Soundtrack composers

In movie industry terminology usage, a sound track is an audio recording created or used in film production or post-production. Initially the dialogue, sound effects, and music in a film each has its own separate track (dialogue track, sound effects track, and music track), and these are mixed together to make what is called the composite track, which is heard in the film. A dubbing track is often later created when films are dubbed into another language. This is also known as a M & E track (music and effects) containing all sound elements minus dialogue which is then supplied by the foreign distributor in the native language of its territory.

 

Soundtrack may also refer to music used in video games. While sound effects were nearly universally used for action happening in the game, music to accompany the gameplay was a later development. Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway were early composers of music specifically for video games for the 1980s Commodore 64 computer. Koji Kondo was an early and important composer for Nintendo games. As the technology improved, polyphonic and often orchestral soundtracks replaced simple monophonic melodies starting in the late 1980s and the soundtracks to popular games such as the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series began to be released separately. In addition to compositions written specifically for video games, the advent of CD technology allowed developers to incorporate licensed songs into their soundtrack (the Grand Theft Auto series is a good example of this). Furthermore, when Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001, it featured an option allowing users to customize the soundtrack for certain games by ripping a CD to the hard-drive.

Max Steiner

Maximilian Raoul Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, either composing, arranging, or conducting, when he was fifteen.

Steiner worked in England, then Broadway, and in 1929 he moved to Hollywood, where he became one of the first composers to write music scores for films. He was referred to as "the father of film music".

Steiner composed over 300 film scores with RKO Pictures and Warner Bros., and was nominated for 24 Academy Awards, winning three: The Informer (1935); Now, Voyager (1942); and Since You Went Away (1944). Besides his Oscar-winning scores, some of Steiner's popular works include King Kong (1933), Little Women (1933), Jezebel (1938), Casablanca (1942), The Searchers (1956), A Summer Place (1959), and Gone with the Wind (1939), the film score for which he is best known.

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King Kong (1933)

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Psycho (1960)

Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann (June 29, 1911 – December 24, 1975) was an American composer best known for his work in composing for motion pictures. As a conductor, he championed the music of lesser-known composers.

An Academy Award-winner (for The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941; later renamed All That Money Can Buy), Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed scores for many other movies, including Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cape Fear, and Taxi Driver. He worked extensively in radio drama (composing for Orson Welles), composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, and many TV programs, including Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone and Have Gun–Will Travel.

Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone (born 10 November 1928) is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player. He composes a wide range of music styles, making him one of the most versatile, experimental and influential composers of all time, working in any medium. Since 1946 Morricone has composed over 500 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, including all Sergio Leone films since A Fistful of Dollars (including For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America), all Giuseppe Tornatore films (since Cinema Paradiso), The Battle of Algiers, the Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley's Game and The Hateful Eight.

After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he has composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for westerns. His score to 1966's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986) was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums.

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The Good, the Ugly and the Bad (1966)

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Star Wars (1977)

John Williams

   John Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. With a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Home Alone films, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler's List, and the first three Harry Potter films.

   Williams has been associated with director Steven Spielberg since 1974, composing music for all but three of his feature films. Other notable works by Williams include theme music for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, "The Mission" theme used by NBC News and Seven News in Australia, the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants, and the incidental music for the first season of Gilligan's Island. Williams has also composed numerous classical concertos and other works for orchestral ensembles and solo instruments. From 1980 to 1993 he served as the Boston Pops's principal conductor, and is currently the orchestra's laureate conductor.

   Williams has won 24 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. With 51 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney.In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams's score to 1977's Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. 

Danny Elfman

Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Elfman first became known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the band Oingo Boingo from 1974 to 1995 . He is well known for scoring films and television shows, in particular his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton.

In 1976, Elfman entered the film industry as an actor. In 1980, he scored his first film, Forbidden Zone, directed by his older brother Richard Elfman. Among his honors are four Oscar nominations, a Grammy for Batman, an Emmy for Desperate Housewives, six Saturn Awards for Best Music, the 2002 Richard Kirk Award, and the Disney Legend Award.

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The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)

Hans Zimmer

The Lion King (1995)

   Hans Zimmer (born 12 September 1957) is a German film score composer and record producer. Since the 1980s, he has composed music for over 150 films. His works include The Lion King, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1995, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, and The Dark Knight Trilogy.

   Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company that he founded, Remote Control Productions, formerly known as Media Ventures. His studio in Santa Monica, California has an extensive range of computer equipment and keyboards, allowing demo versions of film scores to be created quickly.

   Zimmer's works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. He has received four Grammy Awards, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He was also named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph.

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