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How easily do you disassociate the music from the film?

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I was listening to Star Wars the other night and being both my favorite movie and favorite score, I can't stop seeing R2 and Obi-Wan and the X-wings in my head while listening to it. Of course Star Wars is a bad example since I love the movie so much, but even with something like Minority Report, at some point I'm going to remember Tom Cruise hiding from the Spyders. So what about you?? Can you listen to Raiders and not think once about the movie? Can you really appreciate the music from what it is and remove it completely from context??

I also noticed that my favorite scores are from movies that I at least like a bit, some exceptions would be Hook, a movie I hated, or Horner's Krull, a movie I've never seen. Is there a correlation between how much you like the movie and how much you like the score?? Do you like a lot of scores that you haven't seen the movie??

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Can you listen to Raiders and not think once about the movie? Can you really appreciate the music from what it is and remove it completely from context??

No. Of course not, not completely.

That's IMO only possible if you don't know the movie at all.

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Completely? never. But a lot of the best film music exists as it's own thing and as a score to the film concurrently. I was just listening to Goldenthal's Michael Collins, one of my favorite scores ever, and as much as I remembered just how perfect it was in the film, I also marvelled at how much sense the cues made musically, how well they were constructed and orchestrated...the two things co-existed comfortably for me. But this is coming from a person who's love of film music is peripheral to his love of film, so this may be just me.

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I'm not very good at separating them. I try...sometimes...but it's never a complete divorce. Sometimes it influences my opinion of the music rather significantly...usually not for the worse, but sometimes for the better. I don't necessarily have all the scenes going through my head as I listen, though that does occasionally happen, but there are subconscious associations with the worlds of the films that are pretty hard to shake.

That being said, even if my experience inevitably involves the film a bit, I can still intellectually evaluate the worth of the music pretty well. Raiders would be a masterpiece without the film to elevate it even further; it's technically an amazing score, and incredibly fun to boot. All the film does is take my enjoyment to the next level.

There have been cases where I've bought scores to films I haven't seen, of course. I became familiar with Cutthroat Island before I saw (part of) the film, for instance, and I find that opinion of it has changed very little. (Namely, it's got a lot of interesting material, but it's too relentless and homogeneous for my tastes.)

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It's very easy to seperate the music from the movie.

That's how I listen to the scores I have. I don't associate it with the film a majority of the time. I just listen to the music, I enjoy it as I would rock, R&B etc etc.

While it is intended to go with the movie I've found that if you really sit back and listen to the music it works well on it's own.

If I want to associate the music with the film, I'll watch the movie.

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There is a great deal of film music that I listen to, but I haven't seen the movie or I have, but a long time ago and I don't remember the scenes in which I could hear it. I think I can appreciate it as much as any other music that has no cinematic association.

When I know the movie and the scene very well, it's much more difficult to disassiciate, but it's possible. In my case it helps when I imagine orchestra playing rather than movie scenes. I can, for example, listen to AotC without thinking how bland the movie was.

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For me if I'm familiar with the movie its hard to totally separate the score from said movie. I can do it to a certain level though, to enjoy the music just on its own instead of pairing it with the movie, but its inevitable that there's going to be some connection. It can be a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose depending on how well the score works in the movie.

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That's how I listen to the scores I have. I don't associate it with the film a majority of the time. I just listen to the music, I enjoy it as I would rock, R&B etc etc.

Same here. I enjoy plenty of scores without seeing the movie, and there are some that I would rather not see it, as I am quite sure the movie would take away from the score, not because I would then think of the movie when listening, but when watching the movie, not-so-great scenes that go with great music would take away from the musical experience.

Probably half of my film scores I have not seen the movie to. Maybe over half.

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That's how I listen to the scores I have. I don't associate it with the film a majority of the time. I just listen to the music, I enjoy it as I would rock, R&B etc etc.

Same here. I enjoy plenty of scores without seeing the movie, and there are some that I would rather not see it, as I am quite sure the movie would take away from the score, not because I would then think of the movie when listening, but when watching the movie, not-so-great scenes that go with great music would take away from the musical experience.

Probably half of my film scores I have not seen the movie to. Maybe over half.

Sure, but for me, it's (mostly) the opposite: not watching the movie takes away from the score.

Now, that's especially true with actual cues as opposed to concert pieces. I want to know why JW wrote the music the way he did. Why the little nuances, why the sudden attack of the brass section, why the ominous swirling strings, etc...

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I like the way that a good film score tells the story apart from the movie. Whereas movies so often hand everything to you on a silver platter, film music is a much more participative medium on its own. Lots of room for creativity from the listener. It is a subconscious thing, but film scores tell me a story even if I haven't seen the movie. I tend to like story-telling that leaves more to the audience.

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I like the way that a good film score tells the story apart from the movie. Whereas movies so often hand everything to you on a silver platter, film music is a much more participative medium on its own. Lots of room for creativity from the listener. It is a subconscious thing, but film scores tell me a story even if I haven't seen the movie. I tend to like story-telling that leaves more to the audience.

That's a nice way of saying it if the score is really well-written, but the music doesn't really tell the story.

The score is just a succession of emotions, it gives us the mood: fear, joy, anxiety, love, etc. Also, it gives us the tempo: a slow scene or a fast scene. Moreover, it can tell us whether it's a dramatic scene or a casual scene, the climax or just the build-up to it.

But it doesn't tell us the story. Now, don't tell me, if you didn't know "Star Wars" the movie, you could infer the story just by listening to the music. (And reading the track titles doesn't count.)

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Subconsciously, it does tell a story. I love, and have listened to many times, the score for The Water Horse. Never seen the movie. But the emotions, and, more importantly, the progression of emotions and other aspects (which is what a story is), I relate to. I do not have some sort of explainable intricate story planned out in my mind, but the score connects with me on a level which I believe the movie never would. I can get anything I want to out of the score. Little things like who does exactly what when are not important in this type of story-telling. That is what the audience can fill in to their desired depth, if they want to. The artists tells the story in a raw form, stripped of everything cumbersome, and gives more freedom to the emotions, and I believe it can be even more powerful that way.

Not to say I don't watch movies. But it is certainly not required for me, and I tend to like (good) scores better.

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Depends on how much I like the movie and how familiar I am with the movie. I never think about the movie Hook while listening to Hook, same with A.I. I've seen them both, but can't remember much about them and don't want to remember anything about them.

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I think it has a lot to do with how much you love the movie and what came first, I was a Star Wars fan before being a Williams one, for me it's impossible not to think about say Obi-Wan when I hear the Force theme. With other scores it's not that hard.

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Personally, I struggle to disassociate the music from the composer more than I do the film. I do think of the film, depending on the piece and my mood, but I can never shake the John Williams is a freaking genius! part.

When I listen to my most beloved film music, the composer springs to mind waaaaay before the movie does.

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Personally, I struggle to disassociate the music from the composer more than I do the film. I do think of the film, depending on the piece and my mood, but I can never shake the John Williams is a freaking genius! part.

When I listen to my most beloved film music, the composer springs to mind waaaaay before the movie does.

Quint! Welcome back! Where were you? (Or were you just posting under a different name? ROTFLMAO )

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That's a nice way of saying it if the score is really well-written, but the music doesn't really tell the story.

The score is just a succession of emotions, it gives us the mood: fear, joy, anxiety, love, etc. Also, it gives us the tempo: a slow scene or a fast scene. Moreover, it can tell us whether it's a dramatic scene or a casual scene, the climax or just the build-up to it.

But it doesn't tell us the story. Now, don't tell me, if you didn't know "Star Wars" the movie, you could infer the story just by listening to the music. (And reading the track titles doesn't count.)

A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

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That's a nice way of saying it if the score is really well-written, but the music doesn't really tell the story.

The score is just a succession of emotions, it gives us the mood: fear, joy, anxiety, love, etc. Also, it gives us the tempo: a slow scene or a fast scene. Moreover, it can tell us whether it's a dramatic scene or a casual scene, the climax or just the build-up to it.

But it doesn't tell us the story. Now, don't tell me, if you didn't know "Star Wars" the movie, you could infer the story just by listening to the music. (And reading the track titles doesn't count.)

A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

Perhaps, but what constitutes "hand feeding" is very much a matter for debate.

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I don't need the music to tell a story.

The first time I heard the score to Star Wars I had no track titles and I hadn't seen the movie yet. I just simply enjoyed the music.

The movie did not change my opinion of the music. It showed me where the music went and how it worked but I had already fell in love with the score.

I base my score buying habits on the composer, for the most part. Williams, Goldsmith, Herrmann, Giacchino, Barry, Rozsa, Silvestri, Elfman, Ifukube, Delerue (to name a few) are all blind buys. I don't need to see the film or know anything about the movie. It's all about the music for me.

If I based my opinion of a film score on the movie itself, I would have a much smaller collection.

Now there are film scores that are terrible as a listening experience and but for the most part do their job in the film. I don't buy those.

All of the scores I have, in my opinion, work on their own as a completely seperate listening experience that does not require me to think about the film at all.

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A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

So you prefer a score where you have to figure out what the composer was trying to express?

No, I prefer a score that isn't cliche as you described it. The film gives you the emotion, and the score accents it. Not the other way around.

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A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

So you prefer a score where you have to figure out what the composer was trying to express?

No, I prefer a score that isn't cliche as you described it. The film gives you the emotion, and the score accents it. Not the other way around.

That's exactly what I meant!

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A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

E.T. begs to differ.

@Josh, the simple and short answer is I took a break and I may be taking a longer break in August when I move in with the g/f, but thanks for your interest ;)

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A score that hand feeds the emotions is hardly a good score.

So you prefer a score where you have to figure out what the composer was trying to express?

No, I prefer a score that isn't cliche as you described it. The film gives you the emotion, and the score accents it. Not the other way around.

But what if the film isn't good enough to give you the emotion?

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I have a hard time disassociating film music from the film itself.

I almost always need to see the film in order to get into a film score, even its just to get the jist of what the music I'm listening to was meant to accompany, even if I don't specifically remember a bunch of sync points.

I dunno, I just get into the emotion of the music more if I know what the emotions of the characters are at the same time

I can only think of one score that I've listened to loads of times, enjoy immensely, but have never seen the film - Krull.

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Very easily. I don't listen to soundtracks because of the movie or of how the music worked in it. In fact, there's really no difference in how I listen to soundtracks and how I listen to, say, classical music or electronic music or rock or whatever. It's a separate musical entity. In fact, I wouldn't even mind if they changed the cover and title of the piece altogether. If I want to relive the film or the mood of the film or whatever, I will....you know....SEE the movie!

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Interesting discussion. . . .

It all depends on the context for me--and I've created some interesting contexts over the years using my collection. For a long time, I did associate the music with the film. I eventually began moving away from that and enjoying scores for their music alone. After a while, I started using scores for other purposes . . . mainly creatively, helping me generate and tell my own stories. I would string different pieces together from different soundtracks to "score" a story I had conceived. It was incredibly helpful in connecting emotionally with scenes I'd devised--and sometimes a certain element in a certain cue would actually prompt me to insert a new event in a scene.

Then I took it to the next level with another personal project. Over several years, I "scored" The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (the books, not the movies; this was years before the films came out). I linked up dozens of pieces from over 40 different films to represent all the major scenes, characters, and thematic subtexts in the books. The end result was 9 1/2 hours of music ellucidating every major element of Tolkien's work.

Nowadays, I'm back to using it for my own stories--only this time I score what I've already written (similar to what I did with LOTR). Just for fun, of course.

So I can answer your question any number of ways. Sometimes I like listening to the music for the music's sake alone; other times I like to associate, but many pieces have any number of associations--the original film, one of my stories, one of Tolkien's stories, or even just a moment from real life that draws the music to mind (I spoke years ago on this board about my mental connection between "Lento" from Alien3 and 9/11).

Does that answer your question. . . ?

- Uni

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