mummy 19:03 – Hamunaptra theme 24:18 – A brief introduction to the film’s other themes 26:58 – Hamun it up 32:40 – Hamajor Hamontage 36:58 – Jerry’s percussion 39:11 – Imhotep’s motif 44:21 – Nick comes clean about his bullying ways 47:01 – The love theme 52:20 – Luteish love and handy hand percussion 56:41 – The power of French Horns propels you 1:00:06 – A romantic finale 1:05:12 – Rick’s theme 1:12:27 – Here come the baddies 1:15:47 – The Mummy Strut 1:18:47
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Episode 31: How To Train Your Dragon

It’s Episode 31, and we’re swooping into the new year with one of the most widely loved family films – as well as the film score buff’s film score – in How To Train Your Dragon. John Powell’s soundtrack has been one of Art of the Score’s most-requested episodes over the years, so join us as we get under the hood of this contemporary classic and pick apart its many main melodies and old-fashioned sound. Episode notes: 5:56 – How To Train Your Dreamworks 8:41 – The John Powell Up 12:31 – Nick leaves his wife for John Powell 14:43 – The Friendship theme 16:38 – Toothless’s theme 19:56 – Bagging Bagpipes 25:27 – Hammering Dulcimer 32:43 – Tin whistle and bodhran 35:26 – Let’s b (theme) friends 39:42 – Powell-chords 45:16 – Toothless in three 49:10 – Toothless Face/Off 51:05 – The Band with a Dragon Tattoo 54:17 – The Berk theme 59:47 – A point of pronunciation 1:02:56 – Father and Son 1:09:08 – The cavalry arrives 1:12:33 – The Viking theme 1:18:31 – How To Write A Dragon Melody 1:24:21
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Episode 30: The Little Mermaid

It’s Episode 30, and we at Art of the Score are finally tackling two genres we’ve so far overlooked – animation and the musical, combined in the form of the great Disney revival musical, The Little Mermaid. Join us as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this wonderful film and explore the cabaret roots of Ursula, the perfect pop song for Ariel, and the debatable reggae of Under The Sea in Alan Menken’s joyous and groundbreaking score. Episode notes: 4:10 – The Art of the Mailbag? 5:12 – The Disney Dark Ages 8:15 – Alan Menken: the secret to Disney’s revival 12:52 – Ariel’s theme: Part of Your World 15:33 – “I want” 19:26 – Ariel’s verse 25:01 – Ariel’s verse (Hoarders edition) 28:41 – Creative voicing 32:47 – A pre-chorus? 35:33 – Recorders on the beach 38:44 – Ariel’s musical maturity 42:17 – Ursula’s theme: Poor Unfortunate Souls 45:03 – Craberet 50:40 – Fortunate Souls 54:35 – Poggo’s Unfortunate Lyrics 56:44 – Scheming eels 1:00:49 – Prince Eric’s Roadshow 1:06:02 – Eric’s Orga
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Episode 29: The Film Music of Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Episode 29 marks Art of the Score’s first ever live episode, recorded in August at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Exploring the film music of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and The Road), the live talk also preluded a concert later that week where the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra played Cave and Ellis’s music as arranged by our very own Nicholas Buc. Join us for a very special live episode as we try and find out what makes the film music of Cave and Ellis so good. Episode notes: 0:54 – A very special live episode 5:27 – The Nick Cave and Warren Ellis sound 6:26 – Alice Wading 7:58 – A band process for film music 10:34 – The Proposition 12:41 – The meat pie western 14:05 – The drone, the voice, the piano 18:05 – Nick’s singing (The Rider) 21:11 – Martha’s Dream 22:55 – The Cave Waltz 26:38 – The Rider Song 29:20 – The Assassination of Jesse James 31:26 – The celeste 35:14 – A Rather Lovely Thing 37:1
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Episode 28: The Empire Strikes Back - Part 2

In Episode 28, we conclude our time with The Empire Strikes Back, and our exploration of perhaps the best Star Wars film and score ever made. In this episode, we make our way through some remaining themes and motifs, as well as the major action setpieces of the film, and ask the biggest question of all: is this the best film score ever written? Episode notes: 2:41 – The Days of Han and Leia 6:37 – Tchaikovsky’s Star Wars 11:51 – Han’s Soli 14:21 – Williams’ melodic patterns 15:27 – A polite argument (for strings) 20:14 – Melodus interruptus 24:22 – Bespin Cellos 25:51 – I love cue (I know) 30:48 – Resolving Solo and the Princess 36:32 – Bassoon Fett 43:36 – The droids dance 52:43 – The droids return in Solo 54:18 – Hyperspace strings 58:28 – Empire’s action ostinati 1:05:24 – Lando’s palace, where all your dreams come true 1:07:42 – A choir in the clouds 1:11:34 – The magic tree 1:15:10 – The synth side of the force 1:17:52 – John Williams’ best action cue, ever? 1:25:08 – The space
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Episode 27: The Empire Strikes Back - Part 1

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Episode 26: Blade Runner 2049

In Episode 26, we return to the world of Blade Runner for the 1982 film’s long-belated sequel. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, and with a soundtrack by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, Blade Runner 2049 has a different sound and a different set of thematic ideas. But how does the music work, and what is all this interlinked stuff about, anyway? To help us answer those questions – and more – we’re once again joined by the brilliant synth expert Seja Vogel (whose fantastic podcast, where she interviews musicians, you should check out here: Episode notes: 5:01 – How the sequel came to be 8:06 – Jóhann Jóhannsson, and what could’ve been 12:43 – Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer 16:52 – The opening title card (the Memory theme) 19:25 – Or is it the Puzzle theme? 21:24 – The 2049 Melody (the Soul theme) 27:36 – Sapper Morton’s musical secret 35:08 – Voices in the furnace 38:30 – Sound design 40:48 – The rebel’s fan fair 45:44 – The return of the opening chords 49:1
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Episode 25: Blade Runner

In Episode 25, we’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. A guest synth expert to tell us all about the great Yamaha CS-80’s attack and delay, and the shoulders of its Orion filter envelopes. We’ve watched Vangelis glitter in the dark, near Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture. All these moments will be recorded in time, on podcast recording equipment, and released online, like tears in rain. Episode notes: 3:20 – A special Art of the Score guest 4:57 – A history of Blade Running 12:21 – The Vangelis sound 16:34 – Sound design versus music 20:37 – The Blade Runner main theme 26:48 – Synth talk with Seja: the Yamaha CS-80 31:52 – Aftertouch 35:32 – Oscillators and ring modulators 40:22 – The pitch ribbon 43:20 – Seja recreates the Blade Runner theme 52:44 – Pronunciation fun with Dan 55:02 – Tears In Rain 56:51 – Blade Runner and the film noir sound, from Double Indemnity to L.A. Noire 1:10:33 – The Blade Runner Blues 1:14:34 – Rachel’s theme 1:19:15 – The Love theme 1:23:49 – The ‘ethnic’ influ
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Episode 24: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Part 2

In Episode 24 we end our journey through Harry’s third year at Hogwarts with a deep listen to the unparalleled variety in John Williams’ score for Prisoner of Azkaban. We breakdown bebop, compare Italian waltzes, play with fugues, minimalism, swing, and some of the most dangerous flute music you’ve ever heard. Mischief most definitely managed. Episode notes: 2:51 – Aunt Marge’s waltz 12:20 – The jazz bus 14:31 – A short ride in a magical machine 17:28 – Bebop patronum 24:48 – A stretchy middle eight 29:51 – A fugue for quidditch 35:07 – Willow whomps 40:10 – A danger to birds and flute players 45:23 – Snowfights and woodwind bites 48:02 – Swing, swing, boggart 54:05 – Carried on the voices 57:50 – Book cranks and classic horror 1:01:28 – Sirius Black to the future 1:10:12 – Watch me if you can 1:14:51 – The John Williams greatest hits album We love to hear from our listeners – get in touch via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and if you like The Art of the Score, please take a mom
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Episode 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Part 1

In Episode 23 we return to the wizarding world with the first of a two part listen to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Far from resting on prior achievements, the final John Williams Potter score knocks it out of the park, giving us everything from medieval music to waltzes, bebop jazz, and some of the most majestic flight music ever written. Join us, as we solemnly swear we are up to no good and journey with Harry and co for their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Episode notes: 2:32 – Dan makes a big claim 6:35 – Some Azkaban homework 14:45 – Hedwig’s theme goes on holiday 16:23 – Something wicked this way hums 27:50 – Crumhorn, Sackbut, and Azkaban’s medieval sound 30:51 – Meeting Buckbeak 33:04 – Searching for the Fat Lady 35:33 – Some sleeping celeste 39:09 – The renaissance fair 46:49 – A Window to the Past 1:00:00 – Some serious Sirius 1:04:13 – Pettigrew’s motif 1:07:12 – Buckbeak’s brilliant flight 1:13:15 – Buckbeak’s equally brilliant secon
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Episode 22: Conan the Barbarian

In Episode 22 we travel to the distant Hyborian era with Basil Poledouris’ muscular score for 1982’s Conan the Barbarian. As the gold standard for high fantasy prior to Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings epics, Poledouris’ lush and orchestral score creates entire musical worlds and carries much of the emotion in this sparsely-dialogued film. Join us as we take a journey with the Riders of Doom and listen to this fantastic work of musical fantasy. Episode notes: 5:35 – The secrets to Conan’s success 9:22 – John Milius’s machismo 13:38 – Basil Poledouris’ score 19:54 – Conan’s canon – what era does the music come from? 22:45 – Anvil of Crom: the Hyborian rhythm and Nick’s rave remake 30:20 – Twenty-four French Horns and Total Recall’s Barbaric Recall 38:28 – Conan’s theme 48:10 – Double reeds and the passing of time 58:21 – The love theme, and saying more than Arnold through music 1:10:00 – The Riders of Doom theme 1:14:55 – O Fortuna’s influence on Conan (and film music generally) 1:19:
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Episode 21: Journey

In Episode 21 we finally make good on our long-held promise to explore the world of videogame music, with Austin Wintory’s beautiful score for thatgamecompany’s Journey. Crucial to the experience of Journey, Wintory’s music was recognized with a Grammy nomination and is widely held to be one of the greatest videogame scores of all time. Join us as we take a videogame diversion and analyse this gorgeous soundtrack. Episode notes: 5:20 – How does videogame music differ from film or television? 8:50 – Dan’s complicated menu music 10:05 – thatgamecompany’s journey to Journey, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘flow’ 16:12 – The rise of independent videogame development and aesthetics 18:20 – Nascence and Wintory’s main Journey theme 21:50 – Tina Guo’s cello, Amy Tatum’s flute, and Charissa Barger’s harp 26:30 – Solo cello in Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Hans Zimmer’s The Last Samurai 31:20 – Journey’s central weenie 33:45 – The Call, the sonic palate cleanser 38:10 – The Mou
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Episode 20: James Bond - Part 3

In Episode 20 we conclude our three-part retrospective of the music of Bond, James Bond. Having already covered the pioneering Bond sound of John Barry and the funk of the Moore era, in our final episode we make it through the emergence of David Arnold as the Bond musical heir apparent, and Thomas Newman’s recent work. Join us as we finally answer the question to end all questions: which is the greatest Bond score of all time, and which is the greatest song? Episode notes: 3:45 – Arnold, David Arnold 7:04 – Tomorrow Never Plays the Fanfare 11:25 – The fanboy composer? 13:05 – Surrender’s presence in the score 19:23 – Arnold’s neo-Barry romance writing 23:48 – The World Is Sort Of Enough 28:00 – Arnold’s muscular action writing – the submarine escape 33:48 – Score Another Way (electronically) in Die Another Day 40:04 – Bond joins the choir 44:25 – Blond, James Blond 50:18 – Parkour percussion 54:10 – You Know My Chord Progression 59:20 – Vesper’s Theme 1:01:28 – Quantum of Solace 1:05
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Episode 19: James Bond - Part 2

In Episode 19 we continue our ambitious attempt to analyse every James Bond score ever. Having covered the Connery classics in Episode 18, we’re now onto the 1970s, 1980s, and even the early 1990s, covering Moore, Dalton, and a little bit of Brosnan as James Bond goes from funk to disco to acid jazz and even a little early hip-hop. Join us as we look at some of the kitschiest Bond music out there – and, some of the all-time greats. Episode notes: 3:38 – Roger Moore’s more George (Aston) Martin Bond music 9:11 – The 1970s funk boat chase 12:45 – Nick has a problem with The Man With the Golden Gun’s parallel motion 16:43 – The Spy Who Wrote A Fantastic Opening Song 18:10 – James ‘Disco Stu’ Bond 24:30 – The singing pyramids 28:33 – The Space Who Loved Me 32:45 – Bossa, James Bossa 35:38 – Bill Conti’s For Your Funk Only 43:40 – John Barry’s finale: Octopussy, A View To A Kill, and The Living Daylights 49:12 – Dalton’s daylight drum machine 54:50 – Michael Kamen’s License to Trill 1:01:
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Episode 18: James Bond - Part 1

In Episode 18 we begin one of our most ambitious musical projects yet – the music of the James Bond franchise. Over the next three episodes, we’ll be looking at the sounds of Bond, James Bond, across 50 years, 24 films, and a great many composers, theme songs, and one-liners. In this first episode, we’re covering everything from the birth of the cinematic Bond to the end of the Sean Connery era, with a particular focus on how John Barry created that classic – and timeless – Bond sound. Episode notes: 4:45 – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass make an unscheduled appearance 6:35 – The evolution of the Bond franchise and its importance in film history 10:23 – “The best Bond film is the next Bond film” 12:40 – The birth of the Bond theme, with Monty Norman’s sitar 15:30 – John Barry’s swinging ‘60s style 22:23 – Monty Norman’s Dr. No score 24:10 – ‘Three Blind Mice’ and Norman’s Jamaican grooves 26:30 – Bond and orchestra swat a bug 31:12 – Lionel Bart’s ‘From Russia With Love’, the first
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Episode 17: Gladiator

In the year 2000, the sword-and-sandal epic was revived, with Russell Crowe trebucheted to international stardom as the star of Ridley Scott’s hugely successful film, Gladiator. But fame was also found for Hans Zimmer, today the biggest music man in Hollywood, but who along with Australian composer and singer Lisa Gerrard wrote some of the most influential film music in decades for Gladiator. In Episode 17, we take a look at what makes Zimmer’s sound so pervasive, how Lisa Gerrard’s voice intensifies the film’s emotions, and just where all that strength and honour comes from. Episode notes: 3:02 – Gladiator as the breakthrough Hans Zimmer score 5:09 – Some background on the significance of Gladiator, sword and sandal films, epics, and peplum 14:24 – Hans Zimmer style and the 1990s action film 21:00 – Hans Zimmer and the synth 23:52 – The unusual instrumentation of Gladiator 25:25 – A duduk demonstration 27:10 – The themes of Gladiator – Commodus’ theme 33:15 – The power of Lisa Gerra
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Episode 16: The Force Awakens - Part 2

In Episode 16, we finish our look at Williams’ seventh entry into the Star Wars universe by looking at what’s returned and what hasn’t. We take apart the reoccurring Star Wars themes and how they’re used in The Force Awakens, and make a number of bold and possibly a little reckless predictions for The Last Jedi (then unreleased).   Episode notes:   3:01 – Yes, this was recorded before The Last Jedi was released, and we’re sorry 4:04 – What were our reactions to The Force Awakens’ music when it was released? 9:50 – Ice Landing and the Rebel Fanfare 12:48 – Han Solo and the Princess in The Force Awakens 20:06 – Scherzo for X-Wings and the undanceable dance 26:02 – The Force Theme Awakens 30:00 – The Homestead Burns Again 36:20 – The sonic signature of The Force Awakens 37:30 – Williams’ emotional mood shifts and the journey to Luke Skywalker 39:54 – The brief return of Darth Vader 41:35 – Nick promises to walk out of The Last Jedi in disgust (Narrator: he did not) 48:54 – Andrew embarras
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Episode 15: The Force Awakens - Part 1

In Episode 15, we return to the galaxy far, far away and take a look at how the musical landscape of Star Wars changed between the almost 40 years between A New Hope and The Force Awakens. In the first of a two part episode we look at Rey’s Theme, Kylo Ren’s motifs, and The March (or is that the fugue?) of the Resistance. Recorded last year in eager anticipation of The Last Jedi, we’re finally getting this episode to you just in time for its release on Blu-Rey (see what we did there?), so sit back and enjoy our return to perhaps John Williams’ greatest musical franchise. Episode notes: 0:00 – A disclaimer (and possibly an apology!) 5:15 – Dan is writing a book about Star Wars 7:51 – The weight of expectation for The Force Awakens 10:00 – The legacy film 16:30 – The return of little-known composer John Williams 17:35 – Rey’s theme 22:40 – Rey’s riff 26:32 – Rey eats her lunch, on solo flute 30:41 – Rey’s abduction 33:11 – Rey’s impassioned bridge 36:15 – Comparison to other John Willi
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Episode 14: Stranger Things

After a short break, Art of the Score enters the new year with a trip to the Upside Down to take a close listen to Stranger Things. With the help of synth expert, musician, and podcaster Seja Vogel, we pull apart this wonderfully analogue score, its influences, and how it all works over the course of Season One of the Netflix hit. Episode notes: 2:35 – Welcome to special guest Seja Vogel. Find Seja’s podcast, ‘Hear Sej’ here (, and her amazing Etsy store for felt synth models here ( 5:20 – Into the nostalgic world of Stranger Things 8:41 – The ‘nostalgia film’ and Fredric Jameson 10:30 – Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon and their analogue synth band S U R V I V E 13:24 – ‘Dirge’, the track that formed the Stranger Things sound 15:05 – The influences and musical tools of S U R V I V E 19:00 – How the music works in Stranger Things – a scene comparison with Williams’ E.T. 25:14 – The main ti
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Episode 13: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

From Hedwig’s theme to Quidditch matches, the musical world of Hogwarts may be one of the most iconic musical contributions to the film world this millennia. John Williams worked orchestral magic and brought us a unique contribution of fantasy, off-beat fanfares, and even a bit of jazz harmony. But what makes this great score tick? Join us as we dissect the power, the charm, and the enchantment of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Episode notes: 07:00 – a brief history of the franchise 10:45 – Harry Potter, one of the largest franchises of the 21st century 11:22 – John Williams on how he came to be involved with Harry Potter 15:00 – Hedwig’s Theme 16:42 – the celeste and its use in other films and, famously, Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 18:15 – Andrew drops a bombshell 20:10 – Breaking down Hedwig’s Theme 26:20 – a recounting of the day the musicians first encountered the score 28:00 – Hedwig’s Theme and its variations 31:25 – is Hedwig’s Theme the last John W
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Episode 12: Back To The Future

After a short hiatus, we’re Back – from the future – with a good look at Alan Silvestri’s score to the Robert Zemeckis time-travel classic. Back to the Future is, at its core, about a small group of characters, and yet it possesses a huge scale of feeling and mood, much of which can be attributed to Silvestri’s impressive orchestral score. Join us as we take in the jazz roots of this classic, the fanfares and motifs, and of course, the classic hit songs that power the film. Episode notes: 0:45 – We’re back, from the future 4:40 – Following in the Spielbergian mould 13:10 – Romancing the Silvestri-Zemeckis relationship 16:10 – The main theme 20:00 – Asking questions through tritones 26:00 – Mysterious origins of the time machine 29:14 – Main theme variations 32:32 – Going through the gears 39:41 – The main theme, romantically 41:47 – Marty’s theme 44:39 – The time motif and the Back to the Future sound 49:05 – Doc’s turning wheels 53:00 – The octatonic scale 55:02 – The Biff motif 57
18/10/20171 hour 47 minutes 38 seconds
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Episode 11: There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s relentlessly dark exploration of Daniel Plainview, an American oil baron, now comfortably sits among the greatest films of the century so far. Yet Jonny Greenwood’s score - who is best known from his days on guitar for Radiohead - may well be even greater and more original still. In this episode of Art of the Score, we take a look at Greenwood’s incredibly unusual music, and with the help of There Will Be Blood expert and conductor Hugh Brunt, take apart what makes it tick, its fresh musical influences and style, and jointly, drink its milkshake. We love to hear from our listeners – get in touch via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and if you like The Art of the Score, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and comment.
03/08/20171 hour 22 minutes 6 seconds
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Episode 10: Batman

Today, Batman is undergoing yet another renaissance – fresh off the Dark Knight trilogy, he’s heading up a whole new Justice League. But in 1989, Batman was only starting to become the Dark Knight of popular culture – and Danny Elfman’s landmark score to the Tim Burton film helped him along the way. In this episode of Art of the Score, we take a look at the 1989 score, and pull apart its main themes, its musical influences and style, and ask the ultimate question: just where does he get those wonderful (musical) toys? Show notes: 2:50 – An intro to Danny Elfman 4:20 – Batman (1989), Tim Burton, and franchising in Hollywood 10:42 – Is this the most iconic Batman theme ever? 12:45 – Breaking down Elfman’s Batman theme 16:10 – The influence of Herrmann on Elfman 21:00 – The Dark Knight rides again 23:56 – The versatility of the Batman theme 26:00 – The Batutsi 26:55 – 6/8 versus 3/4 timing for Batman 30:20 – How does the Elfman theme fit into the history of Bat-music? The 1949 serial, t
23/07/20171 hour 33 minutes 43 seconds
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Episode 9: Star Wars - Part 3

In our third and final Star Wars episode, we take a look at some of the lesser known cues that round out this incredible score. We discuss the giant bantha in the room: the musical influences that inspired Williams and the temp music that helped to shape some of his artistic choices. Finally, we take a whirlwind tour of the action music, explore the groovy Cantina Band tunes and debate whether Star Wars is in fact the greatest film score of all time. Is it? Show notes: 3:20 – the music for the Jawas 5:40 – finding the downbeat in “The Little People” 7:28 – is this the highest Tuba line ever? 11:03 – the music for the Sand People 14:39 – Williams’ family relations and a link to Toto 15:28 – use of the Timpani 18:08 – a comparison with Jerry Goldsmith’s Planet of the Apes 20:26 – discussing the Bantha in the room: the musical influences on Star Wars 26:05 – The Dune Sea of Tatooine vs Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring 30:17 – The Rebel Blockade Runner vs Holst’s The Planets 32:02 – Some Ber
04/07/20171 hour 24 minutes 43 seconds
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Episode 8: Star Wars - Part 2

In our second Star Wars episode, marking the fortieth anniversary of the film, we complete our exploration of the themes for this landmark film and score from 1977. We take on the franchise’s most defining melody: the Force Theme, and also throw in the Rebel Fanfare, Vader’s motif, and the Death Star, before ending on that eternal question: what links Star Wars and Metallica? Episode notes: 2:15 – The Force Theme (or Ben Kenobi’s theme) 2:50 – Binary Sunset 7:25 – the Alternate Binary Sunset cue 12:30 – the Burning Homestead cue 14:50 – Rogue One: The Master Switch cue 17:10 – the first encounter with Ben Kenobi 18:55 – development with Kenobi, Tales of a Jedi Knight 22:45 – The Force Theme as anxious suspense 24:50 – Luke mourns Ben 26:30 – the martial Force Theme at the Battle of Yavin 28:30 – Use the Force, Luke 32:10 – The Force Theme in Superman? 34:40 – The Rebel fanfare motif 37:21 – The Blockade Runner and Imperial Attack, combining the Rebel and Imperial motifs 42:10 – Rebel
09/06/20171 hour 7 minutes 26 seconds
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Episode 7: Star Wars - Part 1

Forty years ago today, in 1977, the film universe was turned upside down by a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars may have changed the film industry forever, but John Williams’ score might just be as influential for the film music landscape. In this episode, our first of three on Star Wars, we take a look at the influence of John Williams’ music, and two of its major themes: the Main Theme (or Luke’s Theme) and Princess Leia’s theme. Episode notes: 2:30 – The influence of Star Wars, the music, the film 4:30 – How Star Wars changed film history and the film school generation 8:00 – Star Wars and nostalgia 11:20 – Was there anticipation for Star Wars? 13:40 – This was not what films were supposed to sound like at the time 15:00 – Before the main titles: the 20th Century Fox fanfare 16:20 – The main Star Wars theme (Luke’s theme) 18:50 – The orchestration of the main theme 20:45 – The jazz-inspired harmony of the main theme 23:33 – “War drums in space” 25:03 – Development of Luke’s theme –
24/05/20171 hour 19 minutes 31 seconds
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Episode 6: Dances With Wolves

In 1990, Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves set the film world alight, and won seven Academy Awards in the process. But what about the score? In this episode, we take a look at the music of John Barry – who, although best known for his Bond scores, here manages to create something at once completely Barry-esque and wholly unique for a film about the flawed myth at the heart of American cinema’s greatest genre: the Western. Episode notes: 2:58 – Dances With Wolves as a Western 6:00 – An indie production and adaptation 9:30 – John Barry 10:21 – Basil Poledouris’s near miss with Dances With Wolves 12:40 – The John Dunbar theme, and comparisons with Lonesome Dove and Legends of the Fall 14:30 – The John Barry ‘mythic’ mode, comparison with Out of Africa and Chaplin 18:30 – The ‘breathing’ nature of the John Dunbar theme, and his pop music origins 21:50 – Solo trumpet version of the Dunbar theme, comparison with Legends of the Fall 24:00 – Dunbar theme on harmonica, and the use of harmon
03/05/20171 hour 17 minutes 8 seconds
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Episode 5: Star Trek (TV)

Star Trek is one of the most enduring television series of all time, with more than 700 episodes over 30 seasons. Even disregarding the films, it’s also seen some great composers: Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, Dennis McCarthy, and Jay Chattaway. In our fifth episode of Art of the Score, we’re shifting to the small screen as we take a look at how the music of Star Trek has defined the final frontier over 50 years. Episode notes: 2:40 – Overview of the Star Trek series, and how each series changed 8:50 – The original series theme by Alexander Courage 11:30 – The three elements of the main theme and its optimism 13:45 – The beguine rhythm 17:00 – the jazz harmonies underpinning the original theme 19:00 – Lost in Space comparison 21:10 – Cue from ‘Amok Time’, Season 2 Episode 5 by Gerald Fried 25:30 – ‘The Doomsday Machine’, Season 2 Episode 6 by Sol Kaplan 28:00 – Emphasis on action music in the original series 29:33 – The Next Generation theme by Jerry Goldsmith 32:00 – Differenc
15/04/20171 hour 24 minutes 8 seconds
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Episode 4: Vertigo

For our fourth episode, we’re moving to a different great director-composer collaboration from a different era. It’s Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann with perhaps their greatest work: 1958’s Vertigo. This film recently dethroned Citizen Kane as the greatest of all time according to the American Film Insitute – but how good is Herrmann’s score, and how does it work? Join us as we take a look at the central musical ideas at work here – and how Bernard Herrmann creates a musical landscape of the subconscious. Episode Notes: 3:25 – Historical context for the film and the Hitchcock-Herrmann relationship 5:00 – Why did people dislike Vertigo at the time? 8:10 – Herrmann’s compositional style 9:30 – The musical landscapes of Hitchcock-Herrmann films 11:00 – Nick on conducting Psycho live in concert, 13:10 – The Vertigo main titles 16:20 – The ‘Hitchcock chord’ 20:15 – Musical spirals in Vertigo reflecting visual and thematic spirals 26:30 – The love theme 29:40 – The sad romance of the
28/03/20171 hour 20 minutes 13 seconds
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Episode 3: Jurassic Park

For our third episode, we look at another great Williams-Spielberg collaboration with the 1993 score to Jurassic Park. This landmark film redefined special effects and Hollywood itself, but what did it do for film music? Join us as we take a look at the main themes for the score and the hidden gems – and go from gospel, to jazz, to hymns along the way. Episode Notes: - 2:30 Notes on Jurassic Park as a Spielberg film and its place in film history - 7:10 Theme From Jurassic Park - 10:00 The main theme as a hymn - 15:00 The structure of the main theme - 17:20 The end credits version of the theme - 21:00 The ‘Journey to the Island’ theme - 23:30 Comparison with ‘Summon the Heroes’ - 26:00 The ‘sheen’ to the thematic orchestration - 29:56 The ‘panic’ theme - 31:45 Comparison with Dies Irae - 41:10 Comparison with later John Williams ‘suspense’ music - 43:45 Petticoat Lane - 47:00 Comparison with other John Williams celeste writing - 49:00 Triceratops music - 53:32 Dennis’s music and compa
27/02/20171 hour 15 minutes 48 seconds
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Episode 2: Raiders of the Lost Ark - Part 2

In the second episode of Art of the Score, we’re going even deeper into John Williams’ 1981 score for Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the previous episode, we looked at the main themes for the score – in this episode, we’ll uncover the hidden moments and orchestrational genius that makes Raiders a film score for the ages. Episode Notes: - 2:50 The opening cue of the film – ‘In the Jungle’ - 9:40 Indiana Jones’ introduction in the film, both musical and visual - 11:45 ‘The Idol Temple’ and the spider pizzicato - 16:40 Comparison with the restless strings in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho - 20:45 The stealing of the Idol - 23:40 The rolling boulder, killer trumpet triplets, and Williams’ respect for sound effects - 28:40 The development of Marion’s theme across the score, from wistful, to tragic, to overblown romance - 36:50 The development of the Indiana Jones theme across the score, starting with its introduction - 41:20 Indiana Jones the sad and lonely profess
17/02/20171 hour 38 minutes
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Episode 1: Raiders of the Lost Ark - Part 1

In Art of the Score, we dissect the greats of film music from top to bottom. For our first two episodes, we’re starting with John Williams’ 1981 score for Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of the most iconic collaborations between Williams and Spielberg. In episode one, we take a look at the themes of Raiders in detail – how they work, why they’re perfect for their characters, and the blueprint that they set up for the film. Episode Notes: - 3:05 Where Raiders of the Lost Ark sits in film history, why it was made, and how - 8:00 The visual look of Raiders - 10:00 John Williams’ musical style in context - 13:52 An introduction to leitmotif - 16:42 The Raiders March (Indiana’s Theme) - 27:40 Marion’s Theme (and what is Raiders about, anyway?) - 37:10 John Williams and the major sixth in romantic contexts - 45:20 The Ark Theme - 50:30 Comparison with the Grail Theme from The Last Crusade - 55:30 The Nazi theme and comparison with Imperial Music from Star Wars - 59:35 Comparison with the Naz
16/02/20171 hour 2 minutes 50 seconds